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Galaxy is Trying to Resurrect Dry Glass Plate Photography

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After helping resurrect direct positive photo paper back and then making it available for 120 film cameras to boot, Galaxy is at it again. And this time, they’re aiming their crowdfunding-powered resurrection ray at dry glass plate photography.

Before film but after wet plate photography, dry plate photography—also known as “gelatin process”—ruled the photography world for a time. Introduced in the 1870s, the developing process was similar to developing paper prints and the results were stunning: smooth black-and-white photos with a lovely three-dimensionality.

Glaxy wants to bring this process, these plates, back into the mainstream… or really back into the stream at all. And so they’ve taken to Kickstarter where, with your help, they plan to fund the creation of these plates so you can capture images like this again:

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These ISO 200 dry plates will be available for large format shooters in 4×5, 5×7, 8×10, 11×14, and even 16×20 if you’re willing to drop some serious dough. And that, it seems, will be the greatest obstacle for Galaxy: the “dough.”

Not only will you probably have to support another Galaxy Kickstarter campaign to get dry plate holders you can use to shoot these, the process of creating these plates is very expensive. Even if they hit their $10K goal, pledge/price levels are more cost-prohibitive than the company would like.

Getting your own set of 10 4×5 dry plates costs $90, and larger sizes go on up from there with shipping costs for the heavy glass plates hitting your wallet yet again—if you want to shoot dry plates, it’s going to require a serious investment.

Galaxy is also going to be Kickstarting a plate holder that is guaranteed to be a perfect hit with their dry plates.
Galaxy is also going to be Kickstarting a plate holder that is guaranteed to be a perfect hit with their dry plates.

Galaxy is already more than halfway to their 10K goal on Kickstarter, but that’s just the beginning. The company claims they can bring those potentially prohibitive costs down by 30% if only they can raise more money… a lot more money.

If they hit their stretch goal of $300K, they will build their very own glass-coating facility and pass the savings on to the Kickstarter pledgers who helped them get there. So keep your eye on this campaign if you’re excited about a true resurrection of dry plate photography.

In the meantime, head over to the campaign page to order a set of plates for yourself and learn more about Galaxy’s plans for the old process.

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