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Thread: Collodion websites closed

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Collodion websites closed

    Well, another great photography forum has closed. Collodion.com has shut down. Quinn decided to close it.

    The history is that there was a tintype re-enactors website run by Bob Szabo back in the early 2000s. At that time, wetplate was almost a forgotten art, but a few people were resurrecting it, almost all of them doing Civil War battlefield tintypes. I discovered the forum and was instantly thrilled. I had an Epiphany that wetplate collodion would be just the new skill for me to learn - difficult, esoteric, and fairly rare for people to do. Another forum was just starting in 2005, without the re-enactor concentration (using authentic cameras, lenses, dark boxes so you would fit in on the battlefields). It was Collodion.com. Quinn Jacobson had done a wetplate series of inner city people that was well received. He became the standard bearer on the internet (a few others, like Coffer, didn't do things online at all). He moved to Europe and for several years taught hundreds of photographers there how to do collodion. It grew more and more, becaming VERY big by 2010. He created the World Wetplate Day, which funded a new headstone for the grave of Frederick Archer, the inventor of wetplate. He did demos at the Bievre Foto Fair. I joined him. I made a lot of friends on both forums. Wetplate became my life for many years. I traveled to Europe, moderated the Collodion.com forum, sold lenses and cameras.

    What a long, strange trip it's been. Facebook has taken over most dedicated forums. You loose a lot on Facebook. There is no organization of topics, for example. On Collodion, we had troubleshooting sections, equipment, common problems, formulas, and more, all organized and a click away. Today, on Facebook wetplate groups, you have the same questions asked over and over, because the answers get pushed off the page by any new content. So "what fixer do I use?" get's asked 14 times a week. With different answers by unknown people, conflicting answers, arguments. Then 3 days later, it gets asked again. Basically it's like taking a guidebook and club of experts, and tearing it into little pieces in front a fan, letting a crowd on the sidewalk catch the pieces and try to make sense of it.

    Don't let it happen to LF Forum. I've seen about 5 great hobby forums die the past few years.

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Collodion websites closed

    I am late to Wet Plate, now waiting on gear but did follow the Bastards for a while

    Today I re-joined FB after 3 years off, our venues narrow

    I will be reenacting post Civil War photo, 1871 to 1995 as much as I can on a pristine, groomed college campus, meaning don't spill anything...

    they are installing electricity with WIFI and bicycle path, everything changes

    we wear historical clothing, folk crafts are welcome
    sin eater

  3. #3

    Re: Collodion websites closed

    Quinn's decision was more about managing costs than giving in to The Facebook Monster eating his audience. Still, its a shame to lose the collodion forum. But as much as I lament the loss of Quinn's forum, there's no way I will join Facebook to access a dumbed-down version of it. Facebook was never intended as an archive, let alone an organized one - its just a streaming conversation. Its tragic that so many well-organized forums with excellent archive features have been ruined by Facebook. I hate what its done to erode the archive-ability of the internet.

  4. #4
    ghostcount's Avatar
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    Re: Collodion websites closed

    Bummer.

    I found content in Quinn's forum to be more reliable since it is viewed by Quinn, Garrett, et al.

    I'm sure the same can be said during Mr. Archer's time but perhaps magnified since the world has become smaller leading to the rapidity of valid and invalid information exchanges.

    Will Quinn make an effort in archiving the entire forum? I know Bob Szabo archived his but alas, that is also gone.
    "Sex is like maths, add the bed, subtract the clothes, divide the whoo hoo and hope you don't multiply." - Leather jacket guy

  5. #5

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    Re: Collodion websites closed

    I'm checking with Quinn on that. Bob's site I noticed disappeared about 2 years ago, after about 6 years of being available, but no commenting. At least Quinn is still teaching, but his channel Q is going away from what I can see. He said he's going off the grid when I talked to him last week.

