The Wet Plates-Modern Images In The Antiquity
Joe is one rare number of artists using the Wet Plate Collodion Process. The Wet Plate Collodion process is one of the earliest forms of photography, starting in the 1850’s. Images are made on 8x10 pieces of tin or glass, which are coated with collodion and silver. The plate, still wet with silver, is then exposed in Joe’s large format 8x10” wooden Deardorff camera. Joe uses an old French brass lens from the 1870’s. There is no negative or film. The plate is developed on site and the photograph and plate become one. The whole process, from beginning to end, must be finished while the chemistry is wet, which is approximately 15 minutes. Joe often uses a small portable box as his darkroom. The process is valued for the level of detail and clarity it allows, as there is no grain. Wet Plate Collodion was very popular during the civil war, and the plates have that "unique wet plate look" that cannot be duplicated. Given the somewhat unpredictability of the chemicals used in this process, Joe’s tintypes are one of a kind pieces of art. The plates have an archival lifetime of over 150 years.