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"

zaterdag 18 januari 2014

"To the end of nowhere...."

After nearly 5 months (times travels fast) I finally had the time to shoot outside again.
What a joy!!!
We first planned to make a other plate but unfortunately the item I needed for that plate
wasn't ready yet.
So that one will be the next plate for sure.
As the weather forecast was so good we just couldn't resist to "play" outside again.
Sun/cloudy and around 10 degrees Celsius. This time we packed two cars! and headed
to an old railway station not so far form my place.
As usual we met some very nice people and the owner of the old train way station even invited us
for a cup of coffee during the shoot. Many thanks for that!!

This plate looks rather simple but we made 9 plates till we were satisfied
with the pose, light, attributes.
We also expected longer exposure times but there was more UV than we thought.

Many thanks to the model, assistant, mental coach, Ferry van der Vliet.....

26,5 x26,5 cm tintype
exposure time just one second!
Dallmeyer 4a at f5
Gerard Schalkx and Frans Roefs are photographers who were passing by.
They both send me some pictures of the shoot.
Many thanks for that!!


vrijdag 17 januari 2014

Great article about petzvals Lenses

Dan Colucci, writer and owner of the great Antiquecamera's website, has written a fantastic article about petzval lenses.
It contains a huge amount of information about the history and design of the famous petzval design.
So a must for the petzval lover or user.
He wrote it for the 40th anniversary of the photographic Historical Society of New England


 © picture made by Dan Calucci

woensdag 15 januari 2014

"I have seen the light..."

As you might know, without light it's impossible to make any picture.
For collodion photography you need a lot of light as this process is sloooooow.
The iso value of a collodion mix is about a 1/2 iso (depending on the mix and it's age)
Beside of that the speed of exposure also depends on the color of the light.
The more blue the light is the faster the exposures will be.
So bulbs with a color of 3000K will give you longer exposures than a 7000k bulb.

First of all I would like to thank BENEL B.V.  This firm has been so kind to send me the two led panels for a test. They are the distributer of the Falcon eyes products in the Netherlands and do ship all over Europe!!

In the meantime BENEL also introduced a new more powerful version
of Falcon eyes which is the
So 6 x 55watt including an even larger umbrella/box compared with the 928.

For this test I have been using 6 different kind of light sources:

  1. Falcon eyes 928 with 5500k bulbs ( I have been using these lights from the start).
  2. Falcon eyes LP 1000U led panel.
  3. Luxarc 200 watt HMI light.
  4. Bowens sl 855 with 5500k pin lights.
  5. Falcon eyes LP- DB4485 CTR Led panel. Adjustable from 3000 till 7000k.
  6. Normal 2x500 watt halogen lights.

Now comes the difficult part. How to test these lights as they all have a different amount of watt?
I made the set up and for every plate I measured the amount of Lux on a certain spot in the picture.
That was set on 300 lux for every plate.
So when the light was to powerful I just moved it backwards until I measured 300 lux.
I know, this isn't a very scientific approach, but for me it was the most honest way to do this test.

For this test I have been using the same silver bath, same collodion mix, same developer, same fixer.
The exposure time was 11 seconds fixed for every plate.
Developing time was exactly 20 seconds.
Fixing time exactly 70 seconds.

Did the outcome surprised me?  Yes it did.
I was hoping that those led panels, especially the 7000K panel, would give me better exposures.
Unfortunately they didn't. The led panels I tested were slower than some other lights.
Despite they all showed 300 lux at the same spot!
The HMI light was the fastest by far, BUT the light is extremely harsh. So you need to dim it by covering it with a diffuser screen or use it indirectly. Beside of that those HMI lights are extremely expensive compared with the normal 5500k lights.
My conclusion is that the lights, which I have been using from the start, the falcon eyes 928 5500k and the Bowens sl 855 with the 5500k pin lights gave the best result.

But there is no substitute for natural daylight......


The results

It wasn't my goal to make clean plates.
They still show dust from the scanning process.
Only the exposure itself was important for this test.
here you can see the picture at large size : http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexfromholland/11971600816/sizes/o/in/photostream/

How I measured the light.


The set up with the normal 2 x500 watt halogen lights


The Falcon eyes 928


Falcon eyes LP 1000U led panel. 


Luxarc 200 watt HMI light.


Bowens sl 855 with 5500k pin lights.


Falcon eyes LP- DB4485 CTR Led panel. Adjustable from 3000 till 7000k 




woensdag 8 januari 2014

Mounting a lens without a matching flange.

As you might know I love to use old petzval lenses for my photography.
Lenses with a beautiful history and  most of the time more than 140-150 year old.
Unfortunately many of those lenses are offered without the matching flange.
Finding a matching flange is like seeking for a needle in a haystack.
In other words, you won't find it.
So you will have to look for a machinery shop and ask if they are able to make you one.
I can tell you, they will cost a lot of money.
A much easier and perfect solution is shown in the pictures underneath.
Just cut a hole in a lens plate using a jig saw.
DON'T try to cut it at the exact size, that won't work.
Most likely you will cut it to big!
So make it slightly smaller and take of the rest of the wood using a simple file.
When done, just use the thread of the lens to screw it into the wood.
Don't force it, otherwise you will crack you nice wooden lens plate.
When mounting a petzval, please make sure toy slide the sleeve of the lens all towards the front.
Now wrap a small piece of rubber around it and use a tyrap to secure the rubber.
(if you don't have a flat piece of rubber, just use an old inner tube of your bicycle....)
For big , more heavier lenses better use a hose clamp.

maandag 6 januari 2014

"The Sitter"


28,5 x 13,5cm  Clear glass ambrotype
Exposure time 40 seconds at 6.3
Hugo Meyer Aristostigmat 360mm 4.8