May 25, 2010

Summer Project...

Music | Better by Regina Spektor

My supplies from Bostic and Sullivan has just been delivered to my door, moments ago... I feel like a kid with a chemistry set knowing I can make some magic!!! I'm still waiting on my plates and will be working on some other small projects to start to be able to shoot some Wet Plates! The weather isn't looking good anyway, so I won't be too wound up to get going. I'm thinking June will be a great month to start!

May 08, 2010

Reaping the Fruits of My Labor...

Music | The Fire by Imogen Heap

I've survived the waiting game. Later in that evening, I processed my negs, put each one on the scanner to get a quick overview, good or bad and move on... I didn't do too bad this time. I'm only more excited and passioned to move forward.

I feel more of a purest than not when it comes to my photography. I'm surprised that I am not too disheartened about the fact that I scan my images and print them on my ink jet printer. Yes, I very much do miss being in the darkroom and printing on Agfa Portriga and Ilford Gallerie papers. However, I'm not fighting the fact I no longer have my enlarger and the space to have a darkroom. If I had the chance to have one, I'm not sure I'd take it. Am I less of a purest?

May 05, 2010

re Learning Patience...

Music | Numb by Sia Furler

Finally, shot more 4x5 last week and processed the film just now... So I'm in the familiar place of having so much anticipation to see what I got, but I still don't read negatives very well... I mean, I do have a properly exposed neg, looks quite good in fact. But I can't really say until I either make a positive of it, or scan it so I can see it on the Positive side. Problem is, the film is still wet and like watching paint dry, film is no less harsh.

I do like this old familiar feeling. I remember having to wait at least a week when I would drop film off at Walgreens to have my film developed and printed. Just after receiving that envelope with the 3.5x5 inch prints, I'd quickly go over them and declare good or bad, moving quickly on to the next.

Turn around times got shorter as time moved on and now we only have to wait just to get back to the computer... But with that efficiency and the immediacy, the sense of anticipation is gone. Here I am now biding my time by writing of the experience because I know I can't do anything until the film is completely dry...

I'm finding this is a special time, maybe when time starts to move slower than faster, so I won't feel so compelled to think my life is running right by me. I need more of this...

May 02, 2010

Thing That was Missing, You didn't Know You Missed...

Music | Pieces of the Past by The Vandermark 5

Ironically almost 2 years to the day, I was introduced to a photographic technique called Wet Plate Collodion. With the exhibit called Resurrection at the 23Sandy Gallery which I have thought to be one of the most important shows I've ever seen, I was romantically introduced to this 150+ year old technique.

Yesterday, May 1st was Wet Plate Collodion Day, to celebrate the life of Frederick Scott Archer, the creator of the Wet Plate process. Around the world, the few photographers who still practice this technique was encouraged to shoot plates and post them to the Wet Plate Collidion Day website. What better occasion to try and jump start my entry into this most mesmerizing process than this. As soon as I learned of the Wet Plate Day, I contacted my informal mentor, Ray Bidegain who has become a master of this process himself. He had agreed to let me come to the studio and shoot off a few plates as I learned on the run.

I haven't felt like a kid in a long time. I love to be in a situation where things are new, I'm interested in the subject at hand and I know practically zero. Suddenly you realize you have something in your head you haven't used in a long time. Synapses suddenly start popping, your eyes widen, and you feel more alive than you can last remember.

Coating and going thru the process of sensitizing the plate is critical. Timing is everything. On my first go around, nothing could have gone better.

Jen, my model and could easily become my muse was wonderful to work with. With minimal words, and some simple gestures, she fell into place during our pre shoot rehearsals. When it was time to shoot, because time is so critical, only minor adjustments needed were necessary before the actual shot was made.

So, two years and one day since my introduction to the Wet Plate Process brings me to where I am right now. Though I did photograph Ray here about a 21 months ago here, it is this last session where I feel I can take more of the credit to getting to where I am. I'm looking forward to moving forward!

Thanks Ray, Jen...
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