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 25 juni 2013

Making a new ground glass

Recentely Peter van Hal, a fellow wet plater from Holland, contacted me and
told me about an add of a very rare antique panorama camera.
It had the extreme size of 12x24"!!
I contacted the seller and we came to an agreement.
Last weekend we drove to Brussel to collect the camera.
Of course it needed some work. but the base is in very fine condition.
It came complete with the original plate holder.
A few things I have to repair and it was missing its ground glass.
Some months ago I got some grinding powder from Arjen Went.
Wasn't able to give it a try before, but what works for small also works for BIG.
So I cut a 12x24"glass plate and started grinding.
Well, it was much easier than I expected. It took me no longer than
half an hour to grind a completely new ground glass.
Sorry for the video quality. I had to grind with one hand
and hold my I-phone with my other hand.....
short video how to grind a new ground glass.

A 8 x10"plate holder near the ground glass. Just to show the size of this beautiful camera.


zondag 16 juni 2013

Some times it just doesn't work.....

The idea for this plate was in my mind for weeks now. 
Yesterday we finally had some times to give it a try.
But the day started with a migraine. some thing I really needed I just could find in my studio, and somehow I had the feeling the day would not bring the success I wanted.
After I finally packed my car and it started raining. (a LOT)

After half an hour we headed to the location I had in mind, parked my car
and started unloading all the stuff we needed.
Within3 minutes the forest police arrived....
I was not allowed to park my car at that spot and he wanted to write me a ticked of 90,= euro!!.
After some talking and explaining what our plans were, he was so
kind to give me a warning...pfoeee.
While Ferry putted on his special trousers I taped the tea pot and cup on the tray ( just in case..).
After some struggling with the depth of the lake (Ferry needed to find a place where to stand)
and setting up the camera we finally were ready to start making some plates.
The weather was HORRIBLE (for a photographer). At one moment nothing but sun and a minute later we had clouds. and lot's of wind, so difficult to hold still the camera.
That went on the whole afternoon.
So it was extremely difficult to judge the exposure.
So we started at 11:00  and stopped at 16:00 hours.
During the day MANY people stopped and watched us wondering what the hell we were doing and what Ferry was doing in the muddy water....
Ferry, as patient as he always is, explained the process more than ten times during that afternoon.
Made about 7-8 plates without the wanted success.
I did not achieved what I had in mind.
But I just wanted to share you this little story.
Just to show you how steep the way to success can be.
We will have to do this shoot once again, but with pleasure again.
"Tea for two...."
26x26 black glass ambrotype
Dallmeyer 5d at f 22
exposure time 4 seconds

Short video of Ferry trying to find the best spot were to stand



maandag 3 juni 2013

Inside a petzval lens

During my last visit I met Mr. Corrado  D'agostini again.
He's the writer of the book I mentioned before on my weblog
It contains almost 400 pages covered with loads of information about the
most famous French optics.
Including many pictures. Names like: Berthiot, Hermagis, Darlot, Jamin etc.
You will also find many background information about the makers and
technical information about the optics.
Also every documented lens has it's serial number published.
Unfortunately not the year of build. Pity, but you can't have it all.

Mr Corrado was showing a nice open petzval lens to me.
On my question: "Is this one for sale" he commented positive!
So now I am the proud owner of a "half plate" petzval.
Mr. Corrado D'agostini still owns the other half.

I want to use it during demonstrations, just to show how skilled they were
during the 17th century. It reveals all the mystery's of a petzval lens
The crazy thing is that it still produces an image when I point it to a light at the ceiling
If you are interested in Old photographic French lenses, this is a book you need to have in your collection!
21x30x3cm !!
ISBN 88-8341-491-6
His website: http://www.oldphotographiclenses.com/


Mr. Corrado D'agostini holding his fabulous book and me