Canadian artist create by huge format Wetplate collodion Photography
An artist create by huge format Wetplate collodion Process based on Canada.
Off grid wetplate photographer. I made a huge Camera 32X48inch format and converted a bus to a dark room RV.
Discover My Story
Most photographers get a camera and a couple of nice lenses, maybe an editing program.
I built three cameras myself and converted a tour bus into a mobile darkroom so I could take my 170-year-old dream on the road.
It should be noted here that I am not creating a typical photo by current standards. These aren’t jpegs, they’re not even negatives on film.
Wetplate collodion Process was invented in the 1850s and went out of fashion around the same time Canada was founded. They’re called ambrotypes, also known as collodion positives (collodion is the chemical compound that covers a glass plate).
I made my first foray into photography as a 16-year-old middle schooler. I set up my first makeshift darkroom in my family bathroom and used my pocket money to buy the cheapest materials available.
Since 2015, I have used what are called “wet plates” basically instead of plastic film, like you’d use with a modern film camera, the chemical solution collodion is applied to a plate of glass, making it light sensitivity. It’s not an easy process.
I made a huge camera 32X48 inch format because the Wetplate positive process is unique and can’t be copied or enlarged, I will directly get a positive on the original glass plate, so if I want a larger photos, I need a larger camera.
The wet collodion process is an early photographic process that requires the photographic material (glass plate or metal plate) to be coated, sensitized, exposed and then developed within a few minutes before the plate dries. To work in the field, this process requires a movable darkroom, so most Wetplate photographer shot portraits and still life in their studio. I am an adventurer and a dreamer, I love challenging impossibility, so I converted a 50 seats tour bus to a dark room RV, I can drive it anywhere I want to go. With this movable darkroom, I do my works anywhere and challenge various weather, temperature, seasons and light.
It is very difficult to get details of sky and clouds because of the Wetplate collodion technology characteristic, fortunately most of my works with beautiful sky and clouds.
Rocky Mountains is my most favourite place, I had been Rocky Mountains almost hundred times because of my work feature. I observed how the landscape changes, how beautiful natural features disappear. My collodion plate may last for two hundred years, but some landscapes may not – they may disappear in the future.
I am very seriously doing every step of my work, even just washing the pictures after they are developed. Most Wetplate photographer can’t do this well because they have no enough water and enough time when they are off grid. That is the reason some wet photos change the color after 5–10 years. However, my bus can carry 700 liters of clean water, and I only shoot one piece of wet plate picture per day, I spend a lot of water and time to finish my work. so my pictures can last for hundreds years.
I am sorry that I never sell my works even many peoples contact me. I don’t have enough time and experience to do the marketing. I love photography and I want to put all my time into creating and improve my technology, just like my wife said on Global News “every day we will face problems, every day we solve problems, but I can say every day we are growing.”
I hope some Organization or professional people can help me to do this.