A Rainy Day & Wet Plate Collodion

What to do with a three day weekend?  Well, we had two outstanding days and then a “build an ark” quality rainy day which is not uncommon here in North Alabama this time of the year.

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An Ark.  I do not own one…

Well, after sitting around all morning and enjoying doing nothing and multiple cups of coffee, reading in my favorite rocking chair in the dry warmth of my study….

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My study. 

I noticed the Hamburglar staring at me from the fireplace mantle.  I found this little guy buried in the mud down in the swamps.  He proved to be more than 30 years old and was in excellent condition;  I saved him.  I’d forgotten about him.  Well, before you know it he’d volunteered for a photo shoot and I was out of my lazy chair and in full on photo studio mode.  I had just received a box full of precut aluminum sheets and this would be my first time playing with wet plate on anything other than glass really.

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Hamburglar posing with his photo!  I think he likes it.

Well, I just continued on.  I found the stems from tomatoes I’d used the night before in the trash.  Whipped them out and voila!  A still life.  I made three exposures, unsatisfied with the cloth I’d decided to use as a back drop.  Needless to say, and I’m not going to talk about what I tried to do differently each time, they all sort of came out the same.  Oh well!  I was just in it to have fun.

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A trio of tomato stems….”Star Babies” I call them.

I was having so much fun I just kept going on, and on, and on……

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Yes, this is what you do on a rainy day.  I had a ton of fun and got to play around with the aluminum sheets for the first time.  I think I prefer glass, but these are just so easy to work with and the results are unbelievably easily good!  I’m not calling them no brainers but compared with glass negatives using precut aluminum is painless.  Just right for a rainy day and impulsive wet plate photography!

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