TOPSHIT PHOTOGRAPHY blog

Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

When wetplates are becoming too perfect…

with 5 comments

I know… You think the same as I do. Wet plate collodion photographs are never perfect, they are full of dust particles, stains and so on. That’s what I love about them, but at the same time I’m trying to make it as perfect as I can. Yesterday I’ve done two wetplates of a tree. The first one, vertical one was, a perfectly exposed shot. Of course on top there are stains, but I’m intentionally using very small quantity of developer, so I know the center will be perfect, but the corners at the top will miss some developer and therefore “clouds” will apear. So the first shot, the vertical one, was perfect. I didn’t like that…

If I would want to have perfect pictures, I would stick to digital photography! I went back and underexpose the second plate for one and a half stop and over developed it. The result was foggy low contrasty image. It was so bad I wanted to wipe it off immediately, but I was in hurry to get kids from school so I left it to dry. I didn’t even wash it properly. Today I scanned it and add contrast and blacks and I’m astonished that I prefer this crappy plate, digitally fixed. How will I explain that to my wetplate mates? I guess some day I’ll need to step out of the closet…

Kodak Folding Brownie 3A, f/45, 12 seconds, developed 20 seconds.

Kodak Folding Brownie 3A, f/45, 12 seconds, developed 20 seconds.

Kodak Folding Brownie 3A, f/45, 12 seconds, developed 20 seconds.

Kodak Folding Brownie 3A, f/45, 12 seconds, developed 20 seconds.

Kodak Folding Brownie 3A, f/64, 8 seconds, developed 30 seconds.

Kodak Folding Brownie 3A, f/64, 8 seconds, developed 30 seconds.

Kodak Folding Brownie 3A, f/64, 8 seconds, developed 30 seconds.

Kodak Folding Brownie 3A, f/64, 8 seconds, developed 30 seconds.

Written by Borut Peterlin

19 December, 2012 at 11:25

5 Responses

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  1. Interesting read. I think the notion of a perfect image is a difficult thing to define. You no doubt have touched on this topic here, proclaiming with a bit of surprise that you prefer your scanned and digitally edited version to the original wet plat. Stunning images, all of them.

    jsodphotography

    19 December, 2012 at 22:59

  2. Just LOVE them all!!🙂

    LightHouseBlues

    20 December, 2012 at 17:37

  3. I think both are very nice.
    I prefer the second because the “so called” imperfections, give the photograph character and atmosphere.
    As in all our given comments, it is a personal preference.

    John Fink Jr.

    21 December, 2012 at 01:28

  4. Thank you guys for all the comments and likes. Today I’m going to a blacksmith who made me a headrest. Expensive, but I think it’ll be worth it. I’ll post about it.
    B5

    Borut Peterlin

    21 December, 2012 at 07:42

  5. I’ve sold two copies of dirty topshit picture!
    Topshit happens!

    Borut Peterlin

    3 February, 2013 at 23:28


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