Devon not a Desert Island!
If you have read my previous post, you will know that I had in mind a two-month anthotype exposure using paper coated with spinach juice. I found a place to clamp up the 5x4" Arca Swiss monorail camera where it could watch a scene which is often sunlit but immobile (my house) and also sheltered from the rain. Once again the lens was a totally uncorrected f/2. I prepared and loaded the paper, and the exposure ran from August 3rd to October 3rd 2017. This should be a good test of my sensitometry and the possible occurrence of reciprocity failure. Over the two months we had a good amount of sunshine, but of course there is now a lot less each day, so the season for such experiments is over.
The moment of truth came this afternoon.
Not what I was hoping for!
On the positive side, it is easy to discern the masked edges of the paper, so the system does have some photosensitivity. The result is also attractive, in an abstract colourful kind of way. That was the good news.
Instead of a photographic image, I have created a little garden of fungi of several kinds. Although the camera and its bellows seemed dry and unharmed by their outdoor experience, the sensitised paper felt damp when I took it out, and had obviously managed to attract moisture and provide a food source for these little local denizens. I tried to match up the result to the scene I hoped for. Did different coloured fungi grow in areas of different brightness? - now that would be quite some colour process! But sadly no, I can't discern the expected scene hidden in this colour field.
I remain fairly confident that in the dry conditions of a desert island, the result would have been very different. The climate of the Devon coastal regions is mild and can be damp, and a future experiment needs to be in a different kind of camera - sealed to keep out the moisture, perhaps with a big bag of silica gel to keep it so.
Autumn and winter are coming now, so further experiment will need to await the return of plentiful sunshine next year. That gives me time to design and build a better camera, at any rate!
An occasional and irregular blog, mostly of photographic experimentation and photographic history.
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