Photography Frederik Van den Broeck | The Process EN

 

Fien 2

Pieter 2 Alan

 

The Wet Plate Collodion procedure is an analogue photographic technique from 1851.

The Englishman Frederick  Scott Archer was the first to use it as a very early way of photographing, shortly after the discovery of the Daguerrotype.

 

The technique was called after the word Collodion, a thick syropy liquid being the main ingredient emulsion that makes a plate sensitive to light.

Collodion can be applied in two different carriers: glass (ambrotypie) and metal (ferro- or tintype). 

The collodion mixture is diluted by alcohol and ether, after which two salts are added on behalf of sensitivity and midtones.

The emulsion is put on the carrier and introduced into a bath containing silver nitrate.

After a few minutes the plate is ready to take a picture.

The plate should immediately be developed with a mixture of ferrous sulfate, and then be fixed.   

The entire procedure from introducing the emulsion until rinsing should take not more than 25 minutes.

 

Because of the low light sensitivity of collodion (about iso 3), long exposure times are required (several seconds).

The high contrast due to this technique and its range to which it is susceptible, creates very exclusive pictures that can by no way compete with any modern digital techniques.

 

Each plate requires a number of successive operations that take about 25 minutes.

Each plate produces one photograph. It is impossible to make copies.

The more or less slow and labourintensive way of working contrast sharply with modern digital techniques.

The unique experience and the satisfaction are most rewarding!