“I am lucky; my wife supports me,” quips Bill Hao when queried on what his friends and family think of his massive wet plate camera obsession. He spent close to a year crafting the camera and its portable setup (if you can call it portable), and he loves touring his country and taking landscape photos.Continue reading…
All images by Shane Balkowitsch and Chad Nodland. Used with permission.
“I saw a wet plate online and something drew me to it,” explains Shane Balkowitsch. He continues, “My first attempt at a wet plate is a photograph of my brother, taken on October 4th, 2012.” Seven years after the fact, Shane has burst into the spotlight with a very special photograph of a hugely influential young woman. On the morning of October 7th, Shane received the call he had been hoping for. He would be photographing Greta Thunberg. Since the shoot, the images taken of Greta have blown up all over the internet. But Shane’s work goes much deeper than a single shoot. He has several fascinating projects that are more than worth your time. Excited by his rise, we spoke to Shane about his work, and to discuss what could likely be his defining moment.
When you hear about a crazy project with a wet plate camera, Markus Hofstaetter is most definitely involved.
Portrait and wedding photographer Markus Hoffstaetter is at it again with his mind-boggling wet plate photography. Previously, he did an amazing steampunk-themed photoshoot where he made double exposures with a 91-year-old box-form SLR wet plate camera. Now, he’s back with another project perfect for springtime: macro photography using two wet plate cameras!
Markus Hofstätter has been shooting professionally since 2009. His work has graced the covers of magazines where he covered the billiards/pool newspapers, websites, and a book. His work has allowed him to travel the world but even that wasn’t enough to satiate his creative appetite. Markus has reinvented himself throughout his career, first shooting digital and making the transition to analog photography and eventually working with wet plate photography.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Markus and talk to him about his Generations project.
If you know anything about wet plate collodion photography, it’s probably that the photographer needs their subject to be very, very still for the entire duration of the photo. For most subjects, that isn’t too much of a problem, but Wet Plate photographer Giles Clement had a bit of a more animated subject in front of his lens. Ashley Schafher came into Giles’ studio to have her portrait taken of her and her dog. To ensure that the dog didn’t get too frightened, Mr. Clement decided to use strobes but make as quick and painless of a process as possible. If Giles didn’t use strobes, this means that he would have needed to do a long exposure. The reason for this is because a wet plate has such a low ISO value and such a large area to get into focus that they need an extremely narrow F stop and a very long exposure time.
Through the entire shoot, Giles talks us through the process. It begins with using a piece of black glass and pouring collodion on it–which is a solution of cotton, alcohol ether and acid. Then he adds silver nitrate to make it all light sensitive.
Giles did things like making sure that they were on the same plane of focus to make the job easier for him. In the end, he nails it. The video and the insight into his work are after the jump.