Markus Hofstaetter's blog » nassplatte

Wednesday, March 13th, 2024

DIY Ambrotype/Glass cleaning clamp for wet plate photographers

Cleaning ambrotypes is a very tedious task. Especially when you want to prepare many plates. Thats why I wanted to get one of these glass clamps for cleaning. Most clamps I found online were not what I was looking for. Then I found the one Adam Savage made for Gary Oldman: https://youtu.be/4MVxJNawefM?si=sxB__Zr7kcl_g1rQ
I guess lots of you guys did not know that mr. Oldman is also one of us who the path down the rabbit hole to work with the wet plate process.
Inspired by the wonderful design of Adam Savage I started to design my own version that can be 3D printed. Even the wooden version of Adam Savage is much more beautiful, my printed design may be easier to clean. You can download the files for 3D printing from my Patreon page
No membership is needed, but consider it if you want to support me. Or buy me a tea or PayPal me


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

     

    Friday, January 5th, 2024

    Darkroom ventilation and humidity control

    This topic sounds very simple but is probably more complicated than you thought. In this case I will explain the solution for my darkroom, but it could also be a solution for other cases.
    In this video I show you the construction (with a nice fail) process and the whole ventilation system including how I reduce humid air in my darkroom. Underneath I share some additional information to the video.

    As said in the video, if you work with chemicals like ether and alcohol, a mask alone is sometimes not enough. Because when there ar enough fumes in the room, your skin will absorb them and that way it could damage your liver. Thats the reason I always ventilated my pouring room in-between bigger wet plate sessions. When you ventilate typically with an open window, you will cool down or heat up the room (depending on the season), beside that you get for sure some dust into your rooms. Luckily my friend Wolfgang has a company ( https://www.leit-wolf.at ) who is specialised in how ventilations system and opened my eyes. Thanks a lot for that! Let’s start with the preparation. To make this ventilation system work, I needed some holes and for that I commissioned a company to do some core drilling.

    I marked the places for the ventilation pipes, so the company knows where to do the core drilling, so there are no electric wires in the way (sarcasm – see why in the video)
    to make the drilling as precise as possible for the ventilation system, I ordered the “shell installation kit WS 75 RSAP” https://www.maico-ventilatoren.com/en/products/details/p/shell-installation-kits-g61068/ws-75-rsap-p124746 this makes masking the holes very easy
    this monster of a core drilling machine made it possible to get fresh air into my darkroom.
    Because every hole needed to be drilled wet, they brought also vacuum machine that sucks all the dirt and water in. In any way you will get lots of dirt into your room, but they cleaned up very well.
    after all holes were drilled, I mounted the shell installation kit and glued the ventilation pipes into the wall. For sure not my most beautiful job, but at the end everything worked as expected.
    The next step was to mount the Ventilation unit on the wall. I chose the “Ventilation unit Maico WS 75 Powerbox H” because it has a heat recovery that reduces the cooldown of the rooms. There are also dust filters build in. Beside that it only consumes between 5,2 and 11,5 Watt. You can find lots of information about how to set it up (video and documentation) here: https://www.maico-ventilatoren.com/en/products/details/p/ventilation-units-g61071/ws-75-powerbox-h-p124754 – just click on Downloads/Videos. You can also switch the website to different languages.
    Here you can see the nearly finished ventilation system. The rectangular part near the floor is a silencer that makes the very silent ventilation system even more quiet.
    one of the last steps was the initial configuration of the ventilation system. Like moste things today, thes is pretty high tech as well and you only can set it up with a computer.
    The system comes with a control panel (https://www.maico-ventilatoren.com/en/products/details/p/control-panel-g61464/rls-g1-ws-p125256) that shows the status and also lets you control the unit. I bought a voc sensor for my unit ( https://www.maico-ventilatoren.com/en/products/details/p/sensors-g61463/ws-75-voc-p125253 ) This measures the volatile organic compounds in the air. It’s measured with ppm (parts per million). The higher the ppm, the more the air will circulate through the rooms. That means, if I pour some plates and the sensor “smells” the ether, the ventilation system turns up the power.
    outside I mounted the Combi-wall connections Duo KWS E (https://www.maico-ventilatoren.com/en/products/p/combination-wall-connections-g66762/duo-kws-e-p119350) This avoids that animals would use my ventilation system for some sleepy time. But it also avoids an “air short”.

