Lately I’m really into dishonesty attempting to replicate certain photographic processes digitally (since I lack the materials/knowledge to produce the ‘real things’). Just getting my lie on.

More of the same today! I took this photo of my Grandfather (who was a really good dude) after I got my digital SLR. I wasn’t happy with the results,Β  although for some reason I think the image works better faked edited this way (the contemporary shirt is a bit of a bummer, though).

About this image: faux collodion – digital photograph highly modified / combined with acrylic plate scan


45 thoughts on “Robert

  1. Great, now I can’t sleep. 😦

    But other than that this photo looks really great. πŸ™‚

    PS: I’m sure your grandpa is a great guy.

  2. The picture has a real 3D effect, at least on a computer monitor.

    All these “old” pics certainly would’ve fooled me if you didn’t tell me otherwise. If I ever need some fake photographic evidence, I’ll know who to call.

  3. I think you’ve done a great job with this. I wouldn’t know where to start with achieving this in PS and as for the *real* thing? Nope you got me stumped!
    Great work.

    • Thank you so very much, Jayne!
      Unfortunately I don’t have any of the equipment/materials necessary to create real wet plate photographs… also (from what I’ve read) the chemistry (especially the fixer) is some pretty nasty stuff… I think there’s even some cyanide in there (among other things)…

  4. Nice! You are so hard on yourself. Though, I do appreciate the honesty. Your processing on this portrait is so fitting and yes, I do believe your grandpa would be very proud!

    • Thanks, M.P. –
      Just keeping myself motivated. That and I’m kinda’ bummed out I’m not making real collodion images (etc.)… maybe some day (I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed – well, not counting my shutter release finger, anyway)! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much, Tony –
      I really do appreciate that. Sometimes I’m afraid it’s not terribly effective… but I am having fun, either way.

      He sure was – I bet you guys would have gotten along really well.

  5. I used to do monochromes the wet way but I could not stand the fumes. At one point I wanted to explore the alternative wet processes because they really look special. I am glad to know that there is a way of doing it convincingly in the digital format. Your granpa’s picture is very convincing when viewed on the monitor. Great job!

    • I’ve never had the opportunity to create any real collodion pieces, but I did do quite a bit of black and white processing when I was in college. It was a lot of fun, but you are right, the fumes can be very… interesting!

      Thank you very much for the kind words, sir – and thank you for stopping by, as well! I really appreciate it! πŸ™‚

  6. I love Wetplate photgraphy but the chemicals you have to deal with are so hazradous it makes me leary of doing it.

    That’s why I have searching for years to see if anyone has done it with Photoshop.

    When I found your blog I was pumped!

    Of all the people who have tried to replicate the Wetplate look, you are by far that has come darn near perfect.

    You have me curious when you said you scanned a acrylic plate .

    If you would ,could you please share your technique on how you did ROBERT? Either here or email me with the details please?!

    In fact how you did all your Faux Wetplate?

    Thank you for giving me hope that it can be done !


    • I think a few people might be interested in knowing more about that, so I put some detailed information in tomorrows post. These were all done the same way, there’s just some variation that occurs in the process (which is kind of what I’m looking for).
      I hope tomorrows post helps somewhat, because I know exactly how you feel! I’d love to do the real thing, but I have to save up for some expensive equipment and come up with a good storage solution for the chemistry first!
      Thanks for stopping by, Delta! I appreciate it!

  7. Hi!

    Just wondering if you posted your HOW-TO information of Faux Wetplate?! πŸ™‚

    Waiting on baited breath! πŸ™‚


  8. Love you Wetplate and I love your faux wetplate! How did you get your dads face that contrast and color? My god, it looks just like an actual Wetplate portriait on how its blue sensitive.

    • Thank you very much for your kind words, Delta!
      Much of the contrast you see is from a series of curves & levels adjustments.
      If I remember correctly, some of the color comes from using a hue / saturation adjustment layer with a sepia tone. The rest comes from a scan of a piece of plastic with polyurethane on it which I scanned in and then overlayed with a layer blending mode (you might have to play around with various modes to find one that works best with your particular image).

  9. Would you happen to have the picture of ROBERT with just the hue / saturation adjustment layer with a sepia tone only?
    I’d like to see it without the plastic polyurethane overlayed on it



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