September 06, 2010

Slow Emergence...

Music | Nipponized by Shingetsu Ensemble

Ironically, I had another discussion with a friend of mine about an image I had recently shot. Rod from Australia has been a great online friend for a few years now. We both have similar aesthetics, have similar battles in what we do and someone I respect as a photographer. We usually have our communications via ichat and thru our conversations, he is often the 1st to see some of the my most recent work. There has been a lot of trust developed over the years and I respect the opinions he offers.

Upon showing him this photo, his words surprised me... He said something like... How could you make this beautiful woman look like an old hag... Though Rod is new to Wet Plates, I knew his opinion wasn't from ignorance. I knew also that his view on things comes from a wide background of aesthetic. So, when he spoke those words, it really took me by surprise.

Though we didn't really talk about how challenging viewing a Wet Plate can sometimes be - one has to look beyond the surface of the image. Purely on a visual sense, I still cannot equate what Rod said to be true, but there is a challenge one is presented with when viewing an image that is not perfect. The discolour, strange artifacts, and flaws of the image forces you to look deeper and more profoundly.

Rod did admit that initial comment came out without much thought. It was more a reactionary opinion that may have come out a bit more abrupt than originally intended. I love that this new work is making people think, look beyond the surface and more into the image. Even someone with Rod's background in imagery, he was challenged. Upon some discussion about the image and a little view from my side, Rod changed his tune and admitted in much more a positive return. I don't often like to explain my intentions or serendipity as was the case for this plate, but now he admitted he quite likes the image a lot!


Anonymous said...

I don't think I said "old hag" Ted

Anonymous said...

How was the background done? It's amazing!

Erio said...

The background is merely a sheet of muslin hung with drape. The oddness of the background is the way the collodion was poured onto the aluminum plate before exposure. The imperfections do add a nice quality and characteristic to the image, doesn't it?

-- --