The wet plate camera has arrived in one piece, looking as impressive as anticipated. Its arrival marks the one-third point in the transition to wet plate photography. Just as important as the camera is the chemical component, and that is going to be an epic adventure by itself. Right at the moment it seems that the best chemical source is US-based, and is cheaper if bought in a large amount. The accompanying large price tag will mean that chemicals will be the last thing on the shopping list.
The final third is comprised of a group of hardware items; accessories if you will. Tripod, silver nitrate box, plate drying rack, etc. I thought such things might be readily available from the camera builder, or at least more readily than the cameras, but I'm informed that if I want these things, I will have to wait until September. As I've waited over seven months for the camera, my eagerness to get started is strong, so I've begun sourcing these accessories elsewhere. The silver box I have ordered from Ray at Star Camera Company, also a fine camera builder. I may also be able to acquire a tripod from him, which will have to be custom-made to suit the design of the wet plate camera. The rest of the items I should be able to get from Lund Photographics, who sell just about everything wet plate-oriented.
So still a ways off before I can start learning the "black art" of wet plate photography. I may have to abandon plans for an exhibition until next year, or until sufficient, appropriate models present themselves for the project. But that's another story....
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