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
Austrian photographer Markus Hofstätter has published plenty of interesting wet plate projects. In his latest project, he brings together large format wet plates and stereo 3D photos. This was Markus’ most time-consuming project so far. It took him working six months to finish it, the first three just modifying his camera so it can take stereographic images. But judging from the results – it was well worth it.
I love seeing the wet plate experiments of Austrian photographer Markus Hofstätter. He’s so prolific with them that when he decides to do something interesting it ends up being very interesting. Lately, he’s been trying to apply wet plate techniques to types of photography you wouldn’t normally associate with the medium.
He has a couple of very cool projects on the go at the moment that he will tell us about in due time, but for now, check out these passport photos shot on wet plate using the Polaroid MiniPortrait 402 camera.
Photographer Giles Clement has performed some interesting experiments, such as mounting a large format camera to a drone. He also made his own 16×20 camera, and it all started as a sketch on a bar napkin. He uses his DIY camera to create stunning wet plate ambrotypes, and he shared with DIYP how he got to build this camera himself.
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.
As a fan of wet plate collodion, I’ve been following the work of photographer Ian Ruhter for a few years now. I first found him after he converted a truck into a huge mobile wet plate camera. He then built a camera to make the world’s largest ambrotypes, as large as 46×59″ (117x150cm).
Now, Ian’s gone even bigger, to try to take the world record. So, he and his team, Silver & Light, turned an abandoned house into a huge wet plate camera to make an insane 66×90″ (167x229cm) ambrotype on a 200lb sheet of glass.
Photographing a group of people on large format wet plate needs a lot of power. Even with a relatively wide f/5.6 aperture, with an ISO of around 0.5 that still needs a lot of light. How much light? Well, around 7500 watt-seconds to be precise.
That’s how much power photographer Markus Hofstätter used for this group portrait of Austrian rock band The Black Proteus. Although, surely being photographed on wet plate makes them a metal band now?
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.