Each and every day the world is filled with millions and millions of digital photographs that have no value, character, significance or physical form. That is not the case with a wet plate. The wet plate process is magical and the end result is tangible and precious. Digital photography of today relies on technology. Wet plate photography relies on 160 year old chemistry, a bit of magic, and some luck. I think it is very important that as technology moves forward, we embrace and continue to celebrate and not forget important processes from the past. Wet plate photography is one of those processes. Every time I show someone the wet plate process in person, they are absolutely amazed regarding the ability to get a photograph using some chemicals and pieces of glass that I cut by hand. It is my goal to capture as many people as I can in this process. Friends, family, loved ones or complete strangers, it does not matter. I want to share with as many people as possible this beloved process that dates back to 1848. Wet plate photography was such an important medium for expression in the past and I want it to continue to be today. It has been said that “you do not take a wet plate photograph; it is given to you” and this is so very true.
Shane Balkowitsch, Ambrotypist
Nostalgic Glass Wet Plate Studio, Bismarck, ND