    The finished ventilation system blows fresh air into my studio and sucks it through my darkroom and pouring room back outside. With that I have always fresh air in my workplace. My studio is a pretty new building, but the other parts are old and are more humid. While ventilating in the winter mostly “dry” air comes into the rooms and there is mostly no need for the dehumidifier to start. Only when the relative humidity is about 60% I start an automation that checks how much my photovoltaic power plant is genarating and if the sound generates enough energy, I start to dehumidify my darkroom

    But when is it save to ventilate? I learned a lot and thought I just check the humidity outside and inside. And if the relative humidity is lower outside, I thought its save to ventilate. But I was totally wrong, you have to calculate the absolute humidity with a calculator like that. https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/absolute-humidity

    The absolute humidity is measured in g/m3 and it changes with the air temperature. Here are two examples:

    lets assume it’s winter and it has 8 degrees outside with 70% relative humidity for some funny reason. Even your relative humidity is lower than the outside, its save to ventilate if you want to get the humidity down.
    Now the relative humidity outside is much lower than inside, but the absolute humidity is because of the temperature much higher. If you want to reduce humidity in your room, that it would be the wrong time to ventilate. I am working with a friend of mine on a script that compares the absolute humidity from inside and outside and when it’s save to ventilate you can start an automation or get a notification. I will upload it here.
    It was lots of work (See also my other darkroom article https://blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/2023/12/my-new-easy-to-use-darkroom/ ) but now I am super happy with the solution. With the whole new darkroom finished I am like a little kit when I start to work there.

    I hope this was helpful for you guys as well.
    If you want to support me, you can do that on my Patreon page here: http://patreon.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
  •  

    Wednesday, December 20th, 2023

    My new easy to use Darkroom

    After moth of renovating my Darkroom, I am finally finished with it and can show you what I did to make my life easier.

    One of the main things in a darkroom is the sink. I looked for age to get a fitting one, but couldn’t find any. But my good friend Lois knows somebody who knows somebody and with that I got a custom made sink that was a lifesaver. Thanks a lot for that!

    Fitting everything in a small space is making everything more easy.
    Another thing that made my life easier is the Darkroom Winch that you can get here: https://www.borutpeterlin.com/shop/hardware/darkroom-winch/ This saves so much time, because otherwise I would be standing there for hours rocking trays.
    Beside rocking trays, washing prints and plates is another thing that has to be done, thats why I build this watering system out of plumber pipes from the diy marked. I am sure you can find yourself similar parts near you. I only had to drill holes into the pipe and find some kind of holder for it.
    I just had to get an old stop watch for my darkroom and this one from Junghans fits just perfectly in there.
    Dangerous chemicals need to be locked up, thats why I use an NFC lock with my stainless steel cabinet (links to the lock and 3d print files can be found at the end of my article)
    Red light, yellow light, bright light, dark light – all these scenarios are possible with my Philips hue system that I use in my darkroom. Just with the click of a button I change to whatever color I need and I also build a protection cover, so nobody accidentally changes from red to white. You will find all prints on my thingiverse: http://thingiverse.com/mhaustria
    Humidity and temperature can have an impact of your work and also can have an impact of the darkroom. With this sensor I can easily read the values and can create automation because of it. More about that in my second darkroom video that focuses mainly on ventilation and how to save money with that.

    Here are all the links to the tools I used, consider buying that stuff locally as well.
    For easier user I use my Amazon affiliate links.



    Darkroom automation video: https://youtu.be/odMC7_wjzPE
    Darkroom Timer video: https://youtu.be/o2XN9FEeuNk
    My Thingyverse: http://thingiverse.com/mhaustria
    Darkroom Winch https://www.borutpeterlin.com/shop/hardware/darkroom-winch/
    Stainless Steel cabinet: https://www.ggmgastro.com/de-de-eur/edelstahl-arbeitsschrank-eco-1200x600mm-mit-schiebetuer-asfk126
    Curly hose with spray gun: International: https://amzn.to/3NvAdOD German: https://amzn.to/3Twi9b0

    Door Sensor International: https://amzn.to/48sbbYL German: https://amzn.to/48ruYHQ
    Thermometer – Hygrometer International: https://amzn.to/4740Scp German: https://amzn.to/3GQSEJX

