Since I started practising the wet plate collodion process, it was my dream to create big plates – ultra large format ambrotypes. Two main reasons are clear. Firstly, big originals will lead to a very nice object when framed and secondly, big negatives can be printed as large salt prints. At last, my only problem was to purchase a camera large enough while still being portable. Unfortunately, my old bulky 50x50cm studio camera is not transportable at all.
At last, I found a camera that Alex Timmermans, a fellow wet plate artist, wanted to sell. The camera is from the french camera maker E. Lorillon and can be used for formats up to 30x60cm. In addition: it came with a custom made wet plate holder made by Mark Voce.
As a nice sunday trip, I drove to the beautiful Briesetal right north of Berlin and carried the equipment to a special spot. After setting up the darkroom and the camera, the light was really bad. Therefore I had to wait for half an hour to let the dark clouds pass by.
But then, I could pour my first plates in this size. In summary, I made four ambrotypes. my washing water was depleted and as the light was getting dim, I packed up with a good feeling.