Saturday, 29 December 2012

POV | Ersatz Wet Plate?

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
Ersatz means "substituting for, and typically inferior in quality to", e.g. "chicory is ersatz coffee". (Wikipedia)
I mentioned it here on this blog, but I've experienced a sort of love epiphany (or is it epiphanic love?) with Hipstamatic's new Tintype SnapPack...which consists of a Tinto 1884 Lens, a D-Type Plate Film and a C-Type Plate Film. It's not for everyone or for every subject, but when the ingredients of a scene click together, it works well.

And I recently stumbled on this short video (at the end of this post) of Ian Ruhter modifying a Holga to shoot 19th century style photographs based on the wet plate process. It's a fun project, and it doesn't seem too difficult...although I'm sure there a steep learning curve attached to it, but the more one practices it, the easier it gets.

Having also received an email from a company called PostalPix asking whether I'd be interested in having some of my iPhone photographs fused on thin aluminum sheets of varying sizes, I think I might be able to duplicate the wet plate look by sending a few images I snapped using Hipstamatic Tintype filter, and have them infused on metal sheets.

I know...I can sense the purists' hackles rising at this blasphemous idea, but it sounds like fun, and it's only ersatz 'wet-plate'. As Ian Ruhter himself says; "To live by rules that were created by others we may never find out who we really are."

And to endear myself to whoever is interested in wet-plate photography, here's Wet Plate Collodion Day website, which has galleries by dozens of photographers who work in this medium...as well as a list of resources. Ian Ruhter's Vimeo page also has a list of resources...where to buy, etc.

I will keep my readers posted once I hear from PostalPix.



Lights, Toy Camera, Action from Ian Ruhter : Alchemist on Vimeo.