Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Wet Plate Portraits at the Salzburger Freilichtmuseum

In todays video I show you some impressions of my on location wet plate shooting in Salzburg at the Salburher Freilichtmuseum. We had so much fun – it was great!

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    Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

    a 170 year old process and high end food photography

    everybody knows that I work exclusively on collodion wet plate portraits. So what’s the reason for food photography now? Let me try to explain. Many of you guys will remember that I bought a Cambo studio stand some while ago ( ). A little bit later I bought a used tray for it on Ebay. The seller was very friendly and somehow we started to talk about photography. Long story short, a month later we decided to do a project together. After months of planing, Hans Gerlach (a well known food photographer and columnist) drove over to my studio and brought his tools and some delicious food with him. Additional food for this shooting came from my garden, this way I could bring a bit more into the project besides my wet plate photography. During the planing period we discussed different dishes, their colours and how they would appear on a tintype (the wet collodion process only sees blue light and therefore red colours will turn black and blue white). We saw this come together as kind of a first test and wanted to see what what we could create. For me it was very interesting to have a chef working in my kitchen.

    I enjoyed it a lot to watch a chef doing his thing

    I suggested the 13x18cm format, because the camera is not too huge and can be easy mounted over head. We can get a bit more depth of field because of this smaller format. And I have a beautiful 250mm Zeiss Tessar lens that I can stop down to about F16 without having to long exposure times (two Hensel generators with 9000 w/s together helped to archive that and remember, its called wet plate, because the plate needs to be wet the whole time and can not dry). I mounted this beauty of a lens on my 13x18cm Mentor camera (check this article for my renovation of the beauty: )

    Even I know the Cambo tripod and the Mentor camera is made for such operation, it still looks a bit scary

    Even this studio Mentor camera and the tripod are meant for that kind of work, it felt funny to see my tools in that position.

    While I prepared everything in my darkroom, Hans Gerlach did his magic in my kitchen. We were very excited to work on the first plate. And after we saw the result, we were even more excited, the outcome was gorgeous. So we worked very long on the first day (I think I went to bed at 4 am). But it was not all glory. We shot so many plates, that at some point my silver nitrate bath went bad. First I thought it was the collodion, the fixer and the developer, but after I changed all of that(I am always good prepared for important shootings and create everything twice or even three times) and still got funny looking plates, I know I need to change the silver nitrate bath.

    A lot of troubleshooting was involved to make this go away

    After I changed the bath, everything was fine again and we could go on with the shooting.

    sourdough bread with butter and welsh onion

    We shot many different styles of the sourdough bread until we were happy with the outcome. This is one of our favourites plates. To hold it in our hands after months of planing and all the work we put together was wonderful. If you are interested in a print of this plate or any other, check out this link:

    But this little setback should not be the only thing that kept me busy this day. After shooting many plates, my modified wet plate holder made my life a bit harder. Sometimes the plate won’t stay in place and the end result of that was a scratched plate….

    this is something every wet plate artist have to face from time to time

    I quickly solved the problem with a little redesign on the plate holder and from that on I was able to shoot without any problem. Before capturing every new dish, we were excited to see how it will turn out.
    And most of them turned out great, I really like the beans and the spoon with chocolate mousse. The sheer amount of detail and texture of these scans from the wet plates are just incredible. They will look amazing on a big print.

    green beans with whipped goat cheese and fennel flowers
    This will look great on a big canvas

    spoon with chocolate mousse grated chocolate

    To get as much done as possible, I scanned all 13x18cm (about 200mpix) and 18x24cm (about 300mpix, I decided later to do two bigger plates too) plates at night and also varnish them afterwards. So this night was quite short 🙂

    I shot the bigger plates with a 150 year old Dallmeyer 2b Petzval lens to mix the this delicious bread with the beautiful swirly bokeh from this old lens. I really like how this plate turned out and how the out of focus areas look like.

    sourdough bread with welsh onion and radishes
    It amazes me again and again how sharp these old lenses are

    After these intense shoots, we were always rewarded with great looking plates amazing tasting food.

