World Wet Plate Day

May 5th 2012

The day to pour collodion on to a plate is here – World Wet Plate Day is an important day to celebrate the work of practicing artists who work with this beautiful and delicate photographic method. Wet Plate Collodion is the photographic process of pouring Collodion onto a plate of thin iron or glass, then exposing and developing that plate while it’s still wet. This process was the primary photographic method from the early 1850s until the late 1880s. It replaced paper negatives/Calotypes (Talbot) and Daguerreotypes (Louis Daguerre). The current revival of the Wet Plate process is largely due to the ubiquity of digital photography and because of the unique Collodion “signature” and aesthetic.

From reenactment tintypes, to still life ambrotypes, to studio portraits, photographers have embraced the ethereal look, handmade process, and arcane yet simple materials of Wet Plate. Wet plate photographers can be artists, engineers, wilderness travelers, studio operators or backyard hobbyists. But they all have been deeply impacted by this beautiful technique.

By making Wet Plate Collodion images on this day, you will share the experience with the 1850s founders, the 1870s portrait artist or traveling tintypist, and today’s revivalists. Upload your favourite plate to the World Wet Plate Day website where your work on that day can be enjoyed by us all.

Information: World Wet Plate Day