Just when we think we’ve seen everything from Austrian portrait and wedding photographer Markus Hofstaetter, he manages to surprise us each time. He’s pushed the boundaries of wet plate photography and what can be done for the craft. We’ve followed him in his adventures in shooting macro photography using two wet plate cameras, shooting a 91-year-old box form SLR handheld, and traveled with one of his massive wet plate cameras to shoot in the historic Museum Fotoatelier Seidel in Czech Republic. Now, he’s back with another fun project: passport photos shot in wet plate collodion.
“Passport photos on collodion wet plates are something you can order now in my studio. They are for sure not EU standard, but a lot of fun,” he wrote on his recent blog post. Instead of a traditional wet plate camera, he used a Polaroid Miniportrait Camera 402, which could shoot four passport photos on Type 100 Pack Film. You’ll understand the feat of this project once you realize that he had to combine this with a very low ISO wet plate.
“My Hensel Tria 6000 Generator with the Grand Mini 85 was at full power to just get the exposure right. My Sekonic lightmeter measured f18 with the lowest ISO it can measure (ISO 3). If you deduct this 2 1/3 stops from ISO 3 it matches nearly the ISO 0.5 on a wet plate.”
The results speak for themselves: unconventional wet plate portraits that we’re sure none of us thought of doing before. Four times awesome, four times the fun!
Unfortunately, Markus didn’t include a video this time to show how the shoot went down. Looks like you’d have to attend his next wet plate collodion workshop in Vienna to find out how it all works!