    I am still dreaming f that desert

    Hans created also amazing tasting handmade pasta

    culurgiones – sardinian ravioli with wild herbs

    To give you guys a much better idea of this shooting, I tried to captures as much footage as possible to bring you behind the scenes with this video

    On thing is sure, we enjoyed our work together a lot and will do more like that in the future, but that needs again lots of planning. I am very happy that I met Hans and his work inspired me (yes there is also a inspired portrait coming up). I really look forward to our next shooting together (and yes, I also look forward to eat everything 🙂

    Because I get asked very often about the tools I use for the wet plate process, I created a shopping list here:

  • Get yourself a beautiful print here:
  • Looking for wet plate gear?
  • Buy me a tea:
  • Patreon:
  • Get cool analog shirts here
  • For online wet plate workshops, visit this
  • For private wetplate workshops (Nassplattenworkshop contact me here: (German and English available)
  • Get the latest news with my newsletter here:

    Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

    How to remove Scratches from Tintypes varnished with Sandarac

    There is nothing more annoying as scratches in your sandarac varnish. In todays video I show you how to make many of the go away. For that you let the varnished plate breath alcohol in a closed container . after about 15 minutes (you will smell it), the varnish will get sticky again and because of that small scratches will disappear. After you are happy with the result, you heat the plate to cure the varnish again. always cover the plate as good as possible with a tray or something else, to avoid dust on it. See the full explanation in my video

    Affiliate links to used products

    Posted by Markus | Filed in alumitype, analog, collodion, sandarac, tutorial | Comment now »


    Thursday, February 25th, 2016

    Nassplattenakt Eclipse

    Scroll down for English Version
    Wir hatten das große Glück für ein Shooting kurzfristig das Model Vanessa zu bekommen (Von ). Vielen Dank für die Ausdauer und Geduld um ein weiteres Nassplattenshooting fertigzustellen.
    Dieses Nassplattenunikat entstand mit Leidenschaft, Silber und Licht auf einer über 100 Jahre alten Kamera. Wollt Ihr selber so ein Kunstwerk? Informiert euch unter
    Titel: eclipse
    Model: Vanessa
    Plattengröße: 30x40cm
    Arbeitszeit: ca 4 Stunden (Inklusive Vorbereitungen)
    Kamera: Unbekannter Tischler um 1900
    Objektiv: Voigtlaender Heliar 480 mm F4.5 @ F9
    Blitze: Hensel Expert Pro 2800 Watt/Sekunde
    All diese Platten sind handgemacht (Beschichtung, montieren usw)
    Um so ein Ergebnis zu erzielen, benötigt man viel Geduld und viel Übung.
    Vanessa 1
    Vanessa 2


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    English Version:
    Luckily we were able to have the model Vanessa (from for another wet plate shooting. Thanks a lot for your patience and stamina to make this piece of art happen.
    This one of a kind tin type was made out of passion, silver and light with an over 100 year old camera.
    Have a look at if you want to have done a tin tintype of you.
    Title: eclipse
    Model: Vanessa
    Plate size: 30x40cm
    Working time: about 4 hours (inclusive preparations)
    Camera: Unknown carpenter from 1900
    Lens: Voigtlaender Heliar 480 mm F4.5 @ F9
    Strobes: Hensel Expert Pro 2800 Watt/Second
    This plates are all handmade (pouring, coating, mounting and so on)
    It needs a lot of practice and patience to make a photograph like that with that old technique.
    Vanessa 1
    Vanessa 2


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    Friday, February 6th, 2015

    Licht (Ambrotype)

    Ich glaube, daß wir einen Funken jenes ewigen Lichts in uns tragen, das im Grunde des Seins leuchten muß und welches unsere schwachen Sinne nur von Ferne ahnen können. Diesen Funken in uns zur Flamme werden zu lassen und das Göttliche in uns zu verwirklichen, ist unsere höchste Pflicht.
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Dieses “Lichtbild” entstand mit Leidenschaft, Silber und Licht, mehr davon hier:


    Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

    Bilder die aus Leidenschaft, Silber und Licht entstehen

    Von seinen Eltern lernt man lieben, lachen, und laufen. Doch erst wenn man mit Büchern in Berührung kommt, entdeckt man, dass man Flügel hat.
    Helen Hayes
    Mehr davon unter