Achieve colors like wetplate collodion
Is it possible to achieve effect of wetplate collodion on an ordinal photo paper? I mean cream highlights and neutral blacks? Maybe you did this with specific paper+developer or +toner.
I've tried lith printing - it is close, but dev times are so long.
Thanks in advance.
The effect of wet plate has to do with it's spectral sensitivity, how it "sees". You will be hard pressed to achieve the same thing in printing, although it could be done to some degree. Best to start with the negative. Look into ortho film for a start. Wet plate is the best way to achieve the look of wet plate.
Sorry, but JBrunner is off on his reply. The color of the highlights and blacks of a wet plate has nothing to do with the spectral sensitivity of the wet plate process.
That said, I don't have a suggestion to get the same colors in B&W printing paper.
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Perhaps not the "colors" per se, but I will maintain that the unique look of wet plate is largely a function of blue sensitivity. I believe that look is what the OP is refering to. If it is not, then what I wrote can be disregarded. If he's looking for the wet plate "look", it is spot on.
Originally Posted by Kirk Keyes
The best way to fake the look of wet plate without actually shooting wet plate would be to print on a paper that already has a warm tone base (I think the closest equivalent would be Foma Chamois finish, second maybe Ilford MG V Warmtone). Then, shoot an Ortho film or at least throw a blue filter in front of your lens with a panchromatic film. Wet plate has a very narrow spectral sensitivity confined mostly to the blue end of the spectrum, and it also has a very narrow contrast range, maybe 3-4 stops. Another option would be to do platinum printing on a warm base watercolor paper.
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This sounds like the photographic equivalence of the descriptions that roll off the tongues of neo-French cuisine chefs describing their latest masterpiece. And it makes me want to see with my eyes how this recipe might work!
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
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Originally Posted by SadChild
you might consider using paper negatives, instead of film.
or if you have access to a LF camera ...
overexpose, and then let stand in a dilute developer until bulletproof ...
contact print your film with a 1 or 0 filter ... your results will look more
like wet plate than lith printing or using chamois paper ...
but all that said, the best way to get images that look like wet plate images
is by making wet plate images .. there's nothing like the real thing ...
Once you have your negative process figured out, you might try overprinting your positive about 2 stops (or more) on warmtone paper, and then bleach it back to the tones you like. It still won't look exactly like wet plate collodion tintypes, but it won't look "normal" either. It's tough to try to reproduce a unique process using a different approach. The process is the process.
How 'bout shooting ortho/lith film, printing that to normal paper and then carbon toning. A paper neg would also give some of that look.
By the way, I shot some type 55 through a UV (403) filter and got some 'olde world' looks... complexions look downright leathery to my eye, but if that's your thing....
Now ain't that a beauty? :o Many other films shot through a 403 will give a similar look, in direct light.
On the other hand if you like the look of collodion then go ahead and dive into the process! I think it's impossible to separate the effect of the process on you from the images that you achieve: you may well be able to emulate a look, but the experience of doing it 'for real' can transform how you think. And that will affect composition. The effect of the whole process on composition is far more important, I think, than the 'look' for its own sake.
Last edited by keithwms; 10-18-2009 at 10:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Gold-toned Albumen prints would also get you pretty close, since that's how most wet-plate negs were printed. But at the point you're making albumen paper, you really ought to just do wet-plate in-camera negs to make sure you get the look.