    NFC cabinet lock International: https://amzn.to/3NBZBCC German: https://amzn.to/4771E8v
    Squeege International: https://amzn.to/477krjW German: https://amzn.to/48qV4dY
    Hue bridge (needed for the lights): International: https://amzn.to/41CGQEP German: https://amzn.to/3v7Loqz
    Hue lightstrip International:https://amzn.to/47VXaTv German: https://amzn.to/41Lu9rz
    Hue Bulb International:https://amzn.to/3GRa49m German: https://amzn.to/3GTwKpD
    Hue dimmer switch International: https://amzn.to/4asbyV4 German: https://amzn.to/48p5PO9
    Silvos Silver nitrate stain remover https://www.carlroth.com/de/de/sonstige-reinigungsmittel-spezialreiniger/reinigungsmittel-fleckenentferner-silvosol/p/0047.1

  • 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
  • Posted by Markus | Filed in analog, collodion, darkroom, diy, tutorial, wetplate, workshop | Comment now »

     

    Monday, December 11th, 2023

    QEP certification and Golden Society Medal for my work

    Last week I was awarded the Golden Society Medal by Prof. Dr. Sobotka in Vienna at the National Library for my exceptional services to photography (especially wet plate photography).

    I am so proud and grateful for this extraordinary honor. Once again, a big thanks to everyone who made this special moment in my life possible.

    And just a day before that I received my QEP certification. I am very proud of that as well, it was lots of work to get there and I am so honoured that the jury chose to give me the QEP title: https://www.europeanphotographers.eu/2023/11/26/qep-judging-session-november-2023-official-results/

    Image by Adriano Scognamillo – thanks a lot for capturing this moment.

  • 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
  • Posted by Markus | Filed in award, medal, nassplatte, wetplate | Comment now »

     

    Monday, August 28th, 2023

    Deep Space Lecture: Ars analogica – where Hightech meets pure Analog

    Eine multimediale Zeitreise zum Ursprung der Fotografie.

    Erlebt mit mir den historischen Nassplattenprozess in Form von mikroskopischen Aufnahmen, dreidimensionalen Porträts und 4K-Videos. Bei dieser Reise führe ich euch durch die Geschichte, stelle euch authentisches Equipment vor und präsentiere die daraus entstandenen extrem ausdrucksstarken und hochauflösenden Porträts auf einer 9×16 Meter großen Laserprojektion in 8K. So habt ihr Fotografie noch nie erlebt!

    Hier gehts zu Anmeldung für den 13. Oktober:
    https://ars.electronica.art/center/de/deep-space-lecture-ars-analogica/

  • 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
  •  

    Saturday, August 12th, 2023

    my portrait at one of the most beautiful places in Austria

    One of the most beautiful places in Austria – During poppy flower season there is a beautiful place to visit here in Austria. The Mohndorf (poppy seed village) in Armschlag. At exactly that place our „Menschenbilderausstellung“ (human pictures exhibition) was exhibited with one of my inspired series portrait. I love that place. Beautiful scenery, good food and a wonderful exhibition.

  • 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
  • Posted by Markus | Filed in analog, collodium, exhibition, wetplate | Comment now »

     

    Friday, July 21st, 2023

    My Podcast Interview with Silvergrain Classics magazine about my Wet Plate Work and AI

    iTunes | Spotify | Deezer | Castbox.fm | TuneIn | Stitcher | RSS Feed

    Ep. 13: Hofstätter’s Intensely Personal Portraits vs. AI

    by Erik Schlicksbier, Marwan El-Mozayen

    Wet plate collodion portrait photographer Markus Hofstätter is our guest in this episode. He creates particularly individual, intimate portraits by collaborating closely with the persons he portrays. This human aspect is especially important to him despite all the virtuosity necessary to create wet plate collodion images. We were also interested in Markus’ view of current developments in the field of AI. Join us in this podcast for an exciting conversation about the present and future of photography.

    Markus online:

    mhaustria.com

    patreon.mhaustria.com

    youtube.com/mhaustria

    instagram.com/mhaustria

    flipboard.com/@mhaustria

    facebook.com/mhaustria

    mastodon.art/@mhaustria@flipboard.social

    Your hosts:

    Marwan El-Mozayen from Silvergrain Classics magazine (https://silvergrainclassics.com/en)

    Erik Schlicksbier, photographer (https://www.schlicksbier.com) and host of the German language Studio Kreativkommune podcast (https://studio.kreativkommune.org/podcast).

