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Shooting high end food photography on wet plate large format looks amazing

Everybody is aware of that I paintings solely on collodion wet plate portraits. So what’s the cause of food photography now? Let me take a look at to give an explanation for. Many of you guys will understand that I purchased a Cambo studio stand some whilst in the past. A little bit bit later I purchased a used tray for it on eBay. The dealer was once very pleasant and come what may we began to speak about photography

Long tale quick, a month later we determined to do a venture in combination. After months of making plans, Hans Gerlach (a well known food photographer and columnist) drove over to my studio and taken his gear and a few scrumptious food with him.

Additional food for this taking pictures got here from my lawn, this manner I may just carry just a little extra into the venture but even so my wet plate photography. During the making plans length, we mentioned other dishes, their colors and the way they would seem on a tintype (the wet collodion procedure simplest sees blue gentle and subsequently crimson colors will flip black and blue-white).

We noticed this come in combination as roughly a primary take a look at and sought after to peer what lets create. For me, it was once very attention-grabbing to have a chef running in my kitchen.

I loved it so much to look at a chef doing his factor

I recommended the 13x18cm format, for the reason that camera isn’t too massive and may also be simple fastened over head. We can get just a little extra intensity of box on account of this smaller format. And I’ve a phenomenal 250mm Zeiss Tessar lens that I will forestall all the way down to about F16 with no need to lengthy publicity instances (two Hensel turbines with 9000 w/s in combination helped to archive that and have in mind, its referred to as wet plate, for the reason that plate must be wet the entire time and can’t dry). I fastened this great thing about a lens on my 13x18cm Mentor camera.

Even regardless that I do know the Cambo tripod and the Mentor camera is made for such operation, it nonetheless looks just a little frightening.

Even regardless that the studio Mentor camera and the tripod are supposed for that roughly paintings, it felt humorous to peer my gear in that place.

While I ready the whole thing in my darkroom, Hans Gerlach did his magic in my kitchen. We have been very excited to paintings on the primary plate. And when we noticed the end result, we have been much more excited, the end result was once beautiful. So we labored very lengthy on the primary day (I feel I went to mattress at 4 am). But it was once now not all glory. We shot such a lot of plates, that someday my silver nitrate tub went unhealthy. First I believed it was once the collodion, the fixer and the developer, however once I modified all of that(I’m all the time excellent ready for essential shootings and create the whole thing two times and even 3 times) and nonetheless were given humorous having a look plates, I do know I want to exchange the silver nitrate tub.

Numerous troubleshooting was once concerned to make this pass away

After I modified the tub, the whole thing was once positive once more and lets pass on with the taking pictures.

Sourdough bread with butter and welsh onion


We shot many various kinds of sourdough bread till we have been pleased with the end result. This is considered one of our favourites plates. To cling it in our fingers after months of making plans and the entire paintings we put in combination was once glorious. If you have an interest in a print of this plate or every other, check out my store.

But this little setback will have to now not be the one factor that saved me busy this present day. After taking pictures many plates, my changed wet plate holder made my existence just a little tougher. Sometimes the plate received’t keep in position and the end results of that was once a scratched plate….

This is one thing each and every wet plate artist have to stand once in a while

I briefly solved the issue with a bit redesign on the plate holder and from that on I used to be ready to shoot with none drawback. Before taking pictures each and every new dish, we have been excited to peer how it is going to end up.

And maximum of them became out nice, I truly just like the beans and the spoon with chocolate mousse. The sheer quantity of element and texture of those scans from the wet plates are simply unbelievable. They will glance amazing on a large print.

Green beans with whipped goat cheese and fennel plants

This will glance nice on a large canvas

Spoon with chocolate mousse grated chocolate

To get as a lot performed as imaginable, I scanned all 13x18cm (about 200mpix) and 18x24cm (about 300mpix, I determined later to do two larger plates too) plates at night time and likewise varnish them afterwards. So this night time was once fairly quick.

I shot the larger plates with a 150-year-old Dallmeyer 2b Petzval lens to combine this scrumptious bread with the pretty swirly bokeh from this previous lens. I truly like how this plate became out and the way the out of center of attention spaces appear to be.

Sourdough bread with welsh onion and radishes

It amazes me over and over again how sharp those previous lenses are

After those intense shoots, we have been all the time rewarded with nice having a look plates amazing tasting food.

I’m nonetheless dreaming of that dessert

Hans additionally created amazing tasting home made pasta.

Culurgiones – sardinian ravioli with wild herbs

To come up with guys a significantly better concept of this taking pictures, I attempted to captures as a lot pictures as imaginable to carry you at the back of the scenes with this video

On factor is bound, we loved our paintings in combination so much and can do extra like that at some point, however that wishes once more plenty of making plans. I’m more than pleased that I met Hans and his paintings impressed me (sure there may be a impressed portrait arising). I truly look ahead to our subsequent taking pictures in combination (and sure, I additionally look ahead to consume the whole thing!)

Because I am getting requested very regularly concerning the gear I take advantage of for the wet plate procedure, I created a shopping list.

About the Author

Markus Hofstätter is a qualified portrait, occasions and sports activities photographer primarily based in Austria. He has a zeal for analogue and wet plate photography. He loves travelling to talk over with new puts and assembly new other folks. You can to find out extra about him on his website or blog, apply his paintings on Instagram or Facebook or achieve out to him thru Twitter. This article was once additionally printed here and shared with permission.

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