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 18 augustus 2015

The making of "Swan lake"

The idea for making this plate was in my mind for months already.
The problem was finding the perfect location for making it.
We needed to find a shallow pond and had to make a
sturdy platform for the ballet dancer to stand on.

As the both the dress and swan were white we also needed cloudy weather
to have a bit more control over the exposure.

I bought 5 umbrella stands (4 for the platform and one for the swann)
and placed wooden sticks into them.
That made it possible to adjust both the platform and swan in height.
That was a must as they both should be able to "dance" on the water surface.

Despite the cloudy weather is was extremely difficult to nail the exposure.
So making this plate took us about 5 hours and the very final plate came out just great.

Many thanks to the whole team:
Heather May (model) and her husband Jan,
Ferry van de Vliet (assistant and photographer)
and Patrice Lesueur (Lightinabox) video.

Click here for : The making of video

"Swan Lake...."
26.5 x 26.5 cm tintype
Dallmeyer 5d petzval at f7
exposure time 1 second



zondag 2 augustus 2015

"The Kite Runner"

The making of "The Kite Runner" again took us 2 days...

Placing and adjusting the kites into the tree took us more than 1 1/2 hour during the first day.
The day started cloudy (which I prefer) but as soon as we were ready the sun "exploded".
As I prefer to use my petzvals wide open there was just to much light for decent exposures.
Taking of the cap and putting it on again within 1/4 of a second is simply impossible to do.
I gave it several tries but as expected it just didn't work

So we had to take down everything and did the same thing the next day.
Cloudy day, almost no wind so perfect.
Again it took us some plates. It's Always for adjusting the final details.
And just before it started to rain we made the final plate.

Some random pictures of these 2 days copied from the video files.


maandag 13 juli 2015

Durant Paris petzval for sale

I have the following early petzval for sale:
Durant Paris 330 mm f4.3. It has a waterhouse slot but in it's history
someone took out the internal ring to make it faster. (I still have that ring)

It comes with it's original Brass lens cap and flange!
A chip of the glas of the inner rear element. ...
Nice early French lens. Asking price €995.-

It covers 18 x 24cm at infinity and about 25 x 25cm at close portrait.


woensdag 24 juni 2015

The book of Alternative Photographic Proceses by Christopher James.

Recently I received the new book by Christopher James:  
"The Book of Alternative photogrpahic Processes (third edition)".

My first reaction was:  "wow, it's like holding an old-fashioned phone again"
Apart from the index, preface, etc. 847 pages are filled with extremely detailed
information about aternatieve photographic processes.
Printed on nice white glossy paper and  complemented with
beautiful pictures of specialists from all over the world.
Total weight: 2.3 kilo!!!

If I just limit myself to the collodion process than alone there are 73 pages filled with
a tremendous amount of information about this wonderful process.
Think of the necessary formulas, chemicals, hardware, how to handle. etc.etc.
More information than in any other wet plate manual you can buy!
This book is a must for every photographer who loves to experiment
with the most beautiful ancient photographic processes

This wonderful book is on sale for a price of around 70 usd, and that's worth it every penny.
You can order it from Amazon but the little bookstore around the corner would also
like to order it for you  and doing that you will also support the small shopkeeper....

The book next to a already thick magazine

73 pages filled with information about the wet plate process.

The needed ISBN number forordering it at your local bookstore.....


zondag 19 april 2015

"Spring cleaning..."

As you  most likely already know my head is always filled with crazy ideas.
Ideas is one, but making a plate out of it is a always a challenge itself
Problem always is to find the suitable location, the right props etc.
And of course I need the best weather.
Not to warm and cloudy....

This time I wanted to make a plate using a vacuum cleaner to expose the re-birth of Spring.
After searching for two days for a good location I finally ended up using the garden
of a good friend of mine, Johan Verhulst.
A huge garden with some amazing big trees and ofcourse enough
leaves which I needed for this plate.
Making this plate took us half a day and just after we finished it started raining.
So we had some luck during that day.
Digital pictures made by Johan Verhulst and Ferry van der Vliet.
11 x11" tintype
Dallmeyer 3a petzval wide open at f4
exposure time 2 seconds

maandag 6 april 2015

ECW 2015

Also this year there will be a European Collodion Weekend which
will be open for public on Sunday May 10th 2015.
So if you want to meet some of the best wet platers and
see their skills just pay us a visit.
Open from 12:00 till 17:00 hours.
Free entrance and free parking

woensdag 18 februari 2015

The making of The rain maker

During past few weeks I have been working on a new picture I had in mind.
This time I already knew the title:  "The rain maker"
I discovered a beautiful antique green house which was flooded at that moment.
So I asked for permission to use it for my idea and the owner agreed.
I made some clouds and wanted to see these clouds really pour rain during the shoot.
So I had to make a construction of tubes and hoses to make that work.
The first shoot wasn't a succs.
The weather conditions weren't good and somehow the plate wasn't interesting enough.
During the second shoot everything worked out just perfect.
Here you can see the actual picture and some pictures
made by Henk peters showing HOW it was made.
The final picture: "The rain maker...."

Short video of the making of:

Video The rain maker


woensdag 21 januari 2015

Expanding the life span of your developer

I know, it was about time posting something new on my blog.
A lot of things happened in the past few months.
Some great gallery shows, new studio etc. But that I will keep for my next blogs.
In the meantime I ran a quick test how to expand the life span of my developer.
It's nothing new that you can't store your developer for ever.
On the long term, depending on the light and temperature, it will darken and won't function anymore as it should be.
In the old days I stored my chemicals in those "collapsible" bottles.
But the downside was that they weren't transparent. So you weren't able to see how it looked like
So I ran a test using the "Vacuvin" plugs. Every wine lover now knows what I am talking about.
These plugs are being used to suck out the oxygen of a wine bottle which makes you able to store it a little longer after the bottle was opened.
I did the same with 2 bottles of developer.
One was stored with the Vacuvin plug and the other just with a normal plug.
Both bottles were filled with fresh developer and stored in front of a window, directly into the sun
and above the central heating for about 2 weeks.
As you can clearly see the right bottle became more yellow already after a few days.
The left bottle (with the Vacuvin plug) remained at almost the same color.
So this is a very easy way to extend the life span of your developer in a rather cheap way.

P.s. running the same test with a collodion mix now.
and ofcourse not placed above the central heating or in the direct sun.... lol