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Recreate a Wet Plate Collodion Look To Any Image in Photoshop

By Hanssie on November 11th 2015

Though we no longer have to deal with the tedious process of the wet plate collodion, some people still love the look that this type of photography created. Back in the late 1800’s, the collodion process required you to not only carry around your gigantic camera and glass plates but a portable darkroom along with you in the field. What a pain! Today, if you want to replicate the wet plate collodion look, you need not look further than the ever ubiquitous Photoshop.

Our friend Antti Karppinen has started a new YouTube channel called Alias Academy, part of Antti’s group of visual storytellers at Alias Creative. For his inaugural video, Antti shares a 15 minute tutorial on how to retouch a portrait to give it the wet plate collodion look. He takes a regular portrait from this:

manwithbeard

to this:

manwithbeard

[REWIND: THE ROAD TO WOLFEBORO: A VISUAL JOURNEY OF WET PLATE COLLODION PHOTOGRAPHY]

Of course, some of you may enjoy the entire wet plate process, in which case, just skip the video below. But for the rest of us who may love the look and wish to forgo the cost of time and labor of the collodion process, this Photoshop technique will give you a similar look.

Watch Alias Academy #1 – Wetplate Collodion Retouch by Antti Karppinen

To see more of Antti Karppinen’s work, be sure to check out his website here. We’ve also featured numerous images from Antti, which you can find here.

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Stephen Glass

    Really cool. I don’t like the texture it imparts but love the idea of getting a film look in a digital file. The difference between a picture and a photograph.

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