Demonstration of the Wet Plate Collodion


I was invited a few weeks ago to do a demonstration to private high school students of the Idrissi International School, to give an insight into early photographic process. I was very excited to have a chance to give a talk, the first for me to have an audience of young age here.


The usual preparations were made, silver bath maintained, the Collodion salts mixed, and the usual 50 kg of gears since I will be bringing in my good old 10×12 camera (which I named ‘Lekir’). The gears were set a day before just to lessen the burden of an hour set-up as we start at 8 in the morning.


Given an entire morning to deliver two sessions in front of at least 40 students, the set-up, the tests, and the talk, the demonstration of individual plates, group shots (yes, 2 group shots), the breakdown, the packing of my gears back into the car (the ‘Tetris’ game training during my youth comes in handy here).

However hectic it was; the chance to show how plates were made, especially when this sort of image-making is a rare thing to happen around this area, it was a pleasure of mine and there were tons of questions asked. Mostly were about the science behind it; optics, chemistries, with a dash of ‘arty’ bits at the end.

The midday ended up well and I did have a good time. It was tiring certainly, as it was a double session cramped into a long 4 hours almost non-stop collodion talk and sessions.

Like always, I slept so soundly after a good Collodion day.


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