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Photographer Cuts His Own Wet Plates on a 75-Year-Old Machine


Photographer Markus Hofstaetter often gets asked about how he acquires the plates he uses for wet plate collodion photography. To answer that question, Hofstaetter made this 7-minute video showing how he has them custom cut on a 75-year-old machine.

The sheet metal sheer machine he uses was manufactured in 1942 and is owned by an old family business that makes and repairs electrical transformers.

After unboxing his aluminum sheets, Hofstaetter and photographer Christian Rusa carefully measure out the cuts and resulting plates to ensure that there isn’t too much wasted material in the end.

After 1.5 hours of work, the result is a pile of both standard and colored (red and blue) plates that are ready to be used for picture making.

You can find more of Hofstaetter’s work on his website and YouTube channel.