Long time ago in America….
Nope, this is not going to be about Robert de Niro and other stars. This history is much older. Over a hundred years ago the wetplate collodion method was invented: the wetplate that can make both negatives and instant positives (ambrotypes) of unbelievable, even by today standards, image quality and impossible, by the standard of its time, speed making it possible to get good exposures in as little as a second. This breakthrough technique, which brought the beginning of photo reportage and ‘modern’ portraiture is now being rediscovered and is gaining more and more popularity.
Unfortunately, fantastic though it is, this technique has one important drawback: from the moment you sensitize the plate till the moment when it is developed only minutes may pass. This means that the photographer is tied to his darkroom and outdoors photography becomes a questionable issue. Unless…
This is how they dealt with the issue in the 19th century:
Time has come to look for another solution, but about this… later.