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  1. #1

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    Now I'm curious and want a book to read

    Curiosity kills the wallet.

    Are there any good books or web sites on Wet plate stuff?

    It looks like an involved process but I would like to find that out.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  2. #2
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Websites- www.collodion.com

    they have a forum, you must register, which is not an instant process. Tons of cool info though.

    Books- the John Barnier "Coming In To Focus" alt-process compendium has good chapters on wet plate. There are a number of others, but it is a good start. Most books tend to over-complicate the processes, especially for getting started, so don't feel too intimidated when you read about all the variables you have to control to make a GOOD image. Collodion is pretty straightforward, it just requires a few esoteric and somewhat hazardous chemicals, which are fine so long as you treat them with proper respect and precaution.

  3. #3
    colrehogan's Avatar
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    Quinn Jacobson's "The Contemporary Wet Plate Collodion Experience" is also pretty good.

    Diane
    Diane

    Halak 41

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by colrehogan View Post
    Quinn Jacobson's "The Contemporary Wet Plate Collodion Experience" is also pretty good.

    Diane
    I'll second that.
    Quinn is a good friend of mine from college, he is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about this process.
    I have seen his developement from learning the process to a full understanding of it.
    There are probably better known photographers using this process, but you won't find a better craftsman and technician in this process than Quinn.
    Brian
    My "Personal" Photography Website...

    "Photography is an act of Life" - Maine 2006

  5. #5
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    The 19th-Century Bibles of wetplate collodion are online:

    John Towler's Silver Sunbeam

    Mathew Carey Lea's Manual

    Another practical, (and low-tech) modern introduction is John Coffer's Doer's Guide To Wetplate Collodion Photography along with his new DVD set. You can get further info on ordering it via snail mail (he has no email, telephone, etc.) on his website.

    Joe
    Last edited by smieglitz; 07-19-2007 at 12:57 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    I admire you wet plate guys. Making an ambrotype sounds like a lot of fun.

  7. #7

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    Wet Plate Book

    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    Curiosity kills the wallet.

    Are there any good books or web sites on Wet plate stuff?

    It looks like an involved process but I would like to find that out.
    Check out John Coffer's website (www.johncoffer.com) He offers a manual and DVD's showing the process. Quinn Jaconson's book is clear and well illustrated. Avoid the 19th century texts if you're starting out, their measurement system and chemical nomenclature are different than what's used today.

    Try to observe the process before you start out. There is a steep learning curve at the beginning and an hour's worth of observation will really help climb it.

    You need to be comfortable around hazardous and flammable chemicals. Don't think you can mix up collodion in the kitchen (but a darkroom with an exhaust fan works fine).

    Warning: The images in wet plate are excruciating in their tones and detail, and you may become addicted to them (like I did!)

    Nate

  8. #8
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    I'm not a practitioner of wet plate myself, but I am an admirer of the art, so I will recommend you a book that is about just that: "The Antiquarian Avant-Garde: The New Wave in Old Processes." By Lyle Rexer, featuring a slew of artists like Sallly Mann, Jerry Spagnoli, or Chuck Close, who have started to work with collodion, daguerreotypes, cyanotypes, etc etc.

    The book is organized by process, so you can sample the collodion artists, then the dag ones, etc. Reproduction quality is outstanding, and there are tons of great thinking in the featured works. Interviews with the artists, some technical and historical notes. No formulas, but plenty of soul.

    PS: The only copy I see on Amazon right now sells for $300+ but that's probably another greedy bookseller. This book sells for about $50.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  9. #9

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    Thanks folks.

    Considering where I live and my total lack of time these days I am not sure about this jump, but it might be fun to read about it.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  10. #10

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    nitrocellulose

    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz View Post
    The 19th-Century Bibles of wetplate collodion are online:

    John Towler's Silver Sunbeam

    Mathew Carey Lea's Manual

    Another practical, (and low-tech) modern introduction is John Coffer's Doer's Guide To Wetplate Collodion Photography along with his new DVD set. You can get further info on ordering it via snail mail (he has no email, telephone, etc.) on his website.

    Joe
    if you read the material in the links(thanx for listing) or any of the many others available you will notice that it was cheaper and easier to buy colloidon readymade at the time

    the colloidon was not originally made for photography-was made for medical and explosive uses

    google: nitrocellulose, guncotton; these are the other names for colloidon

    get comedy routines richard prior did after his last time free-basing for info on what happens when ether meets heat/spark; or just get some auto quick-start carb spray(ingrds: ether+propelants) and read the warning on can

    i feel that mixing up old tech equiv of semtec/c-4 in kitchen and then processing with ether is about the same as cooking your own meth as far as the safety issues go

    i suppose(but dont quote me) that buying a can of nitrocelluslose laquer and coating a plate and then processing with auto carb spray is definitely quicker, easer and cheaper-maybe even safer in right hands

    i would never admit to doing such a thing however

    this is rocket science-really

    personally-ether allways knocked me out

    vaya con dios



 

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