Here’s How You Prepare Metal Plates for Wet Plate Photography

Aside from preparing the chemicals, Markus Hofstaetter also has to make his own metal plates for his wet plate photography

Part of what catches the attention of would-be wet plate photographers and fans is the hands-on processes that come with the age-old medium. In a recent video, wedding and wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter tells us exactly how hands-on it gets by showing us how he makes his own metal plates for wet plate photography.

In previous videos and blog posts Markus shared with us, we’ve seen him take on a lot of crazy awesome wet plate projects: macro photography using two wet plate cameras, and shooting handheld with a wet plate camera, to name a few. In these videos, we see how he painstakingly prepares everything, from setting up the camera (even modifying if need be) and lights, to coating the metal plates with collodion before each shot. Today, he shows us that he’s so hands-on that he also makes his own metal plates.

Watch how he does it in the video below:

Together with another wet plate artist Christian Rusa, Markus cut down some metal sheets they ordered to the sizes that their wet plate cameras use. The challenge was to make the most out of the sheets and ensure that they minimize the waste. After some sketching and measuring, off to the 75-year-old sheet metal shear they went. Chop, chop, chop.

What can we learn from this? Aside from the fact that it’s always great to have a friend who has a cool workshop, wet plate photographers are often crafty individuals. Markus is often asked about where he gets his metal plates for his wet plate photography. Now, we know!

On a side note, the colored aluminum sheets also got our attention, and we’re excited to find out what Markus will do with them!

Don’t forget to check out Markus Hofstaetter’s blog and YouTube channel to learn more about his wet plate photography projects.

All images used with permission and pitched to the Phoblographer.