I have noticed that in the passed few years, there has been a surge in alternative photographic process and one of the more popular ones are wet plates. It is as if wet plate collodion is the LoFi of yesterday reborn.
This sensitive and very temperamental photographic process was invented in 1851, invented by Frederic Scott Archer, replacing daguerreotype and remained favored for about three decades, until it was replaced with dry plate process.’ Collodion process’ is usually taken to be synonymous with the ‘collodion wet plate process,’ a very inconvenient form which required the photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes.
Ken Merfeld a commercial photographer, with a studio in Culver City, California, specialises in fashion, advertising, portrait, and celebrity assignments, his work has appeared in a variety of magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and more. Caught between two worlds, Ken delved into one of the most ‘hands-on’ technique to keep his traditional darkroom alive, as the world was changing around him into the realm of digital. Over the many years, Ken has amassed a huge body of work Collodion process photographs, ranging from still-life, fashion, botanical and portraiture.
There is a certain beauty about the wet plate process, it is the unexpected, the unknown outcome and especially the fact that one cannot duplicate the results, that is part of the attraction.
From Ken’s “Fine Art Portfolio”
Ken Merfeld’s fine art website
Ken Merfeld’s commercial website
Alternative Photography website
FStoppers explaining the process link