Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

New wet plate portrait with a flash system Balcar Source 6400Ws

with 5 comments

Blaž Porenta, a terrific illustrator, portrayed as Hamlet in Wet Plate Collodion technique.

Blaž Porenta is a terrific illustrator, working for different clients around the globe. Currently he’s illustrating characters of all sorts from cartoon like creatures for children to demonic characters for app games. For Mladina weekly I portrayed him as a Hamlet. Why? Why not!

Balcar Source 6400Ws with two 3200Ws heads, Balcar Jazz 1500Ws and Jazz 750Ws. Bowens is missing on this picture.

This is my first Wet Plate Collodion portrait with my newly purchased flash system Balcar Source 6400Ws. I’m great fan of Balcar and I have a set of Jazz flashes from 1999 and they still work just as good as day one. Not to mention I’ve been using them solely outdoors, even in the rain. If you don’t believe it, see this. Once one flash fall down the stairs so I could see the electronic guts, but it was and still is working. I’ve emailed Profot shop in Ljubljana asking them for some flashes, but something extra strong! Damijan offered me this studio system that can burst 6400Ws of light for a really good price! I bought them and I know this will serve me for another decade or two and after I can sell them for the same price I’ve bought them. Beside this I have also Balcar Jazz 750Ws, Jazz 1500Ws and I’ve borrowed Bowens 1500Ws, so my flashes are bursting with 10.150Ws! For a comparison a normal Nikon or Canon dedicated flash, have a power of about 70Ws! Why do I need all this power? Wet Plate Collodion has an ISO of approximately 1/3, so I need huge power if I want to portray people with flashes and in wet plate technique.

Yesterday I purchased an enlarger DURST 138 with color head, five Rodenstock lenses and many other stuff. I said I purchased it, although the truth is I got it for something more then nothing. This stuff is big, huge and so the seller wanted that I channel my passion through this enlarger so she sold me for a symbolic price. This baby can enlarge 5×7″ negatives, that’s 13x18cm! Of course it can enlarge also smaller negatives, but I can imagine this will be a blast to make prints from 5×7 glass plates!


5 Responses

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  1. O my friend, I like this new retro style of yours. Checking all the posts regularly, but no time to comment. It is good to show true creativity, without PS or some fancy, new, top notch digital camera stuff. I assumed it is time consuming more then anything else you did before but it is worth it. Keep on going!!!
    What Jaran Chefur said about it? Or is it just too wet for him? 🙂

    Igor Motl

    31 October, 2012 at 00:30

  2. Thx Igor, my dear friend. I must say it’s very stressful and exhausting to portray in wet plate. I even said to myself that I have enough of this. You can not imagine how much stuff do I need and how long it takes to take this kind of portrait. I bring to Ljubljana so many stuff I put my back seats down and use the whole backpack of Clio for my lights, cameras, darkbox, stands, tripods, background,… It takes at least an hour to make the first picture. The disappointment is huge when things go wrong and things do go wrong very easily with this hands-on technique! Like the circumstances are always changing. From outdoors to indoors, temperatures, dust,… I work on toilets and I feel like a drug addict 🙂

    Then when things do go right, I feel a pleasure that is comparable to sex 🙂

    Čefur likes the new work, although I don’t know what is he doing. I think he has some movie to finish.
    Great to read you my dear Igor! When are you coming to SLO? I’ll bribe you and your family with a wet plate portrait!

    Borut Peterlin

    31 October, 2012 at 08:11

  3. I have no time to comment or even write what I’m writing right now. I’m sorry but having time to comment would mean spending an extra few minutes on this site and it is just a few minutes that I don’t have. Ha! FUCK OFF. Yeah it’s wet, it’s damn wet but as I told Borut “two scars” Peterlin aka B5 aka long hair chief navaho…I can’t wait to see his personal work rather than commissioned images for magazines (unless it’s porn). By the way…my birthday is tomorrow but Borut’s is 11 days away. I heard that the tradition in Bosnia is to offer a goat for each year you are old…Will B5 get his 38 goats? I hope so! Nice to hear from you leopard man 🙂 you’ve brought me back from the dead.


    3 November, 2012 at 17:51

  4. […] We made the portrait is his shop in downtown of Ljubljana. I’ve illuminated him with Balcar Source 6400 studio flashes, which can be used as a synonym of light burst (6400Ws) that can compare with a […]

  5. This technic of yours is very very expressive, the result is gorgeous!
    Congrats to your enlarger, you gonna make magic with it!


    10 November, 2012 at 10:37

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