Inspiration from the field

Creating modern daguerreotypes is often a long, slow, painstaking process – there is much to learn along the way before you ever get to make an image. The many steps and the time and expense involved can lead to a sense of discouragement at times. That is why it is great news when a fellow beginner makes a first image. My friend Jon Lewis has posted his first creation.

Jon is at early stages too (albeit clearly ahead of me). He and I have exchanged a number of emails sharing precious knowledge gleaned and friendly encouragement.  Jon has also generously shared some of his supplies with me. It is good to have fellow travelers when the road is long and demanding. I congratulate Jon on this exciting milestone. His progress makes mine seem more possible.

Back to Castle Daguerre.

Activated Carbon

I am still working away on Castle Daguerre, and summer is the busiest season at my main job, so postings have been infrequent. I did send an email today to a company that makes activated carbon products Read more »

Polishing Pad Comparison

Today I sat down to start gathering polishing materials. I have temporarily deferred the hand vs wheel vs orbital polishing debate because hand polishing doesn’t require Read more »

WordPress Upgrade

This is off the topic of daguerreotypes, but it will be of interest if you run a blog site using WordPress as I do. There is a new version out and I sat down to do the upgrade tonight knowing that it would take me a couple of hours assuming nothing went wrong. But at the top of the documentation page the fine folks at WordPress had put a link to an Automatic Upgrade Plug-in. I gave it a whirl and five minutes later I was back in business. A most excellent utility. I was so impressed that I gave the author a voluntary donation. So if you are a WordPress user check it out. If not, and you are only interested in daguerreotypes, get over to DagForum and discuss polishing some more. I still have lots to learn!

Castle Daguerre

Castle DaguerrePreparatory work continues apace – the last couple of weeks have been spent cleaning out a playhouse I built for my children quite a few years ago. My son is now in college, and my daughter is a senior in high school. The playhouse wasn’t getting much use – storage and the occasional mouse house. I decided a while back that regardless of any safety precautions taken, I don’t want bromine or mercury inside my house. Ergo – the rebirth of the playhouse into “Castle Daguerre“. Yesterday I built a couple of workbenches. Today was spent getting components at Home Depot and beginning to wire it for electricity. It is really quite amazing the number of trades and processes that you get to dip into on the way to becoming a daguerreotypist. So far I have been researcher, optical repaiman, camera repairman, carpenter and electrician. I do have to remind myself from time to time why I am doing all this work, but I keep three antique daguerrotypes on my bedside table so I don’t forget. Once I get the studio built I am going to get back to figuring out that whole plate production thing. I am still completely stumped about what polishing method to use. Too many choices.

Dansette