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"

zondag 28 augustus 2011

Donchev camera is "deflowered".........

Yesterday i was finally able to "deflower" my new Donchev 20x20"camera.
It took me a long time to finish all the needed material and find the time to start with this project.
So yesterday i phoned my friend Ad and asked him if he had some spare time.
It's time, i told him. Let's make a large plate....

So we made the set-up but i made several mistakes.
This plate isn't my best.
The glass wasn't properly cleaned, so this is not what we call "a clean plate".

Producing small plates is something like working on automatic pilot.
I can tell you, i have to relearn all my skills. This is totally different ball game....

But it was fun to do.
Andy Donchev you made me a great camera !!

Do you want to see how the camera looks like ? Just have a look :

clear glass ambro
30 x40 cm ( had to start somewhere........)
"poorboy" collodion mix
KCN fixer
exposure time 9 sec ( should have been around 11 secs)
No name large petzval 20" at aprox 5.6

Plate is scanned in 2 pieces and stiched in PS

maandag 22 augustus 2011

How to unscrew a stuck lens element.....????

Recently i bought myself a beautiful Dallmeyer 3a!
It's in beautiful original shape.
But there was one problem. All the lens elements were stuck.
Also the soft focus function.

As i have tried this solution before on a Hermagis with a severe stuck rear element i gave it a try again, but now with this beauty.

All you need is a fitting piece of thin rubber, a screwdriver, a LITTLE hammer and a large hose clamp.
Cut the rubber just as wide as the clamp itself. Make sure you cut it a little shorter to keep the place open where the screw is.
This to make sure you get an equal pressure around the element.
Tighten the hose clamp slightly. There is no need to tighten it hard! When you tighten it to hard you might break the glass!!!
After that you take a small hammer and gently tap on the screw in the direction the element has to go loose.

Before this solution i have tried several options. I tried silicon spray several times over a few days, tried to unscrew it while wearing special rubber gloves.

Nothing worked. Now it came loose within 2 seconds.

rare find

Yesterday we participated at the fotografica fair at Doesburg.
Doesburg is a small and very old city in Holland which became a city already in 1237 !
Every year Roel Fokken organizes the open air Fotografica fair.
It's one of the largest open air fair. Even bigger than Bievres.

More than 160 stalls filled with fotografica.
We (Henk a good frend of mine and myself) were there to promote Collodion photography.

At the start we suffered from very heavy rain but at 09:30 the weather changed and we had beautiful open weather. So we had a great day explaning the proces over and over....

Last year i spoke to someone about a very special ambrotype and he promised me, if he would find one, he would bring it for me.

And he did !
Now i am the owner of a very rare ambrotype. Just have a look at the pictures.

I am extremely glad with this one as it gives me the possibility to explain the process to people who have never heard of wet plate photography.
You can open it like a book and you can look at the ambrotype at both sides.
Without one of the 2 backgrounds its transparent, but when you close one side you can see the whole plate as it should look like.