For a very long time now I’ve been fascinated by the Wet Plate Collodion Process but unfortunately never had the chance to use one of the huge cameras, nor did I ever physically process a glass negative, although I did own a few many years ago.
And so I’ve followed the increasing interest in pictures made with these large unwieldy cameras and the current nostalgic trend that has seen an exponential increase in the amount of people using them. What interests me most is that the current method seeks to increase the amount of blemishes and unusual distortions that the photographers back in 1880 worked very hard to eliminate.
To cut a long story short, after many weeks of experimenting I worked out a way to replicate the process in the computer, which is great for me but sad for those who want to return to traditional methods. There is however one simple caveat that will give the faint hearted pause; it takes about two hours to get the picture right in the computer, which is much slower than doing it in the real world. However, using the computer does dramatically cut down on the use of consumables.