When shooting wet plates, you deal with a very light-insensitive process (about ISO 0.5). So most wet plate artists want to get their hand on a fast lens. Wolfgang, a former participant of my wet plate workshop got his hand on a very fast lens and sent it over to me. For the first time, you can get the plates from this project on eBay, starting from 1 Euro.
Watch the photographer as he renovates a beautiful 100-year-old camera
When it comes to cool projects with vintage cameras, Markus Hofstätter is one of the names that immediately come to mind. Many of his portraits were shot on his faithful old Century No.2 camera. However, its bellow started to leak light, and Markus decided it was time to make an effort and repair it.
So, he got to work and restored the 100-year-old beauty. He filmed the whole process and the end result, and if I may say – the ol’ gal looks even better now with its brand new bellow.
These mesmerizing extreme macro images of eyes are like windows to other worlds
They almost look like aerial photographs of glacial meltwater flowing into Icelandic lakes. But these are no fluvial waters. These are extreme macro close-ups of the human eye, taken by portrait photographer Markus Hofstätter.
The abstract nature and varied colors and textures are all part of the beauty of these images. Markus has been fascinated by eyes for many years but devised a method to capture even more close-up images. Markus tells DIYP that he started this project around 4 years ago and is finally ready to unveil it.
I built a Frankenstein large format wet plate camera from scratch for photographing ghosts
Corrine at Corrine West Photography booked a wet plate workshop with me before the pandemic started. Two years later we were finally able to do it. The main subject was to get comfortable with the wet collodion process and to create images similar to the ones of spirit photographer William H. Mumler. Mr. Mumler created images (probably double exposures) where his clients could take a picture with their deceased relatives.
The photograph of Mary Todd Lincoln with the “ghost” of her husband (Abraham Lincoln) was his most famous one. Corrine found my double exposure wet plates and that was the reason she contacted me in the first place. About two months before the workshop Corrine surprised me with a question: “Can we build a wet plate camera together?”. I talked with a friend and after a long visit to a DIY market, I was sure that we can do it. A DIY Camera and capturing ghosts. That sounds like a fun workshop to me!
Shooting high end food photography on wet plate large format looks amazing
Everybody knows that I work exclusively on collodion wet plate portraits. So what’s the reason for food photography now? Let me try to explain. Many of you guys will remember that I bought a Cambo studio stand some while ago. A little bit later I bought a used tray for it on eBay. The seller was very friendly and somehow we started to talk about photography
Long story short, a month later we decided to do a project together. After months of planning, Hans Gerlach (a well-known food photographer and columnist) drove over to my studio and brought his tools and some delicious food with him.
Resurrecting a broken 50-year-old Linhof tripod with a little DIY repair
There is a lot of old camera gear out there and I regularly see people showing off their “finds” on social media. Usually, though, it’s cameras or lenses. Often in decent working condition, too. Occasionally, though, they become repair projects, and following that process is fascinating. Less common, though, are anything photo-related that isn’t a camera or a lens… Like a tripod.
Well, Markus Hofstätter found himself in possession of a 50-year-old Linhof tripod that had apparently been involved in a bicycle accident and was in pretty rough shape. Being a big fan of really old camera gear and also being pretty good at repairing it, he decided to see if he could give this old Linhof tripod a new life.
Photographing wildlife with 4×5 large format camera and expired film
These days, for sports and wildlife shooters, it seems the smaller sensor cameras are often favoured for the “extra reach” with long lenses. Most wildlife shooters I know, at least up until the days of mirrorless, were shooting fast APS-C DSLRs like the Nikon D500 and Canon 7D Mark II. Some have switched to Fuji and even Micro Four Thirds mirrorless.
But for some photographers, bigger is always better. And that certainly seems to be the case for Markus Hofstätter. We’ve featured Markus a bunch of times here on DIYP for his wet plate photography, but attempting to shoot wildlife on a 4×5 large format camera, especially with expired film is definitely a little… extra.
Is wet plate photography dangerous? Well, yes, it is
Wet plate photography’s one of those mythical analogue photography processes to most of us. All we know is that some liquid gets poured onto a piece of metal or glass, it goes into a camera, the shutter is fired, magic happens and we get a photo at the end of it. But one person who definitely understands the wet plate process is Markus Hofstätter.
Markus has made it not only his passion but he also shoots wet plate photography for a living. He knows all the ins and outs of it and has made some pretty remarkable images with it. But in this video, he takes some of that fantasy away and shares the reality of working with wet plate and how dangerous it can sometimes be, particularly when it comes to the chemicals used.
How I shot a portrait of two people 7,000km apart on a single wet plate photograph
This is not about a technical perfect wet plate. This is about building connections from thousand miles away. Overcoming obstacles and being there for each other.
This 5-minute exposure captured more than just an image, it’s a short movie where the plate captured our thoughts and movements. Thanks to Shane Balkowitsch to be a part of it.
If you ever wondered where the phrase “Watch the birdie!” came from, here you go
“Watch the Birdie” – that’s what my parents told me, to make sure I look into the camera before they took a photo of me. I guess lots of you guys remember this saying. With the renovation of a 140-year-old historic brass birdie, I show you the origin of this phrase.
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