I was just curious at some point in the wet plate processes of others which they had managed to achieve good white in their highlights of their plates.

Was it in the chemistries of the developers? The artificial lights used? The amount of UV? (This must be true, I suspect) or was it burnishing the plates after it dries?

In one of my last quick plate test of window studies, which had a good amount of highlights (somewhere around EV 14, which is a good bright day here in Plymouth), I planned for the highlights to be good enough at Zone VIII. Using Lea sugar developer, quick clear collodion, and regular hypo, I had set the shot at f11, 45 sec.

Window Studies, Oct 2014

The scan is a tad dark as I used a horrible simple cheap scanner, and I don’t bother to adjust via PS as it was good enough for my own reference.

It wasn’t properly clean glass plate, but just enough for me to know if I could achieve a proper white in wet plate, rather than flat muddy highlights.

And the results were still flat for my liking. 

Though I could count in the factor the window had been tinted with UV resistant film, which was old based on my observation of the amount of peeling in the corners of the window.

It was apparent to me that some alterations and mod needed in the developer, in which I will have to try bit more variants in near future.i have to thank Guy Brown (fantastic blog) and Tony Richards (also another cool blog site as well) for their suggestions in FB, John Brewer via email, and also great reference in other FB group, the Collodion Bastards.

But first, I need to polish up my exposure and have more intuitive yet methodological approach to have properly exposed plate.

I started to do more studies of reflective objects, as this was taught in my earlier student days as this sort subject throws in the details of the environments around the room, which has just as much tone variance within a single object.

Without any alterations to any chemistries, the results were good reference and to re-disciplining myself from doing reckless guess exposures. Objectively, this will decrease from wasting time, plates and chemistries.

Table study, silver potpourri vase, Oct 2014

The note taking was a tedious yet I know necessary. From all technical details of the camera, lens distance, aperture exposure, EV readings, ambient temperature of the room and darkroom, measured distance of subject to the plate, which is important for me to understand what I had done and hopefully be able to alter and tweak for any plates after.

The results were a good clean plate, simple, yet tedious note taking session, it’s a good learning wpc session and a good practice from now on.

I will go on until I get what I want for highlight’s white to be white via chemical or even just good experienced guess on how generous the UV in the air for proper exposure.