Shooting with a Cool 150-Year-Old Wet Plate Camera

It’s incredible how we can still see a 150-year-old wet plate camera in action today!

Some of you may already be familiar with Mathieu Stern and wet plate artist Markus Hofstaetter, who both share their photography passions on their respective YouTube channels. We’ve seen a lot of Markus’ work in particular: he’s one of our go-to guys when it comes to wet plate photography. A few months back, they also made a comparison of a “digital collodion” and a real wet plate photo, for those who are curious. The two are back in a more recent video, where Markus gave a nice rundown of the traditional process, and Mathieu had his hands-on experience with an amazing 150-year-old wet plate camera.

During a trip to Vienna, Mathieu met with Markus to see for himself what the wet plate process involves. “I have been obsessed with the wet plate collodion process since I first heard of it. So when my wife and I visited Vienna (Austria) we spent a day out of the city to do a collaboration with one of the best wet plate photographers in the world,” he said in his video description.

If you’re new to the party, and curious about wet plate photography, this video is a great primer of the process involved. In the first part, we get a quick tour of Markus’ studio and a glimpse of the equipment used for this traditional photographic process. As he usually does, Markus covered everything from prepping the metal plates and sensitizing them, to shooting with the beautiful wet plate camera equipped with a Dallmeyer Petzval 210mm f3 lens and developing the plates.

We can definitely see how excited Mathieu was during this meeting. Not only did he get to witness all the exciting stuff in the studio, as well as Markus in action in all the steps involved. But he also posed for a cool wet plate portrait, and had a turn at creating his own plate for some wet plate passport shots!

Don’t forget to check out Mathieu Stern’s channel and Markus Hofstaetter’s channel to watch more of their videos.