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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Holga Meet Collodion

     Had this idea for a long time and today I finally got to do it! After installing a blower motor this morning in Diamond Bar John dropped me off for my official hobby day! Hobby days are those fully dedicated to wet plate collodion or any other fun activity. Tomorrow John shall participate in the festivities with his 66 impala project. Anyways, today I took my Holga Stereo camera off the shelf and was able to successfully shoot 5 plates. The plates are not the best, but the camera is fully functional. I believe I worked out all the kinks and should be ready to produce plates tomorrow. The rest of the week is pretty much dedicated to collodion because tomorrow I will be shooting my Holga camera all day, Friday I will be at my grandma's house after the funeral shooting all my relatives, and then Saturday and Sunday I will be at the Folk Tree.
For those who want to beef up their Holga and adapt it to collodion here is how:

I am using 1/16th of an inch clear glass. I know the tin I use is super thin and would also work in the Holga.

I am using John's dremel at speed 2 to eat away at these annoying notches. With these notches gone I can easily close the camera.

Notice the tip on the dremel. This tip totally ate through the plastic super easy.

Not the neatest job. Yes, I was in a hurry because I was so excited.

Here are the plates I cut myself with the new strip cutter I got from Stained Glass Supply in Eagle Rock. The plate size is 5.25x2.5 inches.

Work area. The strip cutter is on the left and super handy! Makes my work flow much faster.

Cleaning plates and there is my handy dandy timer. I purchased this timer from Big Lots about 8 months ago and it is still going strong.

I keep my chemicals in an ice chest, which is then stored in my dark box. The ice chest does absorb most of the smell, but if I leave my dark box in my car for to long the whole care is consumed in collodion stench... at least that is what my father tells me, (I can not smell it anymore).

My dark box. Next month my dad and I are going to build a new one. This was the prototype and was created in a hurry. I had about a week to construct one before Ken Merfeld's class began last year.

The first plate!  A complete success! Not the best image, but hey it worked!

Here is the inside of the camera. The plate sits on the natural border of the Holga. Each plate is easily put into the camera and slowly taken out. Since the camera is made of plastic there are no silver stains, or annoying stickiness.

The back of the camera.

     I assumed the red film provided by Holga would be strong enough to block leaking from the outside of the camera. I was very wrong! On my first couple of plates You can see the window allowed for light leaks. Make sure to cover that up with tape.

You can see it clearly in this image the fogged circle. Also you can see the Holga has some sharpness to it. The fountain in my backyard looks even more menacing. You will also notice a big collodion streak on the plate. The collodion was not sticking to the plate and the film was coming off. To keep the image stable I took it out of the fix so it could hurry and dry so I could get a picture.

One of the plates of my fence. I apologize for the artifacts on the plate. My silver bath needs filtering.

Close up of the vine on my fence.

Another close-up. Again these are test images and I can not wait to experiment with it more. I hope to create some short of chart indicating how I can get each image to be sharp and perfect exposures.

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