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Wet Plate Tin Type Collodion

I've been messing around with a form of photography called wet plate collodion that had its beginning in the 1850s. It was made famous by capturing images of the Civil War. When you think of Abe Lincoln, the image you bring up in your mind is a black and white tintype.

It's been about as rewarding as it has been frustrating. Although you still use the photography exposure triangle or trinity (shutter speed, ISO and aperture) it's completely different than the photography we've all grown accustomed.

For starters, this is the camera I use, an 8 x 10 landview Calumet C1. It weighs about 25 pounds without the tripod, which I'm pretty sure could hold up a car if it had too. The camera is modern, mine was built in the 70s, but the design hasn't changed much since 1851 when Timothy O'sullivan and Matthew R. Brady recorded famous scenes from the Battle of Bull Run and Gettysburg.
As a rough explanation, you start with a piece of black metal (I use an aluminum, si…

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