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.
I find the rebirth of film to be absolutely fascinating to watch. No longer are they merely the tools we need to do our jobs. They’re something more than that now. They’re a passion. People are using them because they want to, and not because they have to. And that’s why I find it so interesting. That so many people still want to shoot with film. Not only that but now new film cameras are still being developed, too.
This one is called the Chroma, and it’s been developed by UK-based photographer Steve Lloyd and being funded through Kickstarter. Chroma is a 4×5 large format technical camera with all the front and rear standard movements one would expect from such a beast. What one doesn’t expect in a camera like this, though, is this kind of price. At only £250, it’s an absolute steal.
PART 1 – The Camera
Starting back in May of 2014, I finally put my first foot forward in the making of a 16×20 inch bellows camera. The idea to build a camera was nothing new to me, but I was always hesitant to begin construction since I am the type of person that prefers to work off a set of blue prints and directions. Unfortunately, since my drawing skills aren’t amazing, it was pretty difficult to visualize and plan a solid blueprint of the project – which ultimately forced me to bite the bullet and simply begin construction of the camera and problem solve along the way.
Animation filmmaker and self-taught photographer Ursula Ferrara has made her own 16″ x 20″ camera entirely from scratch. She shares some images of the creating process, as well as the resulting photos. Her daughter, Annick Emdin, describes the magical process of being photographed by this camera, made with a lot of passion and devotion.
We’ve seen a few remarkable experiments with large format cameras. But young photographer Zev Hoover added something new to it: motion. He made a working 8×10 large format digital video camera, most likely the first of its kind. He shares a video he shot on this unusual camera but also talks a bit about how he made it.
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.
Most photographers nowadays capture aerial photos and videos with a drone. But Los Angeles-based photographer Jin-Woo Prensena prefers being up there personally. This daredevil photographer dangles from a helicopter, suspended over 7,500 feet from the ground. No matter how scary it may look, it’s totally worth it, since his photos are spectacular.
I’ve seen some rather interesting Halloween photos cross my desk over the past week or so. Few that are quite as interesting as this project from photographer Markus Hofstätter, though. Shooting some Halloween portraits on large format wet plate. Best of all, he shot a behind the scenes video showing how it was done. While it’s not a 360° video, it makes some fairly heavy use of a 360° camera, with some pretty cool effects and transitions.
Every few months it seems like Fujifilm are going a bit less “film”. To the point where they should probably get ready to just drop the latter half of their name altogether. In the latest round of culls, Fujifilm have announced a few more film stocks and formats that are going to be disappearing in 2018.
Fujifilm seem hell bent on killing off their film products entirely. Well, if that’s their plan, they’re certainly doing a good job. Many film photographers have already made the switch to Kodak & Ilford films due to the doubt over Fuji’s future. Kodak’s decision to bring back Ektachrome has also aided a few choices.
And when we say from scratch, we are not kidding. This isn’t just ordering a bunch of components online and bolting them all together. Other than the lens and a few hinges, every piece on this camera is hand made. Right down to the perfectly hand ground glass.
The camera is the wonderful creation of very talented camera builder, Dieter Schneider. Whether you want to build your own camera or not, it’s a fascinating video to watch. The attention to detail, and ridiculously accurate workmanship is remarkable.