A new demonstrator has been added to this year’s Canal Festival on Saturday, August 17 at the D & H Canal Park at Lock 31, one mile west of Hawley on Rt. 6. Rob Gibson does wet plate collodion photography, the same process that was done in the 1860s that requires coating a glass or tin photographic plate sensitizing it, rushing it to the camera, making the exposure, rushing it back to the darkroom and developing it before it dries out. This process was done from the 1850s up into the 1880s when eventually dry plate and film took over. Some of his cameras are over 150 years old and he uses the same chemicals that were used back then.

At this and other events, Gibson shoots tintypes or glass plates and then develops them right in front of his customers’ eyes using a “darkroom” contained in the sidecar of his vintage Harley-Davidson Panhead motorcycle. Make a plan to come in costume and for a fee, have a tintype portrait taken of you and your family.

Gibson’s photos have been featured in a number of TV series and movies (Gods and Generals, Cold Mountain, Into the West, Assassination of Jesse James, National Treasure), by a number of networks (History Channel, Discovery Channel, A&E, PBS), and he has even done demonstrations for the White House Press Corp and the Smithsonian.

The festival’s schedule of events and park map can be found at www.WayneHistoryPA.org or hard copies are at the main museum, 810 Main Street, Honesdale. More information about the Wayne County Historical Society and its D & H Canal Park at Lock 31 can also be found at that web site or by calling 570 253-3240, and by visiting its main museum at 810 Main Street, Honesdale, Wednesday though Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM and Sundays from noon to 4 PM.