This Holga Camera Shoots Wet Plate Collodians

elija final

All images by Ian Ruhter. Used with permission

When one thinks of a Holga camera, they often associate it with some of the most Lo-fi images that they’ve ever seen. But Ian Ruhter does something that is completely different. Combining his love of wet plate collodion photographry (which is often down at the lowest of ISO levels) Ian has figured out a way to hack a Holga camera to shoot these awesome positives.

Further, Ian states that him and his team work with a wide range of sizes when it comes to plates. “Our largest plates are 4×5 feet all way down to 2 1/4″ x 2 1/4 that I shot with the Holga camera.” states Mr. Ruhter. “The best part of the holga camera is you don’t need to make any modifications. Once you cut the plate to the correct size it fits right in the camera.” Ian continued to state that they still use the camera’s plastic lens to shoot the photos that they do.

But through the process, Ian and his team discovered that they were able to hand hold the camera when working with Profoto lights–something that was typically never done before as the cameras often need seconds to expose an image. Because of this, they were able to create more candid looking images as opposed to the older antique portraits that the process has become known for. The reason for this is because of the amount of light used in the process. Wet plate collodion images are rated at ISO 1, and so the way that the team is able to accomplish what they do is by overpowering the sun with two 2400 watt second Profoto packs with magnum reflectors placed fairly close to the subject.

They’re in the process of working on a project series, but more info will come on that in the future. More of their images and a BTS video are after the jump.

Lights, Toy Camera, Action from Ian Ruhter : Alchemist on Vimeo.



kyle final



christina final

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.