Wet Plate Course

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It was an inspiring couple of days, where I was introduced to the processes and the possibilities of the technique (For a description of the processes see techniques http://www.jroweimages.com/techniques/).  I remember at the time being as excited as when I made my first photographic print, it was the ability of the technique to dissolve photography to its basic constituent fundamentals which was thrilling initially, but on reflection it has deeper charms.

I keep geese, on a small scale.  Geese will not be intensively farmed.  Not for them the huge warehouses and automatic feeding of the commercially reared bird, they just won’t have it.  They eat grass or at a push mixed corn, they drink water.  It is this very stubbornness which I admire about the geese, they will not fit into a commercially oriented way of being, they exist on their terms like an avian version of Mr Miyagi.  Wet Plate Collodion attracts me for the same reasons, it’s very restrictions,limitations, imperfections are what I find so liberating about it as a process.  I feel that if a client wanted to bend the process to his or her will then like an upset goose it would die.  It’s a process that says no, often, but has the mystique, charm, confidence to get away with it.


These images are from the day, actually from the second day as I was so excited on day one I forgot to take any.  As well as my first attempts there are images of the cameras used, revealing detail of the darkslide attachment.  The images of the cameras are there as I aim to make a large format camera capable of producing Wet Plate images as part of this project.  I know that this is not advisable, but if it could be accomplished it would wrestle the medium out of the hands of camera gear manufacturers permanently and irrevocably.  It would return the medium to being about a very simple and magical phenomenon.

This is the link to the two day course on Wet Plate Collodion Photography at the studios of John Brewer in Manchester http://www.johnbrewerphotography.com/wetplate-collodion-workshops

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