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...


Connie Wellnitz said...

Very nice! Everything works so well together - model, process, light, pose. Good job!

Brad Armstrong said...

These are so beautiful. WOW! The model couldn't be more perfect. Home run!

Rod Jewell said...

Impressive Ted! She is beautiful. Your images of her are beautiful. This must feel so good - well done!

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