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.
While it was once the only way you could really shoot a photo, wet plate photography went off almost into the realm of complete non-existence just a few years ago. Lately, though, it seems to be making something of a comeback. Much of the hardware isn’t as easy to get as it once was, although it seems to be more popular again now than it has been for a very long time.
One problem to be overcome with wet plate, though, is actually loading the plates into a large format camera. You typically can’t just use a regular sheet film holder. At least, not without alteration. In this video, photographer Markus Hofstätter shows us how he modifies his 8×10 film holders for the wet plate process.
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
Normally I create photographs. This time, however, the final product is a video where you can follow the change of crystals/salts from the collodion wet plate process.
I have started this project because at my workshops I am often asked what happens when developing, fixing or sensitizing the plates. Of course, I have often tried to explain it, but a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s why this video was made.
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.
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.
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.
Sean Hawkey is go-getter. The type of photographer so motivated by his convictions and interest, he doesn’t think twice about undertaking a new endeavor, a new adventure. Hawkey isn’t deterred by difficulty, he has the patience of a saint and those characteristics shine through in his photography. Hawkey has spent over a decade travelling among, photographing, and reporting on a number of different cultures; documenting human interest stories as a freelance journalist. Given the nature of his job, and all that it entails, it’s a given the photographer has seen his fair share of adversity. Being a travelling photojournalist is no career for the faint of heart, but Hawkey need not trouble himself with such things. When the trials of his chosen occupation rear their ugly heads, Hawkey coolly answers back, is that all you got?[Read More…]