Re: Daguerreotypes

From: Etienne Garbaux ^lt;>
Date: 08/21/04-10:25:33 AM Z
Message-id: <p05210603bd4d22b81cc2@[]>

Bob wrote (snipped)

> In my opinion, the look of a Becquerrel plate is luike [unlike?] that of
>a mercury
> plate. It has its own beauty but not like that of a mercury plate.

Agreed. I've never done Becquerel development myself, but the examples I've
seen both from the 19th C and recent never display the full tonal range the
mercury process does, and the character of the deposited image particles is

> I did a lot af alternative processes before daguerreotype. I learned
> them all on my own but I realized tat this could not be done in the case of
> the daguerreotype. You have to have a master daguerreotypist standing there
> with you, looking over your shoulder.

Here I do not agree with Bob. I taught myself using just the old texts,
and it is really not very difficult if you have the patience to polish
copper plates to a Hubble-mirror-quality finish. With all of the recent
attention and available process information, particularly including Bob's,
I don't see why anyone would need personal instruction to make good dags.
I also didn't find it all that expensive, although I was definitely more of
a cowboy about dealing with the hazards than Bob, except as they relate
directly to personal protection (and for this reason I will not elaborate
on method further, so as not to encourage bad environmental habits). You
do not need to buy all of the expensive equipment that Bob uses just to
make good dags -- that is mostly to control the mercury and halogen vapors;
any number of homemade solutions will work, particularly if your concern is
more personal safety than environmental correctness. (This is not to say
you shouldn't use this equipment if you can afford it, and Bob gives good
justification for doing so on his web site.)

Best regards,

Received on Sat Aug 21 10:26:33 2004

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