To the darkroom!……

(title should be read in the voice of Batman’s Adam West)

Ok, the time is upon us – time to make this ceramic ball into a camera!

I’m using Rockland Liquid Light, not used this brand before, so we’ll see how it goes. I have some jugs as well..

Photo 29-04-2013 15 37 57 (1)

The darkroom kit

The liquid light is a solid(ish) gel at room temperature, it has to be heated up to melt it into a pourable liquid. I let the bottle stand in a jug of hot water for a few minutes until it had liquidised. I also placed the ceramic ball on top of a jug with hot water, so the steam/heat from the water would warm the bottom of the ball, making sure the liquid light didn’t start to harden as soon as it was poured into the ball.

Photo 07-05-2013 16 59 54

hot water baths

Time to turn out the lights…….

The liquid light behaves in the same way as photographic paper, it’s orthochromatic, which means it’s not sensitive to red light, therefore can be handled in normal darkroom conditions (over exposure to red light will eventually fog the emulsion, as it does with photographic paper, but that can take a while, I’ll be done before that happens – hopefully)


Darkroom adventures

The emulsion is poured into the ball using a small funnel [1] [2] after being swished around inside the ball for a few minutes, to coat as much of the inside as possible, the liquid light is poured back into the bottle [3] The ball is kept moving for a few more minutes to prevent the remaining liquid light from pooling on the bottom. The pinhole plate I made earlier is stuck over the hole in the ball using extra trape making the ball now light tight [4]

Photo 07-05-2013 17 14 50

The pinhole camera ready to go

With the pinhole plate stuck over the hole it’s safe to turn the lights back on, and there we have it – the first slip cast pinhole camera (for it is no longer a ceramic ball – it has been blessed with light capturing magic inside, making it now officially a camera).

I still have no idea if this will work, the liquid light might not stick to the clay walls (although it should as the clay is still porous), I have no idea how thick the emulsion is – from this point onwards it’s all speculations and fingers crossing…….

Oh – I also made a few more balls

Photo 08-05-2013 15 34 55

more balls

I also realised that I’d need something to hold them still, they kept rolling around the desk top, precariously close to falling off, so I quickly made some bases for them to stand in from a large poster tube – these will also be used as a base to hold the balls in when I take the photographs.

I noticed that two together looked like the eyes from Zig & Zag or Berk from Trapdoor

Photo 08-05-2013 15 35 13 copy

Showing my age now :/

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the camera..

Well it’s ready to go, just need to wait for a nice day (could be a while) to go and find something cool to photograph, so watch this space!……



    • darl0153

      No, light was getting in through the thin clay walls – I have a plan B though – but super busy at work, not sure when I’ll get the chance to try it out :/

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