Preparing the Plate
The glass plate was first covered with collodion, a syrupy liquid, leaving a thin, transparent film. Next, it was dipped in a bath of silver nitrate solution, to make the plate sensitive to light. Finally, the coated plate was stored in a plate holder, ready to be placed in the camera. The photographer had to work quickly, for the plate had to be used while the collodion was still wet or damp (less than an hour after it was prepared). For this reason, this method is also known as the wet plate process.
This procedure took place in a dark room, either in the studio, or in a specially constructed tent or wagon.

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