Mimic Wet-Plate Photography On iPhone

Simply tilt your iPhone to add vintage black and white!

The inevitable demise of the darkroom has been a sad sight for photography purists, but Koloid turns your iPhone into a virtual developing tray, which you merely have to tilt to darken areas of your shot.


You see a yellow ‘liquid’ on the screen – this represents collodion, a key ingredient in traditional wetplate photography technique. Move the thick liquid around and it exposes your photograph that you’ve either taken with the app or chosen from your iPhone’s Camera Roll. Leave it over an area and it rapidly darkens (burns) it. Because you’re actually mimicking the developing of a photo by sloshing the collodion around, you never ever get exactly the same results each time.


This is no ordinary filter app – Koloid is quite unique and substantially more fun than many other effects apps. True to its darkroom origins, you can only develop in black and white, but it’s anachronistic enough to allow sharing by social media and email!

To get started, fire up the app and you get the choice of taking a shot with the app or choosing from your library (the film icon). Then you can start developing the image.


SKILL LEVEL: Anyone can do it

IT WILL TAKE: 5 minutes

YOU’LL NEED: iPhone, Koloid



1 Slosh the liquid

Once you’ve selected a picture or taken a shot, the next screen is where you set the amount of collodion in your tray (via the slider at the top). The more solution you have, the faster it sloshes around, but it’s less precise. You then need to press in the middle of the screen or shake the iPhone to start. Now tilt the phone to slosh the developing solution around.


2 Personalise it

When sloshing the liquid around you notice if you move too quickly you may end up ‘spotting’ the image with blobs of collodion – but you may want this effect, so be aware. When you’re done moving the collodion around the screen, tap Ready. You then see a preview of the final image, and if you swipe leftwards you can add a title, description and signature.


3 Share your work

Swipe left again and you see a preview image, complete with a border showing the date and signature. Underneath are direct links to major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr, as well as Email and Messages. If you just want to save the final image to your Camera Roll, however, just tap the icon in the bottom-right of the screen.