Early photography required long exposure times so to avoid showing movement in the subject a posing stand was used for portraits to enable the photographer to get a good clear image.
As photography has developed over the many decades these posing stands have got lost due to the progress in photography. With wetplate collodion photography becoming so popular again with many artists, these posing stands are now impossible to find or buy so alternative devices are now being put together to solve the problem of movement within the image.
Having just started out on my wetplate collodion journey, I have already notice the importance of this piece of equipment. In my first couple of images without using the posing stand I could clearly see movement within the image, so to ask someone to stand or sit stilll for about 8 to 10 seconds, I learnt quickly that I needed this piece of equipment for my images to improve.
I have been looking all over for a posing stand and so far I have had no success. I spoke to Borut Peterlin about the one he got made but this was going to cost a lot of money.
The next thing I found was a web site by Maurits Bollen who had made a DIY head brace. From what I could see this was the cheapest yet most effective head brace I had seen so far.
I have now gathered the parts needed to make the head brace so it is now time to go make it and see how it works.
I will post the images once I have completed my project task.
The finished posing stand
Wet plate collodion photography was popular during the American Civil war because it was the first war that was extensivily recorded using photographic images.
Looking at my first introduction to the wet plate process, I really began to noticed the vast amount of equipment needed for this style of photography.
Because the wet plate process requires the image to be taken before the plate dries (10 to 15minutes) a portable darkroom or dark box is essential and must be transported around so the images can be developed on the spot.
I have worked in darkrooms now for a few years but getting used to the small portable style dark boxes needed for the wet plate process was strange at first. This did not last long because once I pulled the dark cloth over me and sealed myself in, it was just like a normal darkroom working area and I felt really at home.
By the end of my first wet plate session, I really began to appreciate what photographer such as Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner must have went through to produce images during the Civil War battles.
As part of my honours degree course I will build my own dark box so I will post images of how this project is going later.
A couple of weeks ago I made a start on my darkbox. It is now complete and I have been busy cutting the material for the dark cloth. The next stage is to get the sewing machine out and get busy putting it all together.
Now everything has been put together the next step is to see how the finished darkbox looks.