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.

  • 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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    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

  • 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
  •  

    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
  •  

    Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

    Wet Plate Portrait Workshop at the Silvergrain Classics Academy

    My todays vlog is about the wet plate workshop in Germany. This time I take you with me behind the scenes. For upcoming wet plate / Nassplatten workshops (German and English) visit http://ws.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
  •  

    Thursday, February 3rd, 2022

    Inspired Series – Hans Gerlach – Christian Jungwirth – Wolfgang Mlakar

    Finally the inspired series goes on. Check the project page and register for news about the book here: inspired.mhaustria.com .

    Hans Gerlach @hansgerlach

    I met Hans by accident when I bought a part for my tripod on Ebay. After some calls we decided to do a project together. Check the outcome of it here: https://blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/2021/09/a-170-year-old-process-and-high-end-food-photography/ When I worked with Hans Gerlach this project, his passion about cooking and setting up a scene on a plate inspired me. Every tiny little thing was placed carefully and at the end of every session I got to eat the most wonderful food you can imagine. In the first portrait he hold a pair of tweezers, a tool he used a lot during our work together.

    Christian Jungwirth @atelierjungwieth

    I met Christian the first time during a Menschenbilder exhibition. He invited us to visit his atelier in Graz. It was a great experience to get a private tour through all these famous artworks of well known photographers. He organises lots of other exhibitions, one of them was the amazing Steve McCurry in Graz. Backlit portraits in an enormous size. Steve McCurry inspired me a lot and standing in front of these huge portraits made my eyes wet. You can find more about this exhibition here: https://blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/2021/08/news-amazing-steve-mccurry-exhibition-and-a-waterhouse-stop-database/
    Christian is also an internationally popular commercial and magazine photographer. His work is stunning. Lots of people here in Austria know his famous chocolate covered portrait of Mr. Zotter of Zotter Chocolate

    Wolfgang Mlakar

    This Storie starts a little bit different. I met Wolfgang during a wet plate portrait session in Graz. He came up to me ans asked if I could do a portrait of him in his lighthouse keeper outfit. Austria is not famous for lighthouses, so I was interested what is behind all of this. He die a lot in his life, he was a forma photographer, he has a Diploma in Education for people with special needs, he worked as a photographer for the army and much more. He then had a rough time and needed to step back. He still needs help with some tasks, but at some point he decided for himself, that this can not be everything and started to help people who are in the need of help. With that he brings light into their lives.
    It was a busy shooting day, but I figured If I let him sit down by the window with his little lighthouse, it makes the most of sense.

  • 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, November 10th, 2021

    Visiting Leica and Silvergrain Classics in Germany + Portra 400 c-41 developing included

    In todays video I travel to Germany to prepare my Silvergrain Academy MasterClass wet plate workshop (click here for the workshop). I did also an Interview for the Silvergrain Classics, visited the Leica Headquarters and documented development of my Portra 400 film in the Silvergrain Classics lab.

  • 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, preparation, workshop | Comment now »

     

    Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

    Wet Plate Talk and on location shooting at Fomo Graz

    Fomo Graz stands for Fotomonat Graz and translates to month of photography in Graz. The Fomo team invited me to do a talk and also shoot collodion wet plate portraits on location there. Thanks a lot for the invite it was such a great event and also thanks a lot to https://www.atelierjungwirth.com for letting me use your location to work on my portraits there. We had a blast, so many interested people during my talk. I really enjoyed explaining my favourite process to you guys. Also the wet plate portrait shoot was great, so many people wanted their portrait done. I think I shot 22 portraits on that day. Check out the video underneath for more impressions from this event. You an enjoy the video on a 4K screen with HDR support!

    Check out these instagram pages from the people in the video: Fomo Graz , Ana, Luke, Julia

  • 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 shirts.mhaustria.com

  • For online wet plate workshops, visit this http://online.mhaustria.com

  • For private wetplate workshops (Nassplattenworkshop contact me here: http://www.markus-hofstaetter.at/pages/kontakt/ (German and English available)

  • Get the latest news with my newsletter here: https://blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/newsletter-2/
  •  

    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!

    Thanks for the photos to: https://instagram.com/arturmughrabi https://instagram.com/bilder_schmiede https://instagram.com/drea.koch https://www.facebook.com/dachsteindesign

  • 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 shirts.mhaustria.com

  • For online wet plate workshops, visit this http://online.mhaustria.com

  • For private wetplate workshops (Nassplattenworkshop contact me here: http://www.markus-hofstaetter.at/pages/kontakt/ (German and English available)

  • Get the latest news with my newsletter here: https://blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/newsletter-2/
  •  

    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 (https://blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/2021/02/my-new-150kg-studio-stand-that-is-from-1957-cambo-ast/ ). 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: https://blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/2021/08/shooting-wet-plate-portraits-with-an-affordable-large-format-bokeh-monster/ )

    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: prints.mhaustria.com

    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: list.mhaustria.com

  • Get yourself a beautiful print here: http://prints.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 shirts.mhaustria.com
  • For online wet plate workshops, visit this http://online.mhaustria.com
  • For private wetplate workshops (Nassplattenworkshop contact me here: http://www.markus-hofstaetter.at/pages/kontakt/ (German and English available)
  • Get the latest news with my newsletter here: https://blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/newsletter-2/
  •  

    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 »