Silver Lake By: Ian Ruhter

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  • Details:

    • Photography, Wet Plate Collodion, Large Prints
    • GP-0000962-01
    • 35
    • 24
    • N/A
    • Wooden crate
    • Unique
    • Photography
    • Metal
    • Horizontal
    • United States


The nineteenth century photographic process involves pouring a liquid mixture of iodides, bromides, and a solution called collodion over a glass or aluminum plate. The plate is then bathed in silver nitrate, making it light-sensitive. The plate must then be quickly exposed and developed in just a few minutes, before the collodion dries and loses sensitivity. Because the process is produced and controlled entirely by hand, each plate is inherently unique, with the chemicals’ process leaving irregular and impossible to reproduce beautiful ghostly shadows, halos, and ripples in each plate.

My collodion wet plate landscapes honor the tradition of the pioneering California photographers who documented the incredible landscape of the Western United States. I’ve worked to convert a large delivery truck into a giant mobile camera and traveling darkroom. As a result, I am able to create larger scale unique tintypes, up to 7’, honoring the history of wet plate prints while capturing nature in all its glory today.