Calotype film holder step 3

This morning I glued the third side together. Somehow I didn't line up the wood as critically as the other two. It's a little off, but I think it will still work.  

If I were to do this again I would build a little block or something to perfectly line up the boards. But I'm gonna let it ride this time.  

I haven't glued the sides together yet, I'll probably do that tomorrow morning.  

 

This shows how poorly aligned one of the sides is. I think with a bit of wood filler this thing will really shape up.  

This shows how poorly aligned one of the sides is. I think with a bit of wood filler this thing will really shape up.  

The other corner is much better. Not prrfedv, furniture.  

The other corner is much better. Not prrfedv, furniture.  

Calotype Film holder step 2

I woke up this morning and checked on the bottom piece I made last night. It had dried perfectly and seems to all be pretty well lined up.  

This morning I cut and assembled the first side rail. It will dovetail together with the end rail. So the construction is kind of the opposite of the end rail. The basic procedure was the same. This one is over 12" long.  

 

Cutting the side rail

Cutting the side rail

Side rail glued and clamped.  

Side rail glued and clamped.  

You can see in the image that one side of the side rail is longer on the dovetail. That is for the top piece. It will be 2" wide. That will stabilize the dark slide Inimagine. 

Now I'm off to work. Maybe tonight I can construct the second side rail.  

Calotype film holder step 1

I have completed the bottom edge of the film holder frame. It's a small feat, but I have no idea what I'm doing so it is exciting to make any progress.  

I cut the wood with the model saw to the lengths specified in the book. I then measured the alignment of each layer. Then I glued and clamped the layers together.  

One thing I made sure to do is to remove all excess glue from the edge and more importantly the inside of the layers. Because these are where the sides will fit in, or where the plates will go later.  

 

Cutting the wood to length

Cutting the wood to length

I labeled each piece with the length. I also labeled each piece of scrap as such. I know from past frame building experience how easy it is to get confused and cut the wrong piece, or glue the wrong thing. 

 

The bottom edge glued and clamped. 

The bottom edge glued and clamped. 

It points out in the book that you will need to put scrap wood between the vice and the frame so it doesn't damage the wood.  

I also used a piece of scrap as sort of a glue spreader in order to completely coat each piece. I didn't want any gaps.  

Calotype Camera Project

In my mission to learn about tintype photography I came across a book titled "Primitive Photography A Guide to Making Cameras, Lenses, and Calotypes".  

My new favorite book.  

My new favorite book.  

I had never heard of Calotype photography prior to reading this book. I haven't completely read the entire book, but my current understanding of the Calotype process is to produce a paper negative using a wet plate type process. This seems to me like it would be more cost effective to learn the basics of camera construction and darkroom chemistry than jumping right to collodion. 

So my immediate goal has shifted toward Calotype photography. I plan to build a camera, including film holder and lens. All of the instructions are in this book. I will document my progress along the way.  

That brings me to the present. I have purchased the materials needed to begin construction of the wet plate film holder. It will be an 8x10" size designed for use with wet paper negatives of the "whole plate" size of 6-1/2" X 8-1/2". There are charts in the book that explain why, but you'll need to buy the book to really get into the science of it.  

So here's my pile of wood.  

Various sizes of basswood purchased at Kit Kraft in Studio City, CA

Various sizes of basswood purchased at Kit Kraft in Studio City, CA

I bought all this wood at Kit Kraft in Studio City, CA. They didn't have all of the sizes I needed so I'm going to have to rip a few pieces on my table saw. Otherwise you could do all of the cutting on your desk or kitchen table.  

Now im going to start cutting.  

Tintype

After letting my plates dry overnight I had a few friends come over to pose for some portraits. I would shoot one at a time. I then processed each one before shooting the next. It's time consuming, but that's to be expected. 

I exposed each image for anywhere from 1/2 second to a second and a half at f5.6. The first image was in clouds, the rest under shade.

I then developed each image for 3-5 minutes in the developer. After that I left each one in the fixer for about 15 minutes. Then under running water for another 15. 

You can see the results in my tintype page.  

 

Tintype

I am setting out on a journey.  A journey that will take me back in time.  I am going to learn the process of tintype photography.  At the beginning of this project I have almost zero knowledge of the process and what is required.

I discovered a while ago a tintype kit online through Freestyle Photographic.  I am starting with that kit.  The camera I will use is a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Speed Graphic camera that used to belong to my grandfather.   This camera has been sitting idle for a long time since Ilford decided to stop making film for it.

So, back to the kit.  It is made by a company called Rockland Colloid.  They make a lot of things for old style photographic processes.  The kit I bought is called the Tintype Parlor Kit.  It has 8 sheets of tin cut to 4x5 size.  I took the tin to Kinkos (yes I still call it that) to cut it down on their paper cutters.  I measured the board and marked it with tape where I needed to place the tin so it would cut to the right size every time.

Measuring the tin

Measuring the tin

 

After I cut all the tin I had to coat it all with the emulsion liquid provided.  

Emulsion liquid

Emulsion liquid

Then I let the plates dry overnight in a light tight box.  

Cut plates and light tight box

Cut plates and light tight box