June 09, 2010

The Return to Old School

Music | Stupid Girl by Garbage

I remember having this conversation a few years ago about how my film days of photography, I was so much more involved in not only my work, but the entire process. I labored over my darkroom sink out of plywood and marine paint, I created the table from which the enlarger sat just so, so I didn't have to strain while being in the dark room for hours upon hours... I did plumbing, some really make shift electrical solutions all with my own hands... Everything ended up being custom built, because you could! I remember asking a girl friend for a set of her stocking so I could make a diffuser to diffuse my prints, cut outs to make my burning and dodging tools out of hanger and card board...

Moving ever so close to the Wet Plate process has reminded me how much time and effort you need to put in for the process to be successful. It is true that much of the things I have created with my own hands could have been purchased off the shelf. However, under my own circumstance, I've had no choice but to relive those days where I am making my own tools and equipment to move forward. I like the idea that all that goes into the success or failure of the process is on my own shoulders.

Most recently, I've just finished fabricating my own wet plate holder... I love that in its own process to be created, I had to go thru a few iterations before I have come up with its final working version. Of course there will be improvements, but I'm quite happy with the outcome. Before the holder, I built 2 tanks to hold various chemicals in. It was the first time I worked with acrylics and solvent to weld the pieces together. I'll be making another work surface in the garage to set up my chemicals for when I use the side yard as a studio. Working in the yard and garage sound so much better to me than sitting at my desk in front of the computer...

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