Oleksandr Malyy Channels Solid Steampunk Vibes in Wet Plate Project

All photos by Oleksandr Malyy. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Wet plate photography, also known as wet collodion process, is among the topics we like to keep tabs on. It’s amazing how this centuries-old photographic process is kept alive in the digital age. The projects made with this process today never fail to show just how timeless the craft can be. Case in point is the wet plate photos of Kiev-based Oleksandr Malyy, which is a testament to how perfect it is for photographing steampunk-themed projects!

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This Panoramic Photo was Shot with Multi-Plate, Multi-Lens Daguerreotype

If you’re looking for novel and challenging ways to create your next panoramic photo, the “antorama” will certainly be of interest to you.

Today’s technology has given us many ways to create panoramic photos, but we bet that all of you are yet to try shooting with this technique. San Diego-based Anton Orlov has been busy experimenting with some daguerreotype techniques, but there’s one project that he was able to do successfully. He recently shared with us the results of an interesting panoramic photography method that he developed himself: the “Antorama.”

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How Markus Hofstaetter Shot 3D Large Format Wet Plates

Hands down, this one of the most impressive — if not the most impressive — wet plate photography projects you’ll see from Markus Hofstaetter.

If you’ve been following the work of Markus Hofstaetter with us for some time now, you’ll know that you can trust him to come up with the craziest and most surprising wet plate photography projects. Well, he’s at it again with his latest work: modifying one of his ultra large format wet plate cameras to shoot stereo photos. If you’ve ever wondered what else can be done with wet plate photography, prepare to be wowed by this amazing project from start to finish!

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Here’s How a “Digital Collodion” Compares to a Real Wet Plate Photo

Wondering if it’s possible reproduce the wet plate look in a digital photo? We have the answer for you in this quick comparison video.

Can you achieve the unique look of wet plate photography in a digital photo? The short answer, of course, is yes. But the real question should probably be, how close does it look to the real thing? We find out in this interesting quick comparison video.

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Here’s an Ultra Macro Look at How the Wet Plate Collodion Process Works

Markus Hofstaetter has some new, mesmerizing videos showing the wet plate collodion process like you have never seen it before.

Austria-based portrait and wedding photographer Markus Hofstaetter has been sharing with us his crazy cool experiments with the wet plate collodion process, and he has yet another unique take on it for all of us to watch. It’s one thing to watch the plates develop in normal view, but these new videos in an ultra-macro perspective show us what happens in the process in a totally different — and extra magical — light.

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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.

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“She Found Me” Kurt Moser’s Words About His Camera and Shooting Will Make You Smile

“Lightcatcher” Kurt Moser tells about his “crazy love story” with a 111-year-old camera in this Al Jazeera short film

A few months back, we had the spotlight on Italy-based photographer Kurt Moser and his mind-blowing project – transforming a URAL 375 truck into one of the biggest mobile cameras in the world to take massive ambrotypes of the breath-taking Dolomites. Today, we learn about how his love affair with wet plate photography started with the discovery of a massive 111-year-old camera.

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Markus Hofstaetter Shoots Steampunk with a Handheld Wet Plate Camera

Yes, you read it right. Markus Hofstaetter shows us how it’s possible to shoot a wet plate camera HANDHELD.

Remember portrait and wedding photographer Markus Hofstaetter and his passion for wet plate photography? He’s back with another awesome wet plate project. This time, he shot with a 91-year-old box-form SLR handheld for a beautiful steampunk-themed photo shoot.

Doing wet plate photography with centuries-old equipment and chemicals is certainly a challenge on its own. For those of us who are yet to experience it firsthand, Markus has given us an idea, first with an interview about his Generations project. Then, he shared with us a 360 video of him traveling to the Czech Republic to shoot in the historic Museum Fotoatelier Seidel with his massive wet plate cameras.

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Watch a 360 Video of Ultra Large Format Wet Plate Photography in a Historic Studio

Screenshot image from the videos. Used with permission

Wet plate photography, one of the traditional photographic methods, gives a completely different but fascinating experience as you’ve probably learned from our previous features. Portrait and wedding photographer Markus Hofstaetter shares with us another interesting look into his ultra large format wet plate process: from the cameras he uses, traveling with his wet plate gear, and shooting in a historic studio.

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Watch How Handcrafted Wooden Wet Plate Cameras are Made

Screenshot image from the video by Dieter Schneider’s video on wooden wet plate cameras

It’s always entertaining to watch how things are being made, especially if it’s a trusty camera you use all the time. But, let’s step away from the high-tech guts and circuits of DSLRs and other digital cameras for now. Instead, let’s watch something from the photography of centuries past be painstakingly handmade today. In a showcase of impressive craftsmanship, Norwegian photographer Dieter Schneider shows us how he makes his beautiful wooden cameras for wet plate photography.

