Wet Plate Collodion

This is the former Goddard Grocer Co. building in downtown Hannibal, Mo. This is a flatbed scan of a clear glass ambrotype using the wet plate collodion process. I photographed this building in the fall of 2011. It most recently was a cajun restaurant called “Bubba’s.” It sits on the banks of the Mississippi River and was pretty much destroyed during the Flood of 2008. It’s been vacant since. The buyout of the building was just recently completed, so it will be torn down in the next few months, I imagine. You can read about it here: http://www.hannibal.net/topstories/x587878162/Bubba-s-buyout-now-complete

This is an old hotel in the historic downtown area of Mark Twain’s hometown, Hannibal, Mo. I’ve always wanted to photograph it and finally got the correct lens and technique (wet plate collodion) to do it the way I visualized it last fall. This is a scan of a silver gelatin print made from a clear glass ambrotype.

This old brick silo is across the river in what’s commonly known as East Hannibal, Ill. I photographed it in the fall of 2011 using the wet plate collodion process. This is a scan of a silver gelatin print made from a clear glass ambrotype.

This is part of what I think used to be called a “motor court” in the 1940s and ’50s, cabins along rural two-lane highways for travelers to spend the night in before the advent of chain motels. It’s one of three remaining cabins at a place on the outskirts of Hannibal, Mo. It’s also got the old SKELLY sign, service station and original gas pumps out front. I photographed this with a Darlot petzval lens from the 1860s. It’s a clear glass ambrotype. I plan to go back and shoot a lot more pictures there. I call this one “Gretel’s Cottage.”

This is the first portrait I shot with the wet plate collodion process. It’s a clear glass ambrotype. I used the Darlot petzval. My focus is just a tad off. The exposure was about 12 seconds, and I didn’t have a head brace to keep the girl still. She did pretty good, but those old lenses are razor sharp at the focal point and have a beautiful fall off. If y0ur focus point is off by a 1/4 inch or so you get this type of result. I always focus on the eyes. I plan on shooting a lot more portraits this year and will post them as I go.

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~ by tomngerri on March 16, 2012.

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