Links, Resources, and Bibliography
This article has provided a very brief introduction to the wetplate collodion process. It has only scratched the surface. Much more information is available in various manuals and available workshops. I highly
recommend reading several texts on the process as well as attending a workshop before attempting to work the process.
Information on building darkboxes, preparing genuine ferrotype plates, making collodion negatives for albumen printing, remedying problematic baths or solutions, and general tips and tales can be discovered in these
resources. You will find the chemistry can be adapted for different conditions and effects, other tricks of the trade, and a wealth of information on troubleshooting this somewhat finicky process is available if you
investigate the following resources.
Gallery of Wetplate Photographs
by Joseph Smigiel
(Be forewarned that the gallery contains photographs of nude figures.)
Michael Mazzeo at Peter’s Valley Craft Center
France Scully and Mark Osterman
Northlight Photographic Workshops
Center For Alternative Photography
Manuals, Articles, and Texts
Frederick Scott Archer, Inventor of the Wet Collodion Process
The Doer’s Guide to Wetplate Photography, DVD and Manual, by John Coffer
Coming Into Focus, chapter on wetplate, by Scully and Osterman
The Wet-Plate Process, A Working Guide, by Scully & Osterman
Wet Collodion Photography, A Short Manual, by George Berkhofer
The Contemporary Wetplate Collodion Experience, by Quinn Jacobson
The Silver Sunbeam, by John Towler, MD
A Popular Treatise on Photography,
by Désiré van Monckhoven (online)
A Manual of Photography, by Mathew Carey Lea
The Albumen and Salted Paper Book, by James M. Reilly (online)
Bill Jay's Essays, including “Dangers in the Dark”, “Move a Muscle and I'll Blow Your Brains Out”
and “The Black Art”
How a Woman Makes Landscape Photographs by Eliza W. Withington, 1876 (online)
The Wetplate Collodion Forum
The Civil War Reenactor's Collodion Photography Discussion Forum
Flickr Wetplate Photography Group Image Pool
Disactis (A French Daguerreotype and Wetplate Site)
Wayne L. Pierce
Bostick and Sullivan
Mavidon Medical Supplies
Equipment & Camera Conversions
Wayne Pierce, The Company Photographer
The Star Camera Company
How to Adapt a Film Holder to Wetplate
Cadmium Bromide MSDS
Cadmium Iodide MSDS
Collodion USP MSDS
Ethyl Ether MSDS
Nitrocellulose (guncotton, pyroxiline) Information
Potassium Cyanide MSDS
Silver Nitrate MSDS
US Dept. of Energy Office of Health, Safety, and Security article on
Management of Time Sensitive Chemicals
THE CHEMICALS USED IN THIS PROCESS ARE EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS AND ANYONE CONSIDERING WORKING IN THIS PROCESS SHOULD INVESTIGATE THE MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS FOR EACH
CHEMICAL AND BE FAMILIAR AND COMFORTABLE WITH THE PROPER HANDLING OF THESE MATERIALS TO MINIMIZE ANY POTENTIAL HAZARDS.
THIS ARTICLE IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES
AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE ENDORSEMENT OF THE USE OF THE CHEMICALS BY UNTRAINED INDIVIDUALS.
AGAIN, THE AUTHOR AND PUBLISHER OF THIS ARTICLE ACCEPT NO
RESPONSIBILITY NOR LIABILITY RESULTING FROM THE IMPROPER USE OF THESE CHEMICALS BY OTHER INDIVIDUALS.
© 2008 by Joseph P. Smigiel
No part of this article may be reproduced without permission of the author.
Thanks to Bill Schwab for providing several location photographs used in this article.