White Space Art Asia | Wet Plate Portraits with Robert Burke Raby | White Space Art Asia

Wet Plate Portraits with Robert Burke Raby

What is Wet Plate Photography?

Wet plate collodion (or sometimes known as tintype when poured onto a sheet of black anodized aluminium) is an early photographic process that was invented in 1851. Unlike the instant gratification you get from its digital counterpart today, analogue photography like collodion takes approximately 10 minutes from start to finish as longer exposure times and complex developing methods are required before results could be seen. 

What is the fuss all about?

Each monochromatic image that is rendered is unique and one-of-a-kind. Using mainly silver, collodion, light and an extra serving of alchemy, your image will be immortalized onto a 4 x 5-inch (10.16 x 12.7 cm) metal plate which will last around 100-200 years.   

In this age of imagery oversaturation where photography has never been easier or quicker, the wet plate process purposefully slows you down, making each photo a deliberate and thoughtful one. Photography becomes a much more tactile process, and it becomes an experience instead of another mindless shutter click.   

What should I expect?

This is not merely a photo shoot session; we would also like to spend some time talking to you about the photographic process, show you how it works as well as give some background to its history. This is one of the slowest ways to take a photograph, so we do need you to allocate at least 30 mins for your session.   

These tintypes will be developed in a small, portable darkroom that can at times become stifling with chemical fumes. Please let us know if you are likely to have an adverse reaction in these sorts of conditions. The light given off by the flash units can be quite intense for some people and probably not suitable for those with sensitive eyes or any medical condition that a bright flash may induce a seizure.   

We recommend a maximum of only 2 people per shot, single portraits are most ideal. We do offer retakes for issues due to technical problems.   

The tintype will need to be varnished and cured for at least a full day so that they will last a lifetime. You can schedule an appointment to pick it up at the gallery any time after 1-2 days.   

Any tips for dressing or accessorizing?

We do not have any rigid dress codes or restrictions but do avoid wearing clothes with logo or words as the image will be reversed. Lighter coloured clothes will show up better in the photo but of course, you are welcome to come as you are. Feel free to dress up or dress casually or include any props you like in your photo. Young children and pets are welcome too but not encouraged as there will be heavy camera equipment stationed around the gallery as well as dangerous chemicals that might pose a risk to them. 

How do I register for a slot and what is the price?

Each tintype is priced at SGD 150 (regardless of the number of people in the shot) and each tintype will come in a beautiful vintage wooden box.  The wet plate photography pop-up event with Robert Burke Raby will be taking place on two Saturdays (12th & 19th) in December as part of our fundraising effort for a local beneficiary. In the Christmas spirit of love and giving, this wet plate photography pop-up event is part of our fundraising efforts for our adopted charity, Beyond. All profits and donations from this event will be channelled to support them, a charity dedicated to helping children and youths from less privileged backgrounds break away from the poverty cycle.  

If you would like to further support them, you may also make additional donation to them at our donation box placed at the gallery.   


Kindly book your slot here and a gallery representative will reach out to you shortly for confirmation. To reschedule, please contact us 48 hours in advance.   

For any other enquiries and matters, please contact us directly.    

Contact Details

White Space Art Asia

1H Yong Siak Street,

Tiong Bahru Estate,

Singapore 168641

10:00am-7:00pm, daily