Markus Hofstaetter's blog » portrait

Wednesday, April 24th, 2024

World Wet Plate Day 2024

This years world wet plate day is on May the 4th. Create a wet plate on this day and upload it to wetplateday.org Be sure to follow us on https://www.instagram.com/wetplateday/ and https://www.facebook.com/wetplateday/ . Daniel Samanns took care about the world wet plate day the recent years. He asked me if I want to take over and I was honoured to do so. Please share the wet plate day with everyone you know and be a part of it so we can celebrate this wonderful day together!


  • 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

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  • Get cool analog shirts here http://shirts.mhaustria.com
  • Posted by Markus | Filed in ambrotype, analog, tintype, 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
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    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, 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, May 10th, 2023

    Shooting a HDR tintype with a super fast lens (and get them on Ebay)

    When shooting wet plates, you deal with a very light insensitive process (about iso 0.5). So most wet plate artists wants to get their hand on a fast lens. Wolfgang, a former participant of my wet plate workshop got his hand on a very fast lens and sent it over to me. For the first time, you can get the plates from this project on eBay, starting from 1 Euro – http://ebay.mhaustria.com

    tintype portrait of Wolfgang
    Wolfgang, an Austrian based photographer who made this video possible – thanks a lot!

    This Delta HD-6C ML lens is pretty huge and was used in vintage HD protectors many years ago. If you want to know more about this kind of lenses, check this blog post: blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/2023/03/shooting-an-ultra-fast-lens-140mm-f1-with-an-ultra-large-format-camera/

    Here you can see how big this monster (a Delta HD-6C ml) is compared to a 35mm film canister. At the bottom you can see my self designed lens mount that I printed. A “very professional” 😉 solution.
    A professional lens mount needs a “professional” lens support. For that I used plate holders and other stuff that was laying around in my studio. I looks a little bit like a Frankenstein monster build. But it grew on my and I like it that way.
    The dreamy outcome with this wonderful bokeh makes it to my new Bokeh Monster

    See the full transformation in my video

    The yellow part of the flower absorbs a lot of UV light and thats the reason it appears dark when I exposed the plate normally. Thats why I did this series of 4 different exposures. I think every single one of them has something special in it. Just for fun, I created a digital HDR image out of them

    Silver and light. Four exposures that are very different.
    My digital HDR conversion of the tintypes. Next time I will try a combination of glas and metal.
    I love this one a lot and will have a hard time to let it go on Ebay
    If you hold this 18x24cm tintype in your hand, you can see the sling of all the little silver particles. This plate of this series will go to one of my Patreon supporters. Join here, if you want to be part of the raffle as well, join my supporters here: http://patreon.mhaustria.com
    This lens has a razor sharp depth of field and therefore it’s not easy to handle. But if you get it under your control, you can archive unique and very dreamy results. I look forward to use it again.

  • 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, alumitype, analog, collodium, Gear, tintype | Comment now »

     

    Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

    Traveling with an Ultra Large Format Camera for a Wedding Wet Plate

    With todays video I want to give you a glimpse how it is to travel with an ultra large format camera. This time I didn’t bring my darkroom tent, because I could use the shop on the farm. Traveling with my big camera is always a hassle and can bring some troubles with it. But this time it worked out great.

  • 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, March 8th, 2023

    Shooting an ultra fast lens (140mm F1.0) with an ultra large format camera

    In short words “this lens is something else”. It’s extremely fast, huge and has a strange focus distance. It was used in Sony CRT Projectors from 1997. I bought it some years ago from a very interesting guy. He had so many more great stuff in his shop and I regret that I did not buy more. It took me some time to find the right opportunity to use that lens. But I think it was worth the waiting. I am glad my friend and former workshop participant Alois Stingl came over with is wonderful ultra large format camera.

    Before I could use it, it needed some cleaning, I used a cloth that was soaked with water and just put it on the lens without wiping to avoid more scratches.

    with some patience I could clean it.

    I measured the lens at infinity to calculate the F-Stop. I measured 135mm and the front element was 145mm That is about a F0.9 lens. But a document I found on the internet told me its more an F 1.0 lens. Still crazy fast.

    You can see here how short the focusing distance is. That makes it hard to focus un an ultra large format camera.

    When I saw the yellow coating on the front element of the lens, I thought about Mathieu Stern’s video about radioactive lenses. If it really is made of Thorium, it is indeed radioactive, but only for a very small amount. Watch Mathieu’s video to learn more about this Material

    Thorium was used to get more light into the lenses back then.

    Because the lens is very fast it is still dangerous. If it focuses the sun on something, it will start to burn immediately. That’s the reason you should not put the lens near a window and always put a lens cap on it.

