I always have been fascinated by photography.
But with the introduction of the digital camera it all became too easy, too predictable …to me.
So I forced myself to go back to the roots of real analog photography.
Not just by making the photograph itself, but by controlling the entire photographic process.

This brought me back to the middle of the 19th century, to the amazing Collodion wet plate process.
And every single day I feel challenged to refine and improve myself.

For my website please visit : www.alextimmermans.com

Alex Timmermans

"You don't take a picture, it's given to you"

maandag 25 juli 2011


Finally i was able to move my "new" dark room sink up to my studio.
I bought it, but it turned out to be too big to bring it up using the staircases.
( my studio is at my attic and also my dark room).

First i had to cut of the top. But with the right tools that wasn't such a big job.
Using a ladder we were able to get it in trough our bedroom window.
Just one staircase to go, but with just a small damage at the staircase we finally made it !!

Now i have to break down my old sink and replace it.
I hope starting to make 20 x 20 inch plates soon.

stay tuned....

donderdag 14 juli 2011

Silver bath maintenance

Recently I noticed some problems with one of my silver bath solution.
While developing plates it was more difficult to spread the developer over the plates.
Of course you can solve it by adding a little alcohol to your developer but on a certain point that won't help anymore

So it was time to start maintenance of my silver bath.
I didn't had any other problems so  I decided just to boil the solution back to a volume of about 90%. As a matter of fact, just heating up the Silver Nitrate is even more than enough. You only need to get rid of the Alcohol and Ether which came in with the Collodion.
Alcohol already boils at 79 degrees Celcius and Ether already at 35 degrees Celsius.
make sure you boil the silver solution in a stainless steel pot and in a very well ventilated room or outside.
After doing this I add the needed volume demineralised water and the bath CAN turn VERY cloudy.
Don't worry about that. It's absolutely normal and has nothing to do with maybe a bad quality of Demi water.
Just shake the bottle and leave it that way for a few hours it will clear and you will see a lot of dirt at the bottom of the bottle.

After that I sunned the bath under a face tanner. filtered it twice, checked gravity, added the needed silver nitrate and it was ready for use again.

Result : a perfectly clear and good working silver bath again.
So it takes a few hours but the result is worth it.
There is NO need to iodise your Silber nitrate again. It's ready for use

NOTE: I have been working with the "same" silver nitrate bath from the start in 2009. I NEVER added anything except silver nitrate and water. So No acid, no Clay no NOTHING.
If you treat your Silver nitrate with care you can work with it for many years!

After adding Demi water the solution can turn cloudy. Don't panic.
This is absolutely normal

 Lot's of dirt after the first filtering
 Gravity is too low. Should be around 1.08
Added extra Silver nitrate untill it reached the exact gravity and it's ready for use again

maandag 11 juli 2011

Making your own varnish

Making a varnish solution isn’t such a big job.
Actually, i like it a lot. Love the smell.........

First you need to get sandarac.
Sandarac (or sandarach) is a resin obtained from the small cypress-like tree Tetraclinis articulata.
Because it contains lots of dirt. I once had an ant in my bottle , you need to filter it very very good.

There is no need to crush the small pieces as it dissolves quite easy in alcohol.
Just measure the needed quantity and drop it in a bottle with the right volume of alcohol.
You can leave it like that for a day or so or take the bottle and shake it several times during watching TV.....
When the resin has dissolved you will have a very cloudy solution which needs to be filtered.
For the first 2 times you can just use normal coffee filters.
You will see the difference as it becomes clearer and clearer after each filtering.
After using the coffee filter i always use laboratory folding micro filters.

After filtering it twice again you will obtain a very clear yellow solution and it is ready as a base.
You will only have to add the needed volume lavender oil to finish this job.

 Weighing the needed amount of sandarac

 There is lots of dirt in the sandarc which needs to be filtered out

 After the first filtering you can see the difference already

 After 2 times using a coffee filter now you filter it twice using micro filters

 At the right you can see the final result.
A clear solution (like a nice glass of beer..)