Hans Jonsson works with one of the first photographic processes, from the mid 1800’s, and is one of the pioneers in Sweden in this area.
Hans has been a photographer since the early 1980s, mainly with his base in Malmö, Sweden. He started as newspaper photographer with Sydsvenska Dagbladet travelling Sweden and part of the world. Thereafter he went in to advertising and commercial photography. Nowadays Hans focus on a very special type of photography that is over 150 years old. This is called Wet Plate Collodium Photography. He has gone from digital back to the original craft, switching from quick to the slow.
In wet plate collodion photography, you use large prepared glass or aluminum plates instead of film. It is a craft that contains several different elements, each of which demands both time and patience.
This kind of art is both simple and very advanced at the same time. You mix your own chemicals from the beginning to make your own emulsion. Exposure and development must be done before the plate has dried. The cameras are big and lenses old. When making pictures on aluminum or glass plates, each image becomes an original, each plate is unique and it retains its motives for ages. It’s photography approaching painting. Portraits taken by wet plate collodion photography become something very special. Exposure time is long, often four, five seconds and longer. And it seems to happen something with people’s expressions when the shutter speed is long. Additionally, you get a fantastic focus.
Although, even if this kind of photography requires a lot of preparation of the plates, the process itself is not very time consuming. From exposure to development takes about ten minutes. Someone has described the wet plate as an antique Polaroid, where you can see how the image grows directly, as the fixation itself can occur in daylight.