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Cameron Pierce - Wet Plate Project

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“THE WET PLATE PROJECT” is a first ever, unique approach to snowboard and action photography shot by experimental lifestyle and accomplished snowboard photographer Ian Ruhter. The Foursquare Team along with Ian set out to shoot snowboarding in an entirely new way, through one of the oldest photo processes ever developed, Wet Plate Photography.

This process - also called collodion - combines dangerous chemicals and developing systems (using an 8 x by 10 Deardorff camera) to create gritty, detailed metallic images on glass, an experimental and difficult departure from modern photography. Using this process, glass plates are coated with collodion liquid, allowed to set, then sensitized in a bath of silver nitrate, and finally exposed for a few seconds, or up to several minutes, before being immersed in a bath of potassium cyanide to develop. The challenge: Ruhter needed to shorten the exposure time significantly to capture fast motion under intensely bright lights. (Note: The only other person who successfully did this was Edward Muybridge, who photographed a man riding a galloping horse in 1878).