    In the video I will show you how easy you can start a fire with that lens

    I thought it would be interesting to calculate the crop factor of an 40x50cm ultra large format camera. If you use the common formula to calculate crop factors you will see that this plate size has a crop factor of 0.0067 compared to a full frame sensor. With that you also can calculate the comparable depth of field F-Stop. This would also be F 0.067 compared to F 1.0 on a full frame camera. When I tried to focus on the ground glass, I could barley find something in focus. Thats why you see me focusing for a very long time.

    it took quite some time to focus with this very fast lens.
    I think this shows pretty well how sensor and plate sizes compare

    But there is more. a 140mm lens is a tele lens on a full frame camera, but it’s a wide angle lens on an ultra large format camera. This is because of the bigger plate size of the ULF camera. listen to my full explanation in the video.

    My drawing shows in a simple way that the subject needs to be farer away from a full frame sensor the get the same angle of view as the close setup of the ULF camera.

    To “connect” the lens to the camera, I designed and printed a basic flange in Tinkercad. It needed some pool line and tape, but eventually it worked out.

    I think Tinkercad is one of the most yeas to use tools for 3D printing.
    a very basic part, but incredible helpful
    No screws, just tape, pool liner and my 3d print. Sounds funny, but worked wonderfully

    The next issue was the fact that my darkroom was not made for 40x50cm plates. only for 30x40cm ones. After some tests with smaller plates, we only had one cup of developer left. Beside that, everything starts to get unpleasantly expensive if you pour on plates with this size. So my goal was to make it work with only one attempt. I did some dry runs to get comfortable with everything. Not only the dark room work was something I had to prepare for, but also the camera. These old beauties all have some quirks. Besides that, Alois made a beautiful plate holder by himself. These holder needed also some special attention. But as explained in the video, I love these challenges. It makes the result at the end even more sweet.

    To calculate the strobe power I needed, I used my wet plate strobe calculator that I created for my Patreon supporters. Since I made it, I use it all the time for myself, because it makes life much easier with the wet plate process. If you are a fan of analog photography and the wet plate process, have a look at our wet plate conversation magazine on Flipboard. Besides many great stories about our favourite process, you’ll wind there also work from other wet plate artists.

    I really like how this portrait turned out. As expected it is very abstract because of the F-Stop and the wide angle lens.Here you can see again how huge that tintype is.

    But this is not the end, because of some kind of funny coincidence, a former workshop participant sent me a very similar lens over. I am thinking to do a still life plate with that one. What do you guys think?

    Two very similar lenses. Funny how sometimes things turn out.

    But there is more, I got also a very tiny lens. I guess I need to build a camera for this one

    A full functional lens in the size of a thumb. I haven’t seen such a thing before. What a cutie.

    I hope you enjoyed that journey. It took me a long time to finish everything, but I am again glad that I worked through it.

  • 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, February 22nd, 2023

    Handmade Portraiture – Rita Newman, a Tintype Story

    More than 8 years ago I decided to go down this path.
    Creating all the chemicals I need by myself, refurbishing cameras and lenses by myself, and sometimes creating new parts/recipes myself. This path can be very rewarding and enriching, but there are also dark moments that take a lot of energy. In these 8 years I have experienced and learned a lot.
    But while working with this process I will never stop learning, it is a constant problem solving and listening to your gut feelings. I think that is also one of the reasons why I love doing portraits with it. Taking a lot of time for a single portrait is another reason.
    People who have been portrayed by me will certainly be able to name many other reasons why this kind of art is so inspiring.
    In today’s video you will get a better impression of what I have written.

    It was a pleasure to immortalize you on pure silver dear Rita

    Nassplatte 18x24cm Rita Newman

  • 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, Dallmeyer, petzval | Comment now »

     

    Monday, January 9th, 2023

    How to load Analog FIlm into a Sony A7 – An Analog Portrait Photographers view of the upcoming year 2023 and why AI is not the End

    My own prediction about what will photography be in the future and what I will do about it

    I am not doing a rewind or recap this year. I think there are too many of these out there and I have mostly the feeling it’s only a fill-in. You can watch my “end of 2022 studio tour” video or my recent scanner renovation video if you want to watch something instead of reading this article.

    This rose was so beautiful on the last day of the year. I saw her when I put some treats on the trees for the birds. It survived the cold temperatures and is still standing. It reminded me that I am a similar plant that is still standing during that turbulent times of photography

    The pink elephant in the room

    It’s there, and everybody is seeing it (Also non photographers). Some people are scared, some are angry and others ignore it. What I am talking about? AI, like Midjourney, Dall-E or the text focused chatGPT. This will not change our world, it changed it already. The ai integration in our lives started a little sneaky, with some cool filters for example, google recaptcha, or enhancements for our phone cameras. Text-wise, we had chat bots that were mostly bad and voice assistants that were somewhere inbetween. Close your eyes and paint your own picture about how you felt about ai at the beginning of 2022. And now face reality and think how much it has improved in the last 5 Months and how much it improves now on a daily bases. For me it’s crazy how great these generated images/portraits look like and how they get better by the hour. It gets harder and harder for me to identify these generated images. I think these “calculated” pictures can be very useful sometimes and many of them look great.

