Wet Plate Photo Competition 2019

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Our Goal with this competition is to bring attention and credibility to artists in the wet plate community, and provide a platform for validation and encouragement in their work. In addition, we hope the competition brings greater awareness to the uniqueness of the wet plate process and it's beauty.


Submissions are now closed. They will reopen in 2020.


Opens: January 14, 2019 - 10am EST
March 7, 2019 - 11:59pm EST 

Winner Announced: April 8

Entry Fee: $12 per photo


Grand Prize: Year's worth of plates from Modern Collodion* | 5x7 Silver or Fixer bath from Modern Collodion | 5x7 Camera from Stenopeika | Large bottle of UVP-4 Collodion and Varnish from UV Photographics
4 Finalists: Drying Rack from Modern Collodion | $50 Gift Card to Freestyle Photographic Supplies | $25 Gift Card to UV Photographics
4 Runner Ups: $20 Gift Card to Modern Collodion 

*See Rules for plate quantities and prize details.


  • Portrait - Studio

  • Portrait - Natural Light

  • Landscape/Architecture

  • Still Life

Judging Criteria:

  • Technical Execution

  • Conceptual Thought

  • Creativity

    • Plate Size

    • Technique - use/application of chemicals

    • Approach - camera type/means of capture


Modern Collodion - The finest in handcrafted Wet Plate Supplies-made in USA
Stenopeika - Hand tailored large format cameras from Tuscany, Italy
UV Photographics - Harnessing Light with Chemistry
Freestyle Photographic Supplies - The largest and most unique selection of film, paper and chemicals for the Analog photographer.


Michael Godek - Founder of Modern Collodion
Giles Clement - Photographer, traveler, and dog dad to the best little fur ball on earth. 
Alex Timmermans - Fine Art Photographer, Author of “Storytelling”
Tom DeLooza - Previously apprentice to John Coffer, working to turn portraits into Heirlooms.
Paul Barden - 2018 Wet Plate Competition winner - Film and Wet Plate photographer with a special passion for large format botanical work


A selection of winning photographs will also be pitched to several blogs and publishers to show off the work and the artists. In addition to your name and website, if yours is selected we may reach out for more detailed information about your background.

Rules & FAQ:


Finalists & Runner-Up are the best and runner-up in each category. Prizes are available world-wide.  International submissions are more than welcome!

Year's worth of plates limited to the following: 24 packs of 4x5 OR 15 packs of 5x7 OR 12 packs of 8x10. You may combine different sizes equal to a value of $300 or less.

UV premixed chemicals can be swapped out for raw of the same value if desired.

Domestic US shipping is free. If an international winner is chosen, the shipping cost will be covered up to $100. Any additional shipping cost will be responsibility of the winner.

Unfortunately, due to restrictions, chemicals cannot be shipped internationally


Image Requirements - 1MB max, 72ppi, 1500px minimum on long side, NO BORDERS or WATERMARKS, JPEG only.  Borders will be cropped.

Prints: In an effort to keep the competition focused on the collodion process and camera use itself, we decided to limit submissions to scans of positives and negatives only and not prints from collodion negatives.

Studio vs. Natural Light - For the portrait categories, studio is defined as anything shot with 100% artificial light.  Natural light is anything using natural light even if you used a strobe for fill.

Quantity - There are no limits on number of entries in any category.  It is possible to win multiple categories. All entries are accepted as single entries and not viewed as a series.

Editing - Only minor editing allowed. No photo manipulation! Dust removal, contrast, and saturation adjustment (for over/under saturated scans) only. The beauty of wet plate is the art created by hand, not computer.

Capture Date - There is no time frame for this competition.  Feel free to enter a photo no matter when you made it.

Previous Submission - You may enter a plate that was entered in the competition previously, however if you image won in a previous competition, it cannot win again.

Copyright & Usage:

We are artists like you, so don't worry.  You keep your copyright.  We do, however, want to promote the contest and show off the wonderful photography submitted. So, we (along with our sponsors & judges) reserve the right to use your imagery ONLY in promotion of this contest and any consecutive contests going forward. Your photos and name may also be selected for inclusion in a blog or article publication at the conclusion of the contest - see "Publication" above. 

If for any reason your photo will be used for any other purpose we will contact you directly for permission prior to use.