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"

zondag 24 februari 2013


When you are interested in the magical collodion process and want to know all about this kind of photography, just join my workshop "wet plate photography".
The place to be is Veldhoven (nearby Eindhoven).
I give these workshops on Saturdays and only/always to a small group of 2 students.
So this is almost a one to one workshop and not in a large group where you lose a lot of time waiting at each other.
In the morning you will learn sall about history, what camera's and lenses can be used,
how to handle the chemicals, etc.
At noon we will have a nice lunch together.
In the afternoon we will start making plates in my studio and darkroom.
I will only assist you when needed and you will make your own wet plate portraits.
That's the nicest part of the workshop!!
This whole process isn't difficult to learn, but you really need to know what to do
and what you DON'T do!
You don't need to have any darkroom background as this process is really
different compared with normal analogue photographic processes.
If you need any further information, don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail:
collodion-art@onsmail.nl or call me on 0031-402301470
Alex Timmermans

maandag 11 februari 2013

Tintypes, millions have been made

Recently I had a nice chat with some talented wet platers.
We discussed why tintypes were so popular in the 19
th century and how come there are so many left of those beautiful pictures.
Well the simple answer is: millions were made.
See the enclosed picture which I recently received from Mark Osterman.

The picture shows a part of the Scarborough beach somewhere in England around 1855.
On that part of the beach, which is not bigger than a few hundred meters,
you can see about 6-7 photographers making tin types.
That claims it was extremely popular at that time.

From Wikipedia:
Tintype, also melainotype and ferrotype, is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a sheet of iron metal that is blackened by painting, lacquering or enamelling and is used as a support for a collodion photographic emulsion
Photographers usually worked outside at  fairs, carnivalss etc. and as the support of the tintype (there is no actual tinused) is resilient and does not need drying, photographs can be produced only a few minutes after the picture is taken.
An ambrotype uses the same process and methods on a sheet of glass that is mounted in a case with a black backing so the underexposed negative image appears as a positive. Tintypes did not need mounting in a case and were not as delicate as photographs that used glass for the support.”
The process was first described by Adolphe-Alexandre Martin in France in 1853, patented in 1856 both in the United States by Hamilton Smith and William Kloen in the United Kingdom It was first called melainotype, then ferrotype by a rival manufacturer of the iron plates used; finally tintype.
Ambrotype as a precursor
The  ambrotypewas the first use of the wet-plat Collodion Process as a positive image. Such collodion glass positives had been invented by Frederic Scott Archerin 1851 and the name Ambrotype was introduced in the United States by james Ambrose Cuttingin 1854 when he patented a variation on Archer's original process.

The tintype process became very popular in United States particularly during the Civil War They continued to enjoy significant use throughout the 19th century for inexpensive portraits, particularly by street photographers

Tony Richards forwarded me this picture. It shows the same spot at about the same period.


zondag 10 februari 2013

Cleaning the inside of a bottle

This short video shows how easy it is to clean the inside of a glass bottle.
Make sure to use demi water if this is a silver nitrate bottle!

vrijdag 1 februari 2013

Publication in PH magazine

Just got the message that my work has been published combined
with a nice interview in PH magazine.

Many thanks to Patrik Jandak for offering me this oppertunity!

Here you can download the PDF http://www.phmag.ca/magazine/low-tech-can-be-pretty-sophisticated-large-format-issue/

 More pages can be found in the PDF