    I wrote a German article for c’t Fotografie (online pay or paper magazine) about this topic, you can read it here: https://www.heise.de/select/ct-foto/2023/1/2219314550220514230 This includes also an interview with an portrait artist that uses ai: Klaudia Ratzinger

    My ai article for the c’t Fotografie magazine – this includes also an interview with the ai artist Klaudia Ratzinger

    But I also think that all these generated images should have a digital watermark, so social media and websites can tag them as generated. People need to know if that image they are looking at is real or generated. I know that there is Photoshop as well, but these ai tools can be operated form a 5 year old and the results will fool you. Ai affects already so many business, not only photography, but also writers, lawyers, translators, book authors and many many more. I recently saw an article that a guy used chatGPT to create a children’s book. He also asked chatGPT to write down descriptions for pictures, so other ai picture generators can create imagery for the book from this description. He is selling the finished product now on Amazon. I also read a reddit thread where there was the need for a letter from a lawyer. Somebody asked chatGPT to write a letter and the user asking for a lawyer letter had success with it. You don’t have any programming skills? just ask chatGPT to write a script/program for you.

    “Words can be powerful” gets a totally new meaning these days.
    Talking with chatGPT can also be hilarious – more at the end of this posting

    There is so much more you can do with chatGPT

    Does that mean we need to be scared as a photographer? I don’t think so. Let me explain:

    • At the beginning of photography, painters were upset because photographers had no idea about posing and light. Of course it was much easier to get a portrait from one day to another. That changed crime scene documentation totally.
    • Later black and white film photographers were upset about color film photography.
    • At the beginning of 2000, film photographers were upset about digital photography
    • And later digital photographers were upset about phone cameras
    • And now the same discussion starts with ai generated images. Even we use ai already for many years in our phones (or how do you think it was possible to capture a detailed moon photo with your phone?)

    And today all these mentioned techniques are still coexisting. That’s why I think they will also coexist in the future. I think good photographers must be “stage managers” these days. They need to sell an experience. Something the customer will remember for a very long time. For example, when somebody gets their wet plate portrait taken in my studio, they for sure will remember that forever.

    Lara, from my inspired wet plate portrait series – more at inspired.mhaustria.com

    This kind of photography is so different in our fast moving world. Sure, people could use a tintype filter. But that is like seeing a great dinner on a photograph instead of going there and enjoying it. Or think of a wet plate workshop, or any other kind of photography workshop. Creating something by yourself is always exciting and fun.

    Workshops are always fun

    This works also for digital. I just had a business shooting for two days and this can be a great experience as well. People were excited and happy.

    I do lots of business shootings, most of them are for bigger companies, but also single ones like this one of Mathieu Stern.

    I think that may be a different story for non portrait photographers, like food, architecture or product photographers. But a lot of companies are working already with generated (3D renderings) images for their catalogs. And as far as I know, these generated images are directed by photographers.
    Please comment how you think other photography business will be affected by ai.

    Relax

    That is something I am not very good of. I have so much in my mind and want to do everything at once. But I try to go for walks every day to relax. Instead of my camera, I bring my new binoculars with me. I got myself some cool ones for Christmas (US click here – German click here for the ones I bought). So why I am telling you this? Because I felt the need sometimes to bring my camera to my walks, to capture deers, swans and other wildlife scenes. The binoculars are a great substitute for that. They will calm you down, because you can not use them to take pictures. I use them to watch wildlife and enjoy it a lot.

    Watching these sparrows is so much fun

    My new year resolutions for 2023

    Don’t seek for perfect wet plate portraits all the time, accept the one you did and appreciate it. Look for more assignments that you enjoy and less that you don’t. Work more on your own projects you love.

    this is one of my very first wet plates. that was about 8+ years ago.

    How to load analog film into a Sony A7 digital camera?

    Let’s end this post with something fun. I asked chatGPT some questions about wet plate and analog photography. And at the end, chatGPT ended up explaining me how to load film into a Sony A7 camera and why medium format film would not fit in. And no worries, the sensor cleaning and the ibis of the Sony A7 will not destroy your film either. And if you ever looked for a film rewind button on your digital camera, chat GPT got you covered. In that case chatGPT acts like a little child that made a mistake and makes up more facts to cover it. Please be aware that all other answers about the wet plate process and so on contains also false information (I won’t explain everything, but for insiders it’s fun to read). As always, if you are interested in that process, take a workshop or read a book (chatGPT tells you the same). Enjoy the answers guys (You need to open some screenshots in a new browser tab to be able to read them):

    How does a digital camera that loads analog film look like?

    I asked that question Midjourney and got these results 🙂

  • 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
  •