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.
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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.
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 and worked closely with Brian Young in his black-and-white lab in Manhattan on non-digital analogue photo projects. Wim van der Helm is winner of the fotodocs contest of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. His work has been published in Newspapers, Books and Exhibitions internationally.
Steeve Henchoz is a photo- and videographer with a wide background visual arts - working in the field for decades. Recently Steeve has been specializing in vintage black and white processes involving various large format cameras and wetplate collodion on glass and alternative materials.
Meet Maciej Wałkiewicz, a photographer with a passion for capturing emotions through the art of photography. Maciej has a love for the traditional and uses the old technique of wet plate collodion and film photography to create stunning portraits that truly bring his subjects to life. Every glass photo is handcrafted with antique techniques and materials to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Check out Maciejs work on Instagram