A Wet Plate Photographer Who Builds His Own Cameras

While there are quite a few photographers out there who are fans of using early photographic processes (e.g. the collodion process), wet plate photographer Dana Geraths takes things one step further: he builds the camera equipment he uses. You can check out Gerath’s work on his website here.

(via ISO 1200)

  • julius apekatt

    Dana is a known scammer withnin the wetplate / collodion community. Just a take a look at this forum thread from–yaquina–buyer-beware

  • Spider- Man

    So we don’t have to all sign up and in why not the abridged version??

  • Jonny Taulen
  • julius apekatt
  • Spider- Man


  • Sddf

    probably his niece/relative doing this interview. they have the same last name 

  • julius apekatt

    Its his daughter.

  • Becken1843

    Afraid not. I have one of his cameras and my brother has two of them. The crap being said about him is total bunk all started by three customers who were unhappy with the timeline of their camera orders. The wet plate community is full of stuck up pricks who are full of themselves. I plan on ordering another camera from him this spring.

  • julius apekatt

    And a google search for Becken1843 gave only one result, whats the probability that you’re Dana or Kia or some other relative ? ;)
    Of course there is no point denying that he (Dana) have produced cameraes and other stuff, but he have also scammed alot of people, not just in the collodion/wetplate community but also other crafts and stuff. Just what the google search proved.

  • Kia Geraths

    I made this video, this person is my father. I made it at the Art Institute of Portland for my Digital Documentary Class. My final had to be a portrait of a person and my teacher for my class knew what my Dad did for a living and we agreed it was a great topic. I’m tired of the constant accusations of my father and my family. My father has literally received death threats from anonymous people over literally a few upset customers. These people have no idea what they have done to my family. My father has been called horrible things on one single forum in which the moderator kicked him off and has ignored all communications in which he tries to defend himself. If you believe that my father doesn’t do his work you can go to his blog post…

    Where he lists the tracking numbers of all his orders. You can see for yourself that he is sending his products and this is all just completely ridiculous.

  • Becken1843

    You bet Julius, it is a giant conspiracy and Dana has a secret army of relatives seeking out negative comments to counter. You are just as twisted as those crazy twats attacking him. But why argue, everyone knows that everything you read on the net is true, right?

  • m2melliza

    It’s unfortunate what was said about your Dad. I would like to comment on your body of work … it was awesome and well done. Continue your journey in the arts.

  • Jason Wingrove

    Great piece Kia.  Your dad is better than any forum.  

  • Dave

    When he talks about the tintype as being the very piece of film in the room with the subject (Confederate soldier) he says something like “you can’t do that with other forms of photography”. Ummmm…..yes you can…..with any form of photography actually. A Polaroid, a color transparency, even negatives. That is the exact film that was in the room with the subject and you can share it. Also, what is missing from this film is more examples of his work. We see one image kind of from the side. I am not left with the impression that this guy knows what he is doing.

  • Ralph Hightower

    Impressive! I’d like to learn more about the building of the cameras and the process. I’d like to get into large format and medium format film photography.

  • WilliamM

    I think he is talking about the tintype and its connection with history, not talking about modern photography. I don’t remember Polaroids being around during the Civil War. Only see one image from the side? All of the pictures shown in the movie are ones that he took. Did you think those were actual Civil War photos? Then I guess he is better then you thought! LOL! 

  • Dave

    I don’t know what he meant, I just know what he said: “That is the actual film that was in the room with the Confederate [etc] soldier….you can’t do that with other forms of photography” If you have somehow interpreted that as “Polaroids were around the time of the Civil War” then that would have to fall under: ‘Reading Comprehension fail by WilliamM’. The reason I thought those were actual historical photographs was because how BAD they were. It is my mistake.

  • Ben

    This is sad. Why do people say things like this? Those pictures were amazing. Dave=Fail.

  • Ben

    Fantastic! I really like the video and the others on your Vimeo site as well. Good job!

  • Anonymous

    FAIL… he means that you cannot make “copies” of that particular photograph, just as you would with film. Of course, he forgot that we also have instant film, which would be another kind of single copy. 

    He might be a scammer, he might take ugly photos, but that does not demerit what he does. How many of you perfect photographers can build your own camera?

    and no, I am not his daughter or relative. 

  • Patrick Fields

    Yes he is and continues to this day.

  • Patrick Fields

    This is such a DANA reply. I used to be a friend of his until he was using my Ebay account to rip people off including me. How about those fees and other money you owe me Dana. Dana had the nerve to say, “Your taking food off of my families table” What a baby he is and always will be. Everyone is always wrong and Dana is always right…in Dana’s mess up head. I have seen so much that this man had done that is questionable. He has no honor and if he did he would face those he has wronged and make good….but Dana is only concerned about Dana and his own best interest, regardless of how much he claims to care about his family….oh the things i have seen with this little man.

  • Patrick Fields

    He claims to know. In his early days of doing this type of photography it was mostly hit and miss….mostly miss.

  • Patrick Fields

    Think about it…the pictures are only as good as the subject matter in most cases. I stood by many time watching Dana struggle in his failed attempts…watching the money I loaned him go down the sink in his kitchen. Dana CLAIMS to be %100 authentic in his HOBBY…ok the tin he uses for the photos is not even close to what would have been used, “Historically” And Dana always claims to be historically correct….ok and where could you buy latex gloves way back when. yeah I know who cares…but for someone to say he is %100 needs to be more honest unless those fumes he has been breathing have made him %100 certifiable…just a thought