Photographer makes images the old-fashioned way

2020-12-18 22:37:45

Wang Yun, born in the 1980s, runs a photography studio in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, drawing young people to learn about one of the first photographic processes to be invented. Wang, who was born in the 1980s,was attached to photography in 2004, when he obtained his first digital camera. Last year, he became curious about one of the original techniques for making images from the early days of photography — the collodion wet plate process. Invented in 1851 by a Briton, the collodion process requires a glass or aluminum plate as a negative to be exposed and developed. Collodion is a syrupy solution of nitrocellulose mixed with alcohol and ether that is used as a coating for various purposes, including photography. Later, in the 1880s, the wet chemical process was replaced by more convenient dry gelatin plates. To learn the old wet process, Wang searched for information online and collected all kinds of pictures and videos related to collodion-coated wet plates. He also conducted many trials to understand the correct timing for exposing and developing images. "The fast-paced lifestyle and pressure of modern times makes people feel like they're living on a production line," Wang said. "Walking into the world of wet plate collodion enables me to slow down and enjoy things." Zhou Jiaxin contributed to this story. Video by Zhang Wei and Li Jiangbo.