Another Year of Wetplates

I’ve been making wetplates for two years today!

The first year was mostly about getting the hang of the process. During my second year I leveled up to making 8×10 plates, started to make my own collodion, made an Etsy store and sold some of my wetplate art. I’ve done both commercial and non-commercial wetplate work, exhibited some of my wetplate art for the first time and done my first pop-up event. Studio Stand Still became a thing with its own website AND I kicked off @wetplatedarlings – an Instagram gallery for wetplates.

I’ve made 650 plates during my first two years in this mad scientist kinda photography. I’ve got several personal projects in the works and lots more wetplate related stuff lined up. I’d also like to experiment with flaws and artifacts. I love perfect plates, but (especially for personal projects) I like a bit of mess on my plates.

The collage features one image from each month of my second year as a wetplate photographer, starting with October last year in the upper left hand corner and finishing with September this year in the lower right hand corner. Models are: Janne Ebbesdatter Lavogez, Zialand, Ingvild Eiring, Isabell Lorentzen, yours truly and a dead magpie.

If you’d like to see more of my wetplate work, head on over to studiostaastille.no or julieloen.com or follow my adventures in wetplate photography on Instagram.

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Welcome to Studio Stand Still

I’ve got a website dedicated to my wetplate work now! It’s in Norwegian, because Norway is where I’m at. Have a look at my website here.

To see even more of my wetplate work, check out Studio Stand Still’s Instagram page here.

AND I’ve exhumed my Etsy store from its long slumber and transformed it into a shop dedicated to my wetplate work. Buy my wetplate art here.

That’s it for now, just a quick and seriously belated announcement about all my wetplate related stuff going on around the web.

A Year of Wetplates

A year ago I ventured into the world of wetplate photography as prepared as I possibly could be – I had read several books, countless articles, watched I-don’t-know-how-many videos on YouTube and attended a workshop before I went it alone. Still, I had a lot to learn… Still, I have a lot to learn, but I’m starting to get the hang of it.

I’ve made 225 plates during my freshman year as a wetplate photographer and learned just as many lessons (or so it feels like). I’ve set plates on fire and made images disappear. I’ve scratched plates and dropped them, spilled chemicals all over my darkroom and on myself, and don’t even get me started on the varieties of working too slow/too fast that’s gotten me in trouble, not to mention the plethora of quirks the chemicals can induce. But among all the fails, I’ve also had quite a few wins. In short, being able to tell what’s wrong when something is “off” and know how to fix it is the biggest win. It took a year to get there, but I’m confident when I say “I know what I’m doing,” now… or, y’know, most of the time.

The collage features one image from each month of my first year as a wetplate photographer, starting with October last year in the upper left hand corner and finishing with September this year in the lower right hand corner. Models are: Ingvild Eiring, Janne Ebbesdatter Lavogez and yours truly.

If you’d like to see more of my wetplates, head on over to julieloen.com or follow my adventures in wetplate photography on Instagram.

I Do Wetplates Now

From my first wetplate shoot with model Ingvild Eiring.

I’ve been dreaming about this for years! So, I finally decided to do something about it – I bought a large format camera, chemicals and equipment, and a month ago I attended a wetplate workshop hosted by Sarah Lycksten in Sweden, and have been busy shooting plates since.

I’ll make a dedicated gallery for my wetplate work over at julieloen.com as soon as I have enough decent plates to show off. In the meantime, you can follow my progress and fails on Instagram – I’ve set up an account dedicated exclusively to my wetplate work called Aether & Instant.

Tintype

I did my very first tintype shoot last week. Ingvild Eiring modeled, and styled the clothes. As always, we had a blast! And the tintypes turned out beautifully, if I may say so myself. See more of my tintypes over at julieloen.com or even more at Flickr.

I used the Rockland Colloid Tintype Parlor Kit from Freestyle Photographic and borrowed my boyfriend’s Holga. The kit includes 8 4×5” black aluminum plates. I cut the plates into 16 smaller plates to fit the medium format camera, this also left me with 16 extra mini plates I used to test the exposure with. The kit also contains emulsion, developer, fixer and easy instructions – everything you need, except trays and safelight. I used cheap food container boxes from IKEA as trays, when I was done for the day I just put the lid on the chemicals.

The few glitches I encountered were all about the emulsion: getting the damn thing onto the plates evenly (I had to reheat it for about every 4th plate), and leaving the plates long enough in the developer – the three minutes the instruction suggested were far from enough, but then again, it might have been a bit colder than the preferred 20°C. When the plate isn’t properly developed the image will turn out blue, typically in the corners and around the edges. The blue is impossible to see under red safelight in the darkroom, so buckle up for surprises!