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RICHARD O'FARRELL ART

A Wet Plate Project

A Wet Plate Project

I am currently working on a project that involves the use of the "Wet Plate" photography process. Wet Plate photography dates back to the American Civil War where it was used to take photographs of the soldiers in battle.

Wet Plate photography uses wet chemistry to create photographs that are created onto sheets of tin or glass. A good site to read more about Wet Plate photography is http://www.collodion.com. Wet Plate provides a real challenge with the requirement to develop the photograph while the chemicals are still wet.

My camera used in the Wet Plate process is a large format box camera capable of holding 8 x 10 Inch glass plates. I am then contact printing the glass plates onto 8 x 10 Inch paper to produce the final photograph. The requirement to keep the chemicals wet on the glass and the sheer size of the camera creates some challenges in location shoots.

The initial photographs have been taken in close location to my studio to allow for immediate process development. The second phase of this project is to capture landscapes within 2 hours of the central coast by developing the plates in a darkroom tent out the back of my car.