Shooting wetplate is a bit of a feat all by itself. Sure, it’s getting a little more common than it was a decade or two ago, but it’s still not all that easy, especially if you want to do it well. Photographer Markus Hofstätter is no stranger to large format wet plate photography, but he’s had a burning desire to shoot it handheld. Obviously, the giant plate camera he uses in his studio is a little large for this type of thing, so he went on the hunt for something a little more manageable.
Collodion process was invented over 160 years ago, and photography has gone a long way since then. Still, some photographers use this process even in the digital era, and they produce splendid images. Photographer Adrian Cook uses collodion process to create photos on aluminum plates.
Guardian Australia‘s picture editor, Jonny Weeks, joins Cook in his portable caravan darkroom as he shoots Sydney Harbour. Cook talks about his processes but also explains why wet plate collodion photography is so appealing to him even in the digital age.
Despite picking up a little in popularity in the last year or two, wet plate photography is still quite an alien process to many photographers. More and more information about it pops up onto the web every day. What I’ve not seen, though, until now, is an entire start to finish video or article which details the entire process.
Thankfully, photographer Markus Hofstätter has done exactly that, in this video. So that you don’t miss out on any of the process, he shot the whole thing in 360° with his Insta360 camera for the complete surround experience. So, throw on your headsit, sit back, and have a watch.
There’s something special about shooting analogue black and white for me. It takes on a quality and a character you just don’t get with modern colour digital. Fortunately, now, we have a choice. So, if we want to shoot flawless colour, we can. A hundred years ago, there wasn’t so much choice.
We’ve featured Mathieu Stern before. He makes some great videos reviewing old lenses and offering tricks and tips. In his latest video, Mathieu shares some personal family history with us. A trip back through the generations to find a photograph of his great, great, great uncle, Mr Albert.
With film’s second demise looking more imminent with each Fuji announcement, wet plate photography gets more and more appealing. Don’t get me wrong, I primarily shoot digital, but I enjoy the process of creating analogue. It not because it “forces me to slow down” or anything arty. It’s just relaxing, especially developing it.
In this video, portrait photographer Victoria Will discusses her celebrity tintype portraits at the Sundance Film Festival. What began with Victoria having her own tintype portrait made turned into a great project with some fantastic photographs.
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.
In the modern digital world, what is it that fascinates us about photography techniques that died out maybe a hundred years or more ago?
Whatever it is, you can satisfy your desires a little bit with this video featuring wet plate photographer David Rambow, who walks us through his thoughts and process when working in this medium.