At Daguerre’s mercy.

Hello world!

We said our prayers to the holy soul of Louis Daguerre, and have made some Daguerreotypes; and are in the process of making more.

Here is how one goes about it.

1. Get all your things in place. Holders, plates, camera and chemicals.

2. Heat the copper plate, which has been previously coated with 1-3mm of silver.

3. Buff: first on a machine buff, then on a hand buff till the time your plate gets a mirror polish.

4. Expose the plate to iodine for 6 minutes, to make it light-sensitive, in the darkroom (you can work in candle light). (In the middle just check the coating on the plate, on a white paper. DO NOT expose it to light, this picture is of a test plate. ) Place the plate in your camera once this process is completed.

5. Make your exposure. (our exposures have been 25- 45 minutes.)

6. Place your plate in the holder to develop the plate. You will see the image forming. Our developing time has been from 1hr- 1hr 45 minutes.

7. Wash the plate in Sodium Thiosulphate solution for a minute.

8. Wash it in water after that. (this was our test plate, the scratches were on the plate already.)

9. Prepare the gilding solution. Which is a combination of Gold Chloride and Sodium Thiosulphate.

10. Glid your plate. (Carefully, our test plate went a little crazy, but we have built a new apparatus for gilding now.)

Video2, Video Still.

11. See your plate in the sun. One can’t even make a good reproduction of the plate. Well here is what we have. (This is our test plate.) But looks beautiful!

Now mount a glass on it, or the image will rub out.

Here is an image of our next attempt.

We are yet to gild this one. If we do well, I have promised Daguerre that I will revive his Diorama too. 🙂


About Vidisha Fadescha

Vidisha Saini likes to queer utopia, gender, colonialism and history. Vidisha works with alter-egos (Fadescha), satire, tourism, memory, hyper-text and other performative mediums. She’s social as well as anti-social. Saini's recent performances and exhibitions include 'Building On Ruins', Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, Nov- Feb '14; 'A Bomb With Ribbon Around It', Queens Museum, New York, Dec-Jan'14; 'Indian-American Bread', Center Artists Lab, Santa Fe, NM, Oct'13; 'Cinderella Ashtray', Concord Space, Los Angeles, CA, October'13. Saini holds a MFA in Photography & Media, and Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts. website:
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