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A 6000W Light Meets Harley Davidson and a 12 × 16 inch Wet Plate

This is a syndicated blog post from Markus Hofstätter. It is being republished with permission. Also be sure to check out our previous interview with him.

As always, everything starts small:

As I walked for lunch I met Leo and he talked with me about my tintype photography. He told me about his new Harley Davidson and that he wanted me to take his photo with the Harley. Of course, I should use my 100 year old Camera and capture the light on a collodion wet plate. I just thought cool, let’s do it.

Some weeks later, I got a call from the Austrian television broadcaster ORF. I was very happy to learn, that they wanted to do a documentary about my work. As you can imagine, it wasn’t too hard for me to choose for a subject to be photographed.

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The Effects of Exposure and Development Times on Wet Plate Collodion

Recently I have been seeing a lot of people having problems identifying the signs that their plates are either overdeveloped or overexposed, so I decided to do the following simple exercise that should make it easier for folks with a discerning eye to see if one of these troubles may be possibly plaguing them at the moment.

I might have mentioned before that when working with wet plate collodion it is possible to overexpose and underdevelop a plate and still achieve a tolerably good plate. It is also possible to SLIGHTLY underexpose and overdevelop, but only very slightly before serious ugliness sets in.

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When Developer Fluid Makes Happy Accidents


All images by Mélanie-Jane Frey. Used with permission.

Photographer Mélanie-Jane Frey shoots portraits using the wet plate collodion process. “After 15 years of photojournalism I came to a point where I really needed to give more space to my creativity and my sensitivity.” she tells the Phoblographer. “I am still very convince news photographers are so important for the world’s sake. Without pictures to witness what’s happening in the world there would be no voice to the victims over the powerful, but what I need in my life and what I believe the world is missing is more beauty.”

But for Ms. Frey, she needed a creative outlet from her creative outlet. That’s why she got into the collodion process–because it’s slow and handmade. Plus, to her, it’s fun.

Part of that fun came to her while working on her project called “Orchestra.” An accident with developer fluid created an effect on the images that looks like a cellist is actually playing. On March 31st, she swill be showing off the images at the concert hall “Salle Cortot” in Paris.



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Watch Mythbusters’ Jamie Hyneman Get His Tintype Portrait Taken

julius motal the phoblographer jamie hyneman tintype 01

Tintypes may not be as common as they once were, but the art form certainly isn’t dead. It’s a very precise process that needs either a lot of light all at once or a long exposure time to get it right. The folks at Tested took Mythbusters’ Jamie Hyneman to get his tintype portrait taken by Michael Shindler, a San Francisco-based tintype photographer and one of the best-known in the field.

The video’s a great look at the process involved in creating a tintype. Given the nature of the medium, the plate has an ISO rating of less than 1, typically around .5, which is a little crazy to think about given some of the ISO ranges of recent cameras.

Making a tintype is a highly technical process that necessitates a great deal of patience from both the subject and the photographer, and the result is worth the wait. Taking on such a technically complex art form is a commitment that not everyone can make. Those that do are creating something great for the rest of us.

For more about the process, you can check out wartime tintypes from Afghanistan, our interview with Adrian Whipp and our interview with Giles Clement.

The video’s below after the break.

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No, This Isn’t a Lens Aperture. But It Looks Like One!


All images by Eric Burke. Used with permission.

To the photographers who have never seen something like this, they may believe it to be a lens aperture of some sort. Surely, all of those blades would give you the creamiest bokeh ever to sit there and drool over. But in reality, it isn’t a lens aperture at all–but you can still get some really creamy bokeh.

The item above is a universal iris lens mount. They’re used in large format and collodion/wet plate photography. Essentially what it does is attaches to a camera body and allows you to mount pretty much any lens that you can get your hands on. It works by placing the lens in the center and turning the iris blades until the mount can hold the lens in place.

Eric Burke, the photographer who was selling the one in the photo above, told us that his sources say that they’re pretty rare. “…these would be used to mount a brass lens to an old wood camera. or now more of the modern day lenses for large format.” says Mr. Burke.

The lens mount has 18 blades, which would be positively insane if it were a lens aperture but again, it is not. More info, after the jump.

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Giles Clement: In the Mind of a Professional Tintype Photographer


All images by Giles Clement. Used with permission.

Being a photographer is tough to make profitable, but we can only imagine how much tougher the analog world has it. Photographer Giles Clement is one of the modern photographers that chooses to use the tintype look and format over film, digital, and other forms of the art. But Giles hasn’t let the complications that come with the format hold him back. Indeed, Mr. Clement has mastered his craft and as figured out ways to make it profitable for him.

In fact, Giles seems to have it all down to a simple science.

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