Sunday, May 15, 2011

Early Photography Wet-Plate Process

Tues will be a full moon and, as luck will have it, rain and overcast sky are predicted.  Weather is by far the biggest reason for my unfulfilled desire to photograph the full moon.  Broken clouds might provide some opportunity to capture dramatic images of stormy atmosphere.  Again patients is a virtue.  Waiting is a must.

When I think of capturing a photographic image I think of what it must have been like for the early photographers.  The photographer packing his mule with large plate camera and a darkroom tent, traveling miles into the wilderness for days just to capture wild landscapes that most of the American public would never see first hand.  Just think about the effort it took to capture these images.

Here from the Eastman House is a list of equipment needed to photograph in the wilderness:


Once on location the glass plates would first need to be processed into light sensitive negatives.  Here is how that is done-  The Wet Plate Collodion Process

At that point the exposures needed to be completed before the collodion dried, rush back to the tent and develop the images.  Once your trip was complete the plates then needed to be transported back to civilization without damage.

Not only was patients needed but a strong work ethic and a burning desire.

Do you have the burning desire and the work ethic needed?

If you do, it will show in the images you create.

Using a Mac since 1994

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