Prepare, shoot and develop wet plate collodion through the eyes of the photographer
Photographers today often complain about the amount of time they have to sit at the computer processing images. When you see what wet plate photographers had to go through for every single shot, it doesn’t seem so bad.
It’s a fascinating process, with many steps. Screw up just one of them and your shot could be ruined forever. There’s no Undo, no reset button, you get one chance. So, it can be a demanding process to learn.
I imagine it’s particularly frustrating to go through this, see that you messed up and need to do it again. Not only have you wasted the last 15 minutes for a worthless result, but you have to start over. Shooting portraits, I bet your subject probably wouldn’t be too happy with you, either.
Getting the results you wanted. Well, there’s probably only few things that can make you feel as satisfied as a photographer.
Has wet plate photography worked its way into your workflow? Is it something you tried but didn’t get into? Something you do regularly? Or maybe something you’re actively trying to avoid? Let us know in the comments.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.