Wetplate.ch is the open platform for exchange and collaboration of Swiss photographers and artists using 19th century historical analogue photo processes.

These historical photographic Processes are referred to as Ambrotype, Tintype, Collodion Wetplate Photography, Alumnitype and others.

We are a not-for-profit organization promoting and advancing vintage original photo techniques and ancient chemical development processes. Most of us are Professionals that make a living with other activities than wetplate and we can – as much as possible – accommodate for portrait sessions with interested folks. This process is complicated and expensive. Talk to us if you want to have your picture plate taken.

| CONTACT |

Wetplate.ch is the open platform for exchange and collaboration of Swiss photographers and artists using 19th century historical analogue photo processes.

These historical photographic Processes are referred to as Ambrotype, Tintype, Collodion Wetplate Photography, Alumnitype and others.

We are a not-for-profit Organization promoting and advancing vintage original photo techniques and ancient chemical development processes. Most of us are Professionals that make a living with other activities than wetplate and we can – as much as possible – accommodate for portrait sessions with interested folks. This Process is complicated and expensive. Talk to us if you want to have your picture plate taken.

| CONTACT |

The Process

Wet Plate Photography is a vintage back & white process from 1851 where a liquid cotton emulsion is poured onto a glass or metal plate and light sensitized in a silver nitrate bath. The plate is then – while still wet – exposed in an ancient (wood) plate camera. Exposed at ISO 1 (!) it is developed and placed in a fixative that will prevent it from fading. The result is one single reverse positive image that – when varnished in sandarak – has a lifespan of hundreds of years. Every plate is unique – there is only one copy.

The Wet Plate Collodion photographic process was invented in 1851 by British sculptor and inventor Frederick Scott Archer. Revolutionary at the time, this process made it possible to capture an image on the surface of a piece of glass. Archer then named this process Ambrotype. This process is complicated, time-consuming, and the chemicals involved can be dangerous to the photographer. Photographs by the collodion wet plate process are sharp like the daguerreotype, easily reproducible like the calotype, and enabled photographers at the time to dramatically reduce exposure times. Archer however did not patent this process, and consequently received no financial benefit from it. He died in poverty in 1857.

Tintype Gallery

Browse the Swiss Wetplate Portfolio

Join the Photographers

Meet and work with the award winning wetplate photographers

Wim van der Helm

Wim van der Helm is a tintyper and a professional documentary photographer. He is alumni from the documentary photography class at the International Center of Photography ICP in New York and received a Helge Hummelvoll Scholarship from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. During his time at the ICP in New York he was the assistant of Eli Reed at Magnum Photos. Wim van der Helm is the winner of the fotodocs contest of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. His work is being exhibited internationally.

Lukas Zurmühle

Lukas Zurmühle is a photo- and videographer with a wide background in digital arts. Recently Lukas has been specializing in vintage black and white processes involving ultra large format cameras and its precipitation in crypto collectibles and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Didier Lumière

Didier Lumièreis nobody less than the grand grand son of the famous "Frères Lumière" - one of the first inventors and artist using silver in photography in Lyon France. In his photographic work Didier is covering mainly areas of society that are usually photophobia. Didier lives and works underground. Enquire within.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please contact us with whatever topic about vintage photography you may have. However, please refer to the FAQs below for the most common questions we receive.

FAQ

Having your portrait taken by one of the wetplate photographers works on invitation or referral only. Note that this ancient process requires meticulous preparation and quite some time from both the photographers and the models. If you are an Artists you can inquire for a Session here. Acceptance to any wetplate or tintype photography session is based on availability.

We are a not-for-profit organization and we do not sell any chemistry online to the public. If you are a member you can benefit from private bulk purchase of material organized by members - for members.

If you live in Switzerland and you are interested in or practicing any form of wetplate photography you can apply to join as a member of wetplate.ch
As a member we ask you to actively participate and develop the domain. You can showcase your own work in the dedicated photographers section, sell Equipment and Prints in the Online Store and you can benefit from bulk purchase of rare chemicals. Apply here to join  as a photographer.

There is a small membership fee to cover for the cost to run the platform. More importantly - joining wetplate.ch requires your active participation. You can create your own photographers space, learn and exchange within the community, offer and participate in the members only section of the domain.

Wir können auch anders! Zum Beispiel Francais.
tintype logo