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Working at the Botanics in Edinburgh means I can get access to the currently closed Palm Houses. They are about to undergo a major restoration. It is an amazing space to be in so I’ve visited twice, once with my whole plate camera and once with the 10x12inch Vageeswari. Argyrotype prints from whole plate glass…

Read More The Vageeswari goes on its first outing

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I’ve got a routine going of pouring my own 4×5″ gelatine silver plates and then scanning them and inkjet printing the results but I’ve felt unsettled because I would like to have a 100% analogue process, [AAA] in stead fo [ADD]. To address this I’ve been messing with salt printing some of my 4×5″ plates.…

Read More Victorian book-form, whole-plate holder on Intrepid 8×10 camera

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For my birthday the family humoured me by playing at making portraits in the garden. I broke out the Intrepid 8×10 – a special occasions camera – and we shot some very old Ilford Multigrade paper as negatives. My daughter, Faith, is getting pretty good at doing the large format dance and did the whole…

Read More Fifty Six

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I’ve been putting things on Instagram without blogging them – this is against my new social media policy. How sad I have one! As we are still in lockdown with a “stay at home” order in effect I’ve been playing with my Sinar P studio camera. There is precious little room in the flat so…

Read More Trapped indoors doing still lives (that really should be lifes)

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Using dry plate technology from the 1880s I feel drawn to anything from the Victorian era. Living in Edinburgh we are blessed with such subjects which is good because the current Covid-19 restrictions mean I can’t leave the city. Today I photographed the Forth Rail Bridge (opened 1890) and the result is convincingly late 19th…

Read More My time machine is functioning well

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We learn by making mistakes. The third photographic emulsion I made was great. It was clean and contrasty and just worked. So I thought I’d jazz it up a bit for the fourth emulsion by adding ten drops of 1% Erythrosine (that’s pink food colouring E127) to increase the green response. It didn’t work. Right…

Read More Throwing out Emulsion #4 … but #5 looks good!

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My three month old iodising collodion finally got to me. Today I mounted an expedition to the bottom of the garden to make some collodion negatives. I’ve often wondered whether it would be feasible to do backpack collodion – to head for the hills with all that I need to make a few plates and…

Read More Backpack Collodion: Expedition to the end of the … garden