After months and countless hours of preparation, construction, research, & cash.... I finally have created my first daguerreotype! Back in July 2009 Darcy & I went to Montana and were taught the Becquerel Process of Daguerreotype Photography under the wise instruction of Jerry Spagnoli at the Photograper's Forumulary. Well I have finally put my new knowledge to test here in pittsburgh, and it seems to work. I am very pleased with the final image, Basically I got an image!....Here is my novice understanding of what I initially notice needing improvement for the next plate. (just scratching the surface of improvements) The exposure is correct according to my vision of metering, maybe just barely 1/3 stop too hot, but I would have lost the lower end had I shortened the exposure. The sun popped out through the clouds for about 15 sec during the exposure, burning the woman and wood, I probably should have compensated for that as well. Some guilding issues and/or drying issues, both of which i hope to figure out through more work. Maybe some overdeveloping too... looks a little foggy to me in the bottom dark areas. You can't see the imperfections of the buff in the scanned image, but I do have some scratching caused by the velvetine hand buff.
This photo illustrates the scene for my first dag. You can see the sun is extremely hot on the subject: When I was exposing the plate, the scene was completely in shadow. The day was overcast, but the sun did peek out for about 10 - 15 secs during the exposure. Special thanks to Mark Knobil who's Graflex Camera, Spot Meter, and general understanding of my insanity make this whole process a little smoother.