    I've had 3-4 hobbies that are "historic" or "archaic" depending.... Old timers join, explain how it was done 10, 20, or 60 years ago. It's all "documented" on the forum. Then horrifically, the forum is shut down. Happened to one of my favorites about a month ago. All the questions answered, how do you do this, that, and the other....all lost in the ether again. It's just crazy when people on a forum start "Serial Number lists" and all that crap, thinking the internet is forever. It aint......

    It's funny, but at that big tintype auction the other day back east, I won a lot of books on Daguerreotypes. About 6 books, most from the 60s-80s. All their data is still there, on the printed page, safe from time.

  6. #6

    Re: Collodion websites closed

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostcount View Post
    Will Quinn make an effort in archiving the entire forum?
    I asked Quinn about the deletion of the forum and at no point in the conversation did he say anything about keeping an archive of it. I kinda doubt he did.

    On the plus side, he has now made his 2019 edition of Chemical Pictures available as a non-limited edition version, and its much less costly than the limited edition: http://www.collodion.com/shop/vintag...iss-army-knife
    Most of the more common questions about the process are covered well in this edition. Its an especially useful book if you plant to make collodion negatives and make POP prints from them.

  7. #7

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    Re: Collodion websites closed

    An automotive group I belong to (Volvo 1800s) moved its existence to groups.io this year when Yahoo Groups shut down. Perhaps the collodion group could find a home there too, if it's not too late?

  8. #8
    loujon
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    Re: Collodion websites closed

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    Quinn's decision was more about managing costs than giving in to The Facebook Monster eating his audience. Still, its a shame to lose the collodion forum. But as much as I lament the loss of Quinn's forum, there's no way I will join Facebook to access a dumbed-down version of it. Facebook was never intended as an archive, let alone an organized one - its just a streaming conversation. Its tragic that so many well-organized forums with excellent archive features have been ruined by Facebook. I hate what its done to erode the archive-ability of the internet.
    I almost ALWAYS agree with your take on things Paul and this is just another one of those times.

  9. #9

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    Re: Collodion websites closed

    I am talking to Quinn at this moment, and my programmer friends, about getting something set up. I used to be a NASA Sys Engineer, it can be done, and I moderated the forum for Quinn for the past decade.

  10. #10
    Foamer
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    Re: Collodion websites closed

    I joined the two wet plate FB forums about a year ago, and began actually doing wp last August. Since then it's been about 80% of my photo activity. I started with 4x5 and added 5x7 and 8x10. I'm mostly active on the "Collodion Bastards" but also "Friends of Archer" when it isn't being overtly political. There are two things I notice about these groups. First, there are a LOT of beginners showing up, at least one per week if not three. Second, most if not all the people on the forum seem to be into the arty farty "alternative photography" camp. Me? I'm attracted by the historical aspects but not to the point of being a purist. I use a Chamonix for 4x5 and 1920s cameras for 5x7 and 8x10. I have stuck with lenses made 1844 to 1880 for the most part though. I don't dress up in special clothes unless old ones I don't mind getting stained count. I love to do Civil War reenactments but as you can imagine there are damned few of those in the Dakotas. One of the two has already been canceled this year. (Ridiculous since it's held outdoors.) I'm mostly into photo'ing old abandoned buildings or natural subjects such as waterfalls. I don't see any way I'll get into some of the more offbeat stuff I see on FB. I rarely do portraits either and when I do it's outdoors. For me the FB groups have been very helpful and I have learned a lot. I have been catching the "Q Show" on Youtube the past couple of months. He's very knowledgeable but tends to ramble. I have picked up some pointers that have helped me so I keep watching. I think I've reached the point where I'm not a beginner any more, but certainly have not mastered it. I suppose I'm a "midginner?" I shoot WP pretty much every week.



    ---->Wet plate has definitely grown. I can see that even during the past year since I've started. I have a hunch that with some states and places (definitely not mine) still shut down to some degree, photography could be an outlet that people can still do. I think interest in WP will only accelerate. I'm proposing we start a WP forum right here! Why not? I think the numbers & interest for it is there.



    Kent in SD
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