While walking around a flea market, Markus found a huge 500mm Petzval lens, produced around 1860. It was in a pretty bad condition, but Markus had an idea. He bought this rare gem, restored it, and took some fantastic portraits with it.
In the digital era, I always find it impressive when I see photographers who still use wet plate collodion process. And it’s especially impressive to see all the fun projects and DIY stuff they make. Photographer Michaël Tirat has built his own DIY portable wet plate darkroom and he put it on a tricycle. It contains everything he needs so he can cycle around Bordeaux, France with it, take photos and develop them on the spot. We’ve chatted with Michaël a bit about his interesting project. He kindly shared some details about his build, the challenges he faced, as well as some photos.
This visit was for a portrait shooting on a collodion wet plate and we did also a short wet plate workshop. After the videos from Mathieu and myself, you can see all the pictures and read more about the shootings
Because the snowdrop shoot what so much fun, I wanted to do something like that again. After I saw the cherry blossoms on my tree, it was crystal clear what comes up next. I wanna shoot one of these with my wet plate camera, but this time I will shoot them on the tree.
When I was little, this tree was my climbing adventure. This tree has seen better days – the weather from the recent years started to ruin some parts of it. But it is still beautiful in the springtime.
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.
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.
Fox Talbot: Dawn of the Photograph opened at Media Space, part of the Science Museum, in London last week. Using a mixture of images, artefacts, letters, and publications, the exhibition charts the development of photography by William Henry Fox Talbot against the backdrop of his contemporaries. For anyone with a smidgen of interest in the history or science of photography, it’s a must-see exhibition.
As I wandered about the exhibition, getting high on its heady mix of photography and history, it occurred to me that a crib sheet of the early photographic processes, detailing their steps and requirements as well as their progress and their pitfalls, would be a useful article. So here you have it: from daguerreotype to tintype, an ABC of early photography.