Today is “Father’s Day” in the USA and so my family made a nice fuss over me this morning. My wife presented me with a copy of The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre by Dominic Smith. My son, who is not always a committed conversationalist outside his immediate circle of friends, phoned me and said “So what’s with this daguerreotypes thing?” and actively listened while I rattled on for a while. My daughter has something else planned for this evening – subject as yet unknown. It is good to have family support when you are involved in an obsession. :)
This morning I decided to make a “minimum/least cost equipment list” since I am getting quite bogged down in all the stuff you “can” get for making daguerreotypes. Here it is:
-Simple fuming box
-Several small pure silver plates (able to withstand multiple attempts/repolishing)
-Several home-made cotton velvet polishers for laborious hand polishing :)
-Camera (either 35mm I have or 8×10 adapted to tiny plate size)
-Developing tray (have this)
-Saturated salt solution (Have salt)
-Aluminum rod (have this)
-Dark place (Still working on this)
-Water (Very cheap)
-Distilled water (Cheap)
-Sunlight (Available most days)
-Subject of photo (Too numerous to be of concern)
After that (like when I eventually start getting keepers)
Section two has things that are more complex, or that I don’t really know enough about yet. Section one has its’ own challenges, but at least is a finite list.
However, in homage to the difficulty of the process, I have spent much of the few hours I have today only researching the first item on the list – Iodine crystals. It turns out that in the USA this is apparently a controlled substance because it can be used in the manufacture of Methamphetamines. Good grief. I have posted a plea for help in a new thread on DagForum.com. DagForum is the forum portion of ContemporaryDaguerreotypes.info
Hopefully one of the current practitioners will shed some light. I’m trying to ration my questions there. It is still a small group of participants and I don’t want to wear out the people who have the experience to respond.
I will post a review of the new novel when I finish it.