    Posted by Markus | Filed in ai, collodion, podcast, portraits, wetplate | Comment now »

     

    Wednesday, July 12th, 2023

    It’s time to say goodbye – a story about an end and a new start

    In todays post I’ll use photography to make memories for my cherry tree that I grew up with since I was a little boy.

    Many years ago I renovated the house of my grandma and with that came also a big garden full of trees. Every year I am lucky to harvest fresh raspberries, apples, pears, cherries and many other fruits. It’s so wonderful to wake up in the morning and get yourself some fresh breakfast from the garden.

    This was the garden when I inherited it, you can see parts of the huge cherry tree in the background

    The biggest and probably oldest tree of all is my cherry tree. I remember climbing it when I was little. It brings a wonderful big shade during the hot days and it’s fruits are so delicious.

    you can see how big my cherry tree was many years ago
    The recent years thunder storms and heavy rain hit really hard on the tree. Its missing about half of its branches on one side.

    I always thought this giant beauty will outlive me for sure. But after the last visit from a gardner I learned that the tree is probably completely hollow already and it it will be soon not save anymore to walk under it. That really made me sad, because I have so many memories with this tree. That was the moment, when I realised, that I want to capture a last memory on an ultra large format ambrotype. I captured already a tintype of some cherry blossoms of this tree many years ago. and I am really glad that I did.

    For this project I brought my 12×16″ wooden Ultra Large Format came into my garden. Lenswise I decided to go with my 360mm Voigtländer Heliar universal.

    I did a similar plate with the same setup last year, when I captured the rebirth of one of my apple trees.
    The tree looked like It was dying, but it grew out of it self again. When I thought it was dying, I gave it another year. And exactly in this year it grew new branches. And yesterday I had the first of its apples again for breakfast.

    I exposed the apple tree ambrotype for the trunk of the tree to get a bright look. With that I get lots of solarization where the branches touch the sky and I think this looks great on glass plates.

    But for the cherry tree I wanted to do things a bit differently. Thats why I used a very old collodion, old developer and a stronger fixer. With overexposing again, this should give me a warmer look with again lots of solarization.

    The wet plate process is mostly seeing blue light and thats why the sky is easily overexposed. I really love how this turned out.

    Maybe you ask yourself why I exposed for the tree trunk on both of these images. If I would have exposed for the green leaves or thin branches, the ambrotypes would have been much more contrasty you may think. My thoughts are, that the trunk is one of the most important parts of the tree. If it gets hollow, there is a great chance, that the tree will die.

    As always I did a scan of the plate, to have kind of a copy of it. If you want to know more about this huge scanner, have a look here: https://youtu.be/Oi3Tef3zZPE
    I always try to get the scan as close to the real thing, but to see the light reflecting on the silver when it hits the glass plate is not is something you can not replicate in a scan.
    This will be a memory that lasts forever . To see these two plates side by side, please check the end of my video, a photo or scan just won’t do justice. For me the apple tree plate stands for a new beginning and the Cherry tree p late for the end.
    I am really sad that the tree must go. But where life ends there will be a new one. After it is gone, I will plant a new cherry tree there. And for sure I will do some plates of it. portrait (c) Michael Liebert

    I chose these portrait of me here, because it fits in perfectly into this story. Some time ago I booked a portrait session with Michael Liebert. He knew that I am connected to my garden and to this tree, thats why he choose to take my portrait there. And now this portrait is the prefect fit for my story today.

  • 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
  •  

    Wednesday, June 28th, 2023

    Exhibitions 2023

    I am grateful and proud to have my art exhibited again in Freiluftgalerie Freiraum-Foto Persenbeug and Festival La Gacilly-Baden Photo. In Persenbeug you can see my wet plate portraits from my Inspired Series and other favourites from this year. In Baden one of my drone images of Castle Schönbühel in Wachau is shown. It’s always nice to see your own work exhibited. Thanks to everyone who made this possible. Also thanks to my Patreon supporters! This video of my exhibitions is very different Thant my previous one. I wanted to integrate my creation process into it. What do you think?

  • 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
  • Posted by Markus | Filed in alumitype, analog, collodion, exhibition, wetplate | Comment now »

     

    Wednesday, June 21st, 2023

    I can’t believe I have to let them go

    This two tintypes are going to Peter and Nolan. Two fellow wet plate artists who support me on http://patreon.mhaustria.com – Thanks a lot for your support guys. Want yourself one, follow the link ans support me there 🙂

  • 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
  • Posted by Markus | Filed in alumitype, analog, collodion, tintype | Comment now »