The Collodion process

The Collodion process

The Collodion process, also known as the wet plate process, is a photographic technique that was developed in the 1850s and became popular in the late 19th century. The process involves coating a glass plate with a mixture of collodion (a liquid made from nitrated cotton) and silver iodide, which is then sensitized and exposed in the camera.

The process starts by pouring a mixture of collodion and silver nitrate onto a clean glass plate, the plate is then sensitized by immersing it in a silver nitrate bath. After that, it is quickly inserted into the camera to be exposed, after which the plate is developed, fixed, washed and dried. The result is a highly detailed and sharp positive image on the glass plate.

One of the main advantages of the Collodion process is its ability to produce high-quality, detailed images with a wide tonal range, making it suitable for reproducing photographic images with subtle variations in tone and colour.

The Collodion process

In the 21st century, the Collodion process has seen a resurgence in popularity, with many contemporary photographers experimenting with the technique. Some notable photographers who use the Collodion process in their work include:

  • Michael Shindler, an American photographer who specializes in wet plate collodion and historic photographic processes
  • Sally Mann, is an American photographer who has used the Collodion process in her work for several decades.
  • Christian Tagliavini, is a Swiss photographer who uses the Collodion process to create portraits that evoke a sense of nostalgia and mystery.

Overall, the Collodion process is a complex and time-consuming technique that requires a high degree of skill and attention to detail. However, for photographers who are willing to put in the effort, the results can be truly stunning. The process is trending in the 21st century as photographers are interested in using historical techniques in their art and the unique results they produce. For various techniques, we have equipment in store such as shutters, lenses and Filmholders. If you need assistance with old ways to take pictures and do historical photography you can always send me an E-mail

Open chat
Hello 👋
How Can we help you?