Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

New adventures in Wet Plate Collodion process

with 7 comments

Oh… man I’ve been working so hard these days. Actually hard is not a proper word. Intense is better. When I get excited for something I dive into like a kamikaze! Where do I start. OK. Chronologically in reverse order.

Friday, 20.1.2012
Here are two landscape images and two portraits of my wife done with more then 100 years old lens Rodenstock’s Bistigmat 18×24. It’s quite a dark lens and I had problems with focusing, but it’s also true that I’ve used it on 12×16,5 cm format, whereas a proper results of a lens would be on format 18×24 cm. I suspect the lens does have this vintage vignetting on edges of format, but since my format was cropping the image projected by the lens, I don’t know what the effect is. Nevertheless here are results. Right image of a church is way overexposed (180sec), but the best thing about this Wet Plate Collodion photography is that you can cut down developing time if you notice that you overexposed it. It’s crap result for an ambrotype, but if you scan it and tweak it, then you can get away from it. Left picture is my second try and it’s perfectly exposed, 40 sec. At the image of a church on right side, I love crazy lines and patterns that I achieved it by spilling very little developer in the middle of plate and then I shake it in circular way, so centrifugal force spreads developer toward edges of plate. I could evenly disperse developer, but that’s too perfect (read boring!)


Wednesday, 18.1.2012
I bought three lenses Rodenstock’s Bistigmat 18×24, Schneider 500mm f/5,5 and Voigtlander Heliar 300mm f/4,5. Where did I found them? With help of this blog and Facebook people send me information about certain items they have or notice on a flea market. Pancolart from Celje sold me first two lenses and Heliar was bought in Hoče with a guy that collects antiques and sell them on flea market. T.H.A.N.K. Y.O.U. please send me more! I’m still looking for a wooden camera of format 18×24 cm or 8×10″



Wednesday, 18.1.2012
I met Matej Modrinjak, son of Dragiša Modrinjak a famous Slovenian camera collector. He showed me a storage room of photo museum to be. Here on this page there are some jewels you can peak in. I was astonished by a collection of over 6000 cameras and many more items. We talked about future ideas how to realize that photo-museum and that its collection would be presented to a wider audience. One of great ideas is to invite an artist to borrow some camera from the museum and make art with it and make an exhibition.


Wednesday, 18.1.2012
I’ve made a portrait of Jelena Rusjan for Mladina weekly. We tried on Tuesday to make her conventional (digital) portrait, but after an hour of trying I failed to make a decent portrait. I showed Jelena what kind of work I do in my free time and she really loved it and suggested to make her portrait in this way. I did this portrait and we both loved it. It’s published in this issue of Mladina. This was an exception, don’t expect this kind of portraits in Mladina.

Sunday and Monday, 15.-16.1.2012
I made a really nice proposal pictures for a corporate job in Wet Plate Collodion, but I can’t publish that just yet. Laterrrrr…


Saturday, 14.1.2012
I photographed my daughter after her riding lesson with Kodak Brownie on a glass plate with (of course) Wet Plate Collodion technique. Brownie was not made to fit 2mm glass plates and there was some light leaking. Tomorrow I might redo the portrait with proper Wet Plate camera.



7 Responses

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  1. Really enjoying your blog Borut, keep up the great work.


    21 January, 2012 at 01:47

  2. Thank you Tony for you attention and comment!

    Borut Peterlin

    21 January, 2012 at 01:58

  3. I’m so following your blog! Ahh I love the wet plate collodian process. So beautiful. It makes me happy to see this process still being used. I wish I was cool enough to know how. I’m amazed at the results… the quirks give them a charm that Photoshop even can’t. So refreshing and wonderful. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    Polly Hoyt Nance

    21 January, 2012 at 03:43

  4. Amazing process and results. I love the textures you get. I look forward to learning more about your craft.

    BoJo Photo

    24 January, 2012 at 02:34

  5. I can’t remember when you had such good reviews on your work that wasn’t limited to “good idea” or “great colors”…maybe the fact that you’re out of pure control gives the images an organic edge to them. You’ve given them life as oppose of creating mere digital Frankensteins. Find a way to properly scan the glass as to have the details of the product as well as the image.

    Oh and for good measure…Fuck you Iztok! There, just to keep people on their toes. Igor, Leopard man..where are you siptars?


    24 January, 2012 at 10:41

  6. ha, ha…
    Good one JC! I’m sure that will wake them up 🙂

    Borut Peterlin

    24 January, 2012 at 14:23

  7. love your work but hate how much taxes you pay!


    25 January, 2012 at 13:58

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