Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

My first glass plate – Wet Plate Collodion technique

with 8 comments

Readers of my blog (and everybody that meet me) knows about my adventure into 19th Century photography. Until now I was limited to my Kodak Folding Brownie, but I was looking for proper large format view camera that will work with glass plates in wet plate collodion technique. I searched on many websites, places and talked to many colleagues, but yesterday morning I woke up with a memory that I know a store where there used to be a view camera standing in a corner. I was probably wrong, but since I was in Ljubljana I drove down to the store. I was shocked to see it in the corner waiting for me 🙂
I thought it will be a wooden camera, but since it was made out of metal, I was sure it’s using normal film holder, but to my surprise it had a wooden back with adaptors for various formats. Camera is manufactured by Idro Celje from Slovenia, a company that doesn’t exist anymore, but obviously they were making bulletproof cameras for usage in reprography. I named it Panzer camera as it reminds me on Panzer IV tank. It uses a 25cm Carl Zeiss lens and it’s interesting how aperture is marked. There is no f stop, just the size of radios of the aperture. I never saw a lens like that. It’s meant for a work in reprography so you can not screw it on a normal tripod. Today we had a chance visit of a family friend that makes stuff from metal and I asked him to make an adapter for this camera. With the adapter I will be able to photograph outside on a normal tripod. Life is smooth when I’m tuned in photography 🙂

I’ve bought 2mm glass that was cut on format of 12 x 16,5 cm and without really learning how to properly clean the glass and prepare it for collodion layer, I started with spilling collodion and the rest of Wet Plate Collodion ritual. I’ve made a set up with my cameras (Kiev – my first camera) and exposed it with two Balcar flashes with joint power of 2250 Ws. I was shocked how much light I needed to properly exposed it. I needed 30 bursts and if my math is correct it emitted 67.500 Ws. And my collodion is young like three weeks, so it should needed less light then an old collodion. Perhaps flash is emitting very little UV light upon which collodion is most sensitive on. I don’t know, I have much to learn. Anyway I’m overwhelmed with my first glass plate and I made also a contact print on a normal resin coated silver-bromide paper. Easy Sparky I’m not that far to make albumen prints, at least not yet. After first success I noticed that collodion is starting to peel of the glass. I know… It’s not good to skip lessons in photography, but hey, it’s fun nevertheless!
PS: My daughters love the magic box as we call the camera 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


8 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I would L O V E to try this too.


    17 December, 2011 at 09:49

  2. I’m very happy that you’re back to making tangible, organic art. You’ve made this fan and close friend very proud.


    19 December, 2011 at 10:26

  3. Ha! I have a new plate already! If we were as good students as we are good workers 🙂

    Borut Peterlin

    19 December, 2011 at 13:41

  4. it’s the same comrade. RIP vaclav havel.


    19 December, 2011 at 17:09

  5. I’m going to use this blog to make some shameful self promotion. When I was a student at Famu with our good friend Borut, I used to visit the Maison européenne de la photographie in Paris to be inspired. I had long wanted to have a show there and, though, a small one…I have one starting today:


    20 December, 2011 at 12:00

  6. Bravo 🙂

    Igor Petrović

    20 December, 2011 at 14:49

  7. Uau, that’s fantastic although shameful self promotion! We (Igor, To-times and myself) , expect nothing less then an invitation and a royal treat at the opening, not to mention a standing ovation of a crowd that will publicly acknowledge our efford in standing by your side even when you were making crappy black and white pictures! I’m glad that this is history and now you are in completely different course! I’ve told you long time ago, crappy color images are always better then crappy B/W images!

    If you would send me some pictures (or publish them on Flickr) I would gladly publish them on this blog. As Vaclav Havel would say: PARADA, TY VOLE!

    Borut Peterlin

    22 December, 2011 at 09:19

  8. Thank you for the support! I’ll invite you to a real exhibition…at FOTOPUB 2012!!


    22 December, 2011 at 16:30

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: