Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

Darkroom Home Automations

Even I am an analog guy, I am not shy to bring new technologies to my darkroom. With the wet collodion process I always try to avoid touching anything unnecessarily. So I build some home automations to assist me with that. Every analog photographer knows the struggle. You work in your darkroom and in this very moment you don’t want to be disturbed. Just imagine, somebody opening the door and your film/paper/plate is exposed to light. For sure, you just can mount a red light on the entrance door and you are safe. But in my case (and I am pretty sure I am not the only one), I have a main entrance to the darkroom and two other doors. One door leads to my studio and the other door to my pouring room. That means if any of these doors are open, it is safe to enter the darkroom. If I just would have a red light on the main entrance door, it would be hard to understand for my workshop participants or sitters if it is safe to enter. Thats the reason I build a solution for that with Apple Homekit (you for sure can build it also with Google/Alex or anything else). But there is more. We all have running water in our Darkrooms. And I think some people will have a water detector. But what if you have to wash something with running water and are not in your darkroom all the time? I used Homekit for that as well. I show you also a solution for measuring time without touching anything. This may be very specific to the wet collodion process, but maybe it may be helpful for others as well. The last topic is about how I feel more safe with my 3D printer.

I looked also for Google/Alexa devices, but most of them are working with wifi instead of low power bluetooth or thread. So I am not sure if I want to recommend any of these, please let me know which ones work great and I post them here.

Works with Homekit: Eve Energy power switch
International https://amzn.to/3BfCqIH Germany: https://amzn.to/3cEAH5s
Eve Door sensor
International https://amzn.to/3J3MV3S Germany: https://amzn.to/3b4PiXu
Eve Waterguard
Inernational: https://amzn.to/3Pxnn1n Germany: https://amzn.to/3POEJHv
Eve smoke is not available right now, I found only this alternative from Netatmo
https://amzn.to/3Ou6T8Z

Works with Homekit and Google/Alexa
Philips Hue lightstrip
International: https://amzn.to/3J7jnlR Germany https://amzn.to/3cGmZzd
Philips Hue Bridge
International: https://amzn.to/3z6bYP9 Germany: https://amzn.to/3cxRdEl
Philips hue switch
International https://amzn.to/3b1NGxY Germany: https://amzn.to/3Ox1kGX

Apple Watch app https://apps.apple.com/de/app/click-metronome/id705075264

Water resistant JBL BT Speaker (new version
International: https://amzn.to/3Be74Cj Germany: https://amzn.to/3J4DKjA

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  • Posted by Markus | Filed in 3d print, collodion, darkroom, nassplatte | 4 Comments »

    Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

    How To make Waterhouse Stops for antique lenses Part II

    In todays video I show you guys how to make Waterhouse stop if you do not have any existing ones.

    Support me on patreon http://patreon.mhaustria.com/
    Visit my flipboard http://flip.mhaustria.com/

    Waterhouse Stop Database: http://waterhousestops.mhaustria.com
    Gerald’s video about aperture & f-stop https://youtu.be/OaSq0ES1ArE
    Website about measuring waterhouse stops: https://apenasimagens.com/en/measuring-lens-aperture/

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  • Posted by Markus | Filed in 3d print, video, waterhouse stop, wetplate | Comment now »

    Tuesday, July 12th, 2022

    DJI mini 3 Pro Beginner Tips, Cool Accessories and HDR Video Explained

    I wanted to cover topics in this video, that I did not find in other videos. Beside that I talk about some cool accessories you might want and wet HDR video means. Bonus: you can also get free stuff

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  • Posted by Markus | Filed in 3d print, review | Comment now »

    Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

    Great Exhibitions in Austria with my Portraits and more

    I am very exited about these exhibitions! In the first exhibition, at the beautiful Ottenstein Castle are presented 5 pieces of my work. This place is amazing! The exhibition in Persenbeug shows 10 huge pieces of my work directly at the Danube – the exhibition is called Kopf Herz Hand (Head Heart Hand) and is about passionate artists. The Festival La Gacilly in Baden is also a must see. With 7km length and about 1500 images it is amazing. I had my Work there shown the last three years, but did not make it this year.

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  • Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

    Exhibition invitation and more

    Exciting news, a wonderful exhibition is coming up where a lot of my wet plates are shown in a big format. The Exhibition is called “Kopf, Herz, Hand” that translates to “Head, Heart, Hand” and shows artist that put passion and craftsmanship into their work. The Vernissage is on the 17th of June at 5pm at the Rathausplatz in 3680 Persenbeug. It also includes a guided tour through all artworks. I would be super happy if I meet you guys there.

    Beside that I also talk about what are the benefits to support me as a patron http://patron.mhaustria.com , what I am working on for my upcoming videos and why you should follow me on Flipboard http://flip.mhaustria.com

  • Get yourself a beautiful print here: http://prints.mhaustria.com

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  • Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

    Inspired Series – Henrik Brahe and Gerhad Sokol

    My inspired series is going on slowly, but for sure I captured wonderful people on metal plates. First you see Henrik Brahe. An archaeologist and photographer from Portugal. He brought me a wonderful book of his work. Find out more about him at http://henrikbrahe.com He visited with his beautiful wife Sanne. I could not resist to capture them together as well.

    Gerhard Sokol is a well know photographer who captured history with his work. But after all these years in photography, he did not stop there, he went on to work with lots of different techniques. He also published a book recently that tis worth to buy. you can find his work and book on https://www.bilderges.at

    More information about the Book (with beautiful prints and stories) and the Inspired Series: http://inspired.mhaustria.com

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  • Thursday, May 12th, 2022

    Growing Together – World Wet Plate Day 2022

    I decided to participate this year for the world wet plate day. I discussed it with my girlfriend and she was the one who came up with the idea. First we thought to make it in one shot, but I couldn’t wrap the outcome into my mind because of the limited depth of field. So I came up with the double exposure solution. I was pretty happy with the outcome, but thought I could improve it a bit -> that was not my best idea (happy I did a scan before that). As you can see in the video, I got also unlucky with the varnish. So I am working right now on that to fix it. I will write about my result here on ma Patron page, you can support me and join here: Become a Patron!

    Growing Together 18x24cm collodion wet plate – Zeiss Tessar 300mm
    this is how we positioned each other.

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  • Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

    Building a Wet Plate Frankenstein Camera and Capture a Ghost

    Corrine of www.corrinewestmedia.co.uk booked a wet plate workshop before the pandemic started. Two years later we were finally able to do it. The main subject was to get comfortable with the wet collodion process and to create images similar to the ones of spirit photographer William H. Mumler. Mr. Mumler created images (probably double exposures) where his clients could take a picture with their deceased relatives. The photograph of Mary Todd Lincoln with the “ghost” of her husband (Abraham Lincoln) was his most famous one. Corrine found my double exposure wet plates and that was the reason she contacted me in the first place. About two months before the workshop Corrine surprised me with a question: “Can we build a wet plate camera together?”. I talked with a friend and after a long visit at a DIY market I was sure that we can do it. A DIY Camera and capturing ghosts, that sounds like a fun workshop for me 🙂

    I could not capture everything in the video, because I was focused to deliver a great workshop experience. So let me explain a bit here. I build a diy camera kit so to say. But I did not want to build everything. It was important for me that we put the major parts together in person, to really create a camera and an understanding how a camera works.

    the camera kit

    It took me a long time to figure everything out, I wanted to create a diy camera, that is adaptable and upgradeable without any special parts. It also should be able to shoot portraits and landscape and if something breaks, just go to your diy marked and get a replacement part. The only thing needed is my self designed camera back. I wanted to invent/adapt something that you can get in the market, but I was without luck finding such a part. The 3D printed design took many hours and a lot of filament to work as expected.

    The first prototype of the camera back with an international film holder

    For the lens I went for a 150mm Leitz Dimaron (F2.8), Elmaron (F2.8) or Hektor (F2.5). These lenses have three things in common. 150mm is kind of a “normal” lens for the 4×5 large format and they all have the same diameter and not too expensive if you buy them online. All of them are pretty sharp as well as you could see in the video (this was a Dimaron)

    one lens mount, lots of options without breaking the bank

    The camera and lens support is build like this one in that posting: Camera and Lens support

    For the Film/Plate holder I decided to go for the std international 4×5 holders. I had them water jet cut for a clean look and we modified it with silver wires, because these are more resistant against acid and fit into the silver nitrate workflow

    std 4×5 film holder modified for the wet collodion process

    We were super happy with our first result. The portrait looked awesome and the resolution of the lens is great. When you look closely at the video you will see, that we used two boxes for portrait distance.

    the ground worked also great – here is a explanation how we did it
    https://blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/2019/12/ho-to-make-a-ground-glass-for-a-large-format-camera/
    For me it’s always exciting to see my idea come to life.

    Here is a detail scan of Corrine’s eye – pretty impressive result of a 4×5 plate shot with a self made camera and a projection lens.

    a scan of Corrine’s eye with my Screen Cezanne Scanner

    For the spirit photographs that are inspired by Mr. Mumler we wend for wet plate double exposures.
    To make our live easier, we marked all positions with sticky tape on the ground.

    tape is always your friend for any photography project

    We decided to use my Dallmeyer 3B Petzval lens for the first double exposure, because it fits better to the time when the original images were captured.

    William H. Mumler. inspired wet plate double exposure

    The second double exposure was a bit more modern, but also should get the ghost look. For that we used a Zeiss 300mm F4.5 Tessar lens. This lens is pretty new (about 2ß-30 years old) and is very crisp. I thought that makes more sense for this kind of image and also fits to the story (see caption of the image)

    Profession – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow An image about photography has changed

    What a great 3 Day workshop that was. We created so many different portraits. (more in the gallery) and time flew so fast. At this point I want to say thanks again to Corrine for visiting my workshop and trusting me with the camera design. I looking forward to see what she will do for her PHD with the wet collodion process.

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  • Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

    Bringing a 73KG High End Scanner Back to Life

    Sometimes I ask myself, how do I get myself always into these enormous projects. Maybe this is how everything is supposed to be in my life. Or somebody putting these big pieces of work in front of my and tries to find out if I will ever give up. But thats where I a have to disappoint, I hardly give up on something.
    I was looking for a bigger Scanner for many years, because I wanted to be able to scan my ultra large format wet plates. In the video bellow you can watch my full story. Underneath the video I will go into some details. Find out at the bottom of that post how you can support me and my work to make this postings/videos possible.

    Here are some details about the Screen Cezanne Scanner:

    • 53x34cm (13.4″ x 20.9″) reflective & transparency scan surface
    • 5300dpi
    • 32-bit CMYK, 48-bit RGB, 8-bit grayscale
    • Interface SCSI II
    • supported formats TIFF; DPS; DCS; SCITEX CT; JPEG; YCC
    • 73kg heavy
    • Software: Color Genius 2.1 and 1
    Still smiling – didn’t know back than what I got myself into again

    Picking it up and bringing it home was a bit of a challenge. But somehow we managed to get it into my studio. Please be sure if you get yourself such a beast, that you put it into lock position before you transport it. Then you can also unmount its wing. Check the Maintenance guide here
    Get as much information as possible from the large format forum thread https://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?33565-Screen-Cezanne-Users-Unite

    unmounting the wing makes life easier

    Yes, I could have just used the Power Mac (433mhz) that came with the Scanner and it would have been all over. But, then I had to use the use Firewire hdd, or USB 1 connections. Did anybody of you guys ever tried to copy large image files via usb 1.1? So USB 1.1 transfers with about 12 mbit, thats little under one megabyte a second. Believe me, you don’t won’t to copy many gigabytes over that connection. Other than that, the original Mac was pretty slow wit MacOs 9. All tools I describe here are listed here list.mhaustria.com

    There cam a working Power Mac with the scanner – but it was pretty slow

    Thats the reason I got a used Power Mac G4 Quicksilver with dual 1.2 ghz and 2gig (I said wrongly 4gb in the video) of ram. You can see in the video how cool it is and that it came with an Apple Cinema Display in its original packaging.

    picking up the new (old) Mac at night
    what a beauty

    While I set everything up, I got a scary surprise over night, luckily nothing was damaged. More about that in the video.

    lot of broken things, but nothing really broken

    Even it was much faster, I needed to upgrade it with an USB 2 card (be sure to get one with a specific new chipset – (links to it at and everything else here list.mhaustria.com), an ssd, a Power Domain 2930 SCSI card (I got a sealed one, check it out in the video) and an PATA/SATA Adapter. This made the Mac really quick.

    felt like a little kid with all this original sealed packaging

    Long story short, cloning (with carbon copy cloner) everything on the ssd, did not bring any success. Because the old MacOS 9 would not run on the new Mac and the preinstalled Mac OS X would not support the SCSi controller.
    Thats why I installed http://macos9lives.com and MacOS X 10.3.2 Panther from the apple website. MacOS creates easily a multi boot when you install one OS after the previous one. To connect remotely with screen sharing form Mac OS X to Mac OS X you just have to enable the feature. For Mac OS9 install this one: https://www.macintoshrepository.org/155-vine-vnc-server-3-5-for-os9

    you can use screen sharing on your Mac, but sometimes I had the feeling vnc is quicker

    As you can se ein the video, coping files over 1gb ethernet connection is great. I can get about 60 Megabyte a second out of it. that is more than 60 times faster than usb 1.1

    Now everything was setup and ready, I worked on a ultra large format wet plate. That was a great opportunity to see what the scanner can do. This is a 30x40cm collodion wet plate. Shot on an ultra large format camera with a Voigtländer Heliar Universal 360mm F 4.5 Lens

    my 30x40cm ultra large format camera
    The portrait wet plate portrait session with Roman was great.

    Now it is time for the first scans. The results are amazing. Just a little hint for reflective scans. Always try to use a black background, otherwise you get light bleeding into your image. The files this scanner produces are beautiful. There eis not much need of any post processing. That saves so much time. I love it.

    For wet plate workshops (Nassplattenworkshops) check ws.mhaustria.com. For portraits wetplate.art or (German/Deutsch) wetplate.at and if you want to see more street portraits check street-portraits.eu


    Also the negatives and positives look great. Check out the Gallery for more impressions

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  • Looking for wet plate gear? http://gear.mhaustria.com

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  • Tuesday, March 8th, 2022

    Varnishing Wet Plates with Lukas Varnish

    At an external event I had once the issue, that I could not get rid of the dust on the varnish. So I worked out this solution with Stefan Schubert. You can find the links to all tools here: list.mhaustria.com

  • Get yourself a beautiful print here: http://prints.mhaustria.com

  • Find all the tools I use here : http://list.mhaustria.com

  • Looking for wet plate gear? http://gear.mhaustria.com

  • Buy me a tea: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mhaustria

  • Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mhaustria

  • Get cool analog shirts here http://shirts.mhaustria.com