Wet plate collodion photography was developed in the mid 19th century by Fredrick Scott Archer. It is a complex process which requires the photographer to coat, sensitize, expose and develop the plate while it remains wet. This means a darkroom has to be present for the immediate development process, and much like a modern polaroid the subject gets to see the finished photo within a matter of minutes. It also means that the number of variables throughout the process can and do change with every image. This results in a unique "one-of -a-kind" photo with every shot taken.
My camera is from the turn of the century and keeping with the traditions of the past, I use all natural light. There is no adjustable aperture and no shutter, so all exposure time must be done by keeping the lens open to light while the subject remains still for an extended time. I truly believe the lens captures something magical in that long exposure time, something that comes across through the eyes of the subject that can't be reproduced through any other type of photography.