I appreciate the discussion about Ian's technique. He has been making giant plates for several years, hence I suspect he has gallons of the silver nitrate on hand. He could have pooled all his stock for these particular shots. I was impressed by the number of helpers, most of whom were probably paid, indicating that he's got a sustaining business model that funds his audacious ventures. I also caught that there was not as much emphasis on the technique. Like Ian's other films, he dwells on the creative process and on the unfolding story that culminates in a resulting image. He challenges me to try to get more quickly past the "ramp up" and start using the medium for expression, not just technique. Alas, with wet plate, mastery of the alchemy is not so easy to do.
I understand that an 1880's train photo may have been even larger, but where is it today? Ian's might be the largest extant ambrotype, but I surely would have loved to see how that predecessor camera and image were managed!
And pertaining to large glass, I finally finished a plate holder for an 11x14" extension back that I made for my 8x10" Korona, all in support of a huge Euryscop 14" f/6 lens I scored last summer. The extender and holder were actually much cheaper to make than I expected because I was able to cannibalize the Dollar Tree frames that I was buying just to get the glass. More on that later *IF* I can produce a validating shot from it sometime soon.
When medium format isn't big enough: 4x5, 5x7, 9x12, 8x10 and even larger.
More on the previous record: it was camera that produced a 4.5′ × 8′ glass-plate negative in 1900. Story and some great photos here: https://www.lomography.com/magazine/246 ... -from-1900
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