I always have been fascinated by photography.
But with the introduction of the digital camera it all became too easy, too predictable …to me.
So I forced myself to go back to the roots of real analog photography.
Not just by making the photograph itself, but by controlling the entire photographic process.

This brought me back to the middle of the 19th century, to the amazing Collodion wet plate process.
And every single day I feel challenged to refine and improve myself.

For my website please visit : www.alextimmermans.com

Alex Timmermans

"You don't take a picture, it's given to you"

dinsdag 28 juni 2011

Gathering with Koos and Niels

A few months ago Koos and Niels contacted me regarding the collodion process.
They are both very skilled photographers and wanted to know more about this beautiful process.
Koos is already working with dry plate for a few years already, and with success !

So we sat together last Saturday and made some plates.
As Koos already flows his dry plates, flowing a wet plate wasn’t such a big deal.

if you are interested in their work :


A brief impression :

maandag 27 juni 2011

Expensive tintype.....

A photograph believed to be the only surviving image of Billy the Kid has been bought by a private collector for $2.3m (£1.4m) at auction.

The black and white tintype of the 19th-century wild west outlaw was sold at auction in Denver, Colorado, and is believed to have been taken in 1879 or 1880 in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
The hammer price, which included a seller's fee, was far higher than expected. The auction house had expected the portrait to go for no more than $400,000.

The photograph is believed to have been given by Billy the Kid – who was also known as William Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim and William H Bonney – to his friend, Dan Dedrick, and had been the property of Dedrick's descendants until the sale.

It is said that there were taken 4 tintypes at that moment. Only 1 of them is left...
Go and search for the other 3.......................................

zondag 19 juni 2011

Maintaining your silver bath

Maintaining your silver bath is one of the most important things in the collodion process.
It will prevent your from fogged plates, comets, comets and other nasty things.

Sunning your silver bath is one of the easiest things to do.
Just pour it in a glass bottle and place it outside into the sun.
Leave the bottle open to allow evaporating the ether and alcohol which is left in the solution.
Just in case, put an old stocking on top of the bottle to prevent something getting into the bottle.
ALWAYS put the bottle in a safe place where nobody has access to it !!

After sunning you will notice that the silver solution has turned light grey.
Now every organic part in it has been exposed. This can be filtered out very easy using normal cotton cleaning pads.
Put these into the bottom of a funnel and filter the solution several times until the solution and the cotton pads are clear/white.

Just as easy as that....

 Left bottle after sunning for a few hours outside

Left cotton pad after first time filtering the silver bath
Second one after the fourth time.

woensdag 15 juni 2011

Movie about 20x20" Donchev camera

While unpacking my new 20x20" Donchev wet plate camera my friend, Ad van den Beemt,  made me a short movie.

If you want to see the larger version : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ajhI0WIZlM

If you need more info about this camera, just send an  e-mail to :

Collodion process movie

A good friend of mine and a photography teacher, Ad van de Beemt, made me a nice movie of the collodion process.
It's not quite finished yet, but i just wanted to share it with you.
The direct link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzCCjlubQ2o

Ad, many thanks for the help.
His website for those who are interested: http://www.advance-cvf.nl/home.html

dinsdag 14 juni 2011

Great find at Bièvres !!

I found an extremely interesting lens for my collection.
A large Hermagis which is dated 1856 !!
This is one of the very first lenses Hermagis made.
It even has no serialnumber on it but the glass is the proof
The engraving says : Hermagis Opticien, Rue de Rambuteau 18 Paris
Which indicates it's an early one indeed.

maandag 13 juni 2011

"Henk Schiffmacher"

Today i had the opportunity to make some pictures of :
 The Dutch King of Tattoo,
Henk Schiffmacher.
Henk Schiffmacher is a tattoo artist, painter, writer, collector, world traveller
 but he also was a photographer for more than 10 ten years.
When i showed him some collodion results
 he invited me to come over to his tattoo shop in Amsterdam,
 as he had never seen this process before.
As you can see, there wasn't much room,
but we managed to make some nice pictures.

Hermagis 420 4.5 portrait petzval
exposure time 8 sec.
Black glass ambro
KCn fixer

Pictures made by Ben :

"Mr Bond......"

Recently Bas Berends and his stepfather Guus Schilling visited my studio.
They were touched by the look of Collodion photography and wanted to know more about it.
Bas is a young but very talented professional photographer http://www.baslab.net/
and Guus loves to play with his guns and rifles (air pressed) for his hobby.

So we sat together and made some plates.

"Guus, alias Mr Bond"

 Guus flowing his first plate ever......

Bas varnisching his plates.

"Bas" made by Guus

"Guus" made by Bas

zondag 5 juni 2011

Big boys playground...........Bièvres

Yesterday we had the oppertunity to visit the Bievres fair.
It's one of the largest photographica open air fair in the world.
We arrived at 11 and already lots of people we looking for interesting lenses, camera's. photographs, tripods etc.
If you are looking for something special, this is THE place to be.
This is realy THE playground for big photographic boys.
We planned to stay two days but unfortunately i had to leave early.

Although it was VERY warm ( 32 degrees C !!) we had a great time.
We met some very nice "wet platers" like Garrett from the USA, John Brewer for the UK, Matthias Olmeta and Fabrice Pejout from France.
Just have a look at there websites.

Garrett : http://www.flickr.com/photos/garrettsphotos/sets
John Brewer : http://www.johnbrewerphotography.com/
Matthias Olmeta : http://www.olmeta.com/
Fabrice Pejout : http://www.fabricepejout.com/