We’re going to take a break from all the phone photography love happening on the JOBY blog to introduce you to Ian Ruhter. Ian Ruhter is an Los Angeles-based photographer who specializes in wet plate photography—a process that came into vogue during the Civil War Era and creates unique images on metal plates. Each plate is hand-coated, exposed and then hand-developed. The plate becomes both the positive and the negative so each image can be produced only once, each is a one of a kind photograph. The process is about as analog as it gets and totally awesome. While wet plate photography largely went out of fashion in the 1890s, there are still a few artists practicing today. I’ve been learning the technique myself for the past year and was absolutely blown away by Ian’s work and his dedication to the craft.
Ian takes this process far beyond it’s Civil War roots and has scaled it up in a major way. Instead of creating the standard 4 x 5 print in a large format camera, Ian creates massive prints using a camera that is essentially a truck. This short documentary explains his vision and his process. Check it out and be inspired!
And here is another behind the scenes look at Ian’s process while he shot a series of skateboarders in Los Angeles.
Thanks to the awesome folks at ISO50 for tipping me off to Ian’s work!