What the Fog!

Doing collodion works, I believe all will encounter foggy plates at some point of their plate session.

I had an extremely frustrating weeks (plural) of foggy plates.

Plate after plate, many batch of developers made, and many sessions of sunning the AgNO3; the fog were only decreased and gained. It seems to not let up and I burned a lot of my acrylic plates (a reminder for me not to use these substrates if I ran into more chemical troubles).


Sample of many fogged plates I had


I  had run various tests whether if the environment, lighting, my gears, etc. but none of it in any way seems to solve this problem.

Then I pulled out Scully & Osterman’s manual and refer to their troubleshooting section. Their written advise to deal with fogs was to check the environment & any physical structures first before dealing with chemistries.

Blank fogged 1/6 plates


Hmmm, I had tested blank samples with foggy results.

Which I suspect (least suspected as it took me this long to figure out) the only consistent environment was my safelight!

Now that’s a shocker! I would not have thought of it as it was damn dim in my small darkroom.

Is there such thing as deteriorated safe light? It’s just a piece of plastic with 8watt bulb in it.

This baffling “problem” seemed to go away soon as I worked entirely in the dark (last I worked like this was me developing colour film sheets).

 The plate produced was a clean development, which I am happy to work with (for now…)

A test image of a bag of cereal (wpc) on white acrylic. Finally a clean plate!

For now, I have to rely on this red eyed cyclops contraption (red LED headlamp)