Wet Plate Collodion
It has been a while since I have shot any Collodion, a combination of low UV and having to prioritize commercial work over the last 6 months. Spring is still a vague thought but the UV levels will start rising shortly so I am about to start clearing and cleaning the darkroom and servicing all the cameras and lenses and I should start shooting in February.
From about March I will start doing some pop up days and individual days with my friend Joanna Maclennan who is another great photographer. We will start off around St Remy de Provence and Montpellier and then hopefully a bit further afield , possibly Barcelona and Italy would also be nice as they are both close to us. If anyone has any ideas or locations then let me know and also if you fancy coming along for a portrait session, either a quick sitting or an individual day. I will post more information about dates and locations over the next month of so and you can either email me or leave a message here.
Having given me the cover back in October the wonderful team at B+W Photography magazine have very kindly done a larger spread on my work which has given me added motivation to go out and create a larger body of work based around a narrative. I hope to start this shortly but in the mean time have a look at the full article by clicking on View below.
I was very happy to receive a copy of Black and White Photography in the mail this morning with my friend Tim Clinch on the cover. We shot the picture last year when he came to stay . There are a couple of pages on my work in this months issue and it is an honour to be on the cover as they have had some extraordinary work in previous issues. I have had great feedback from it and will try and post the actual article as soon as I receive it as it is an amusing piece but then I would expect nothing else from Mr Clinch. If you do not know his work check him out at http://www.timclinchphotography.com/
And many thanks to the editor Elizabeth Roberts and also Anna Evans.Read More
So this is probably my last Wet Plate Collodion post for now, the UV is dropping and winter is on its way and it is time to head to warmer climes. This is a portrait of my friend and fellow photographer Tim Clinch who came to stay recently whilst shooting a large feature on wine in France. It is an Ambrotype, so shot on glass and it involved a 10 second exposure and Tim did really well to hold the look for so long. I am now leaving and heading off on the road to Thailand, Singapore, Dubai, Doha and possibly India so expect some colourful posts over the next six weeks.Read More
It has been a while since my last post but the summer was a particularly busy one with lots of commercial work and then I was shooting personal work whenever I managed to get home. I started up with 3 great boat projects in Malta, France and Spain which were great fun to shoot and I will post some pictures once I have permission from the owners. I then shot two series of portraits, one in Norfolk and a second in Scotland for two different clients and then off to Italy with one of the UK's leading interior designers to shoot an amazing story in Lucca. At the same time I was shooting quite a lot of wet plate collodion, the picture above is of my old friend Nick Zoll, one of the worlds leading fishing and hunting guides and also a conservationist photographed at home in Norfolk a couple of weeks ago. I then ended the summer with a large collodion commission for a private client that involved a 4700km drive from France to the Scottish Highlands. The weather gods were very cruel to us but we shot for three days in the pouring rain and managed to get a few lovely shots. Autumn now beckons and I am in the final stages of preparing for a trip to Thailand, Singapore and India which should keep me busy for October.Read More
Many years ago Mark Shand introduced his old friend Don McCullin at the RGS in London with the words " this mans eyes are our conscience " . I never forgot those words and on Sunday had the pleasure of shooting Don using the wet plate collodion process whilst he was down at Les Rencontres D'Arles. It was incredibly hot but Don was ever the gentlemen and sat patiently for two hours whilst I dealt with the various issues that shooting wet plate in 40 c throws up. A memorable day for me and an honour to photograph a man for whom I hold the greatest respect.Read More
Its been a busy time recently and I am now on the road for 3 weeks but I managed to get home for a few days and went straight in to a week of wet plate collodion photography. Above is a new picture that I am very pleased with, a portrait of Naomi Watts and her sister in law Jeananne Williams. It was shot towards the end of the day, not the ideal time for wet plate photography but it worked here. I love the stillness of this image. I have more pictures to come from some other sittings last week but they are going to have to wait to be finished when I get home.Read More
I am working a lot with Collodion at the moment, the UV is strong, the sky is blue and it is not to hot. The more I learn about Collodion the harder it gets. When I first started out with the process I loved all of the swirls and whirls and in a way I still do but I want to master the process, not have the process master me. Here is a perfect example, a strong image but there is heavy fog on the right in the shadow area and now I have to go off and try and work out what is causing this and once I work that out I then have to learn how to correct it. Collodion is a fickle mistress but as is the way with mistresses there is never a dull moment.Read More
A recent shot from the weekend.
This is a recent photograph taken using the Wet Plate Collodion process of a friends two children Sascha and Kai. About five years ago I saw an image by an American photographer called Joni Sternbach, it was from a series she had produced called Surfland. I literally fell in love with her images and after two months of reading up on the process I took the plunge and flew to Manchester where I spent a weekend taking a Wet Plate Collodion workshop with John Brewer. After this I was totally hooked and began the long process of gathering all of the necessary equipment and chemicals that are needed to produce Collodion images. This took months and when I was nearly ready to start shooting I went off to Laycock Abbey which was once the home of Henry Fox Talbot , one of the founding fathers of photography. Here I was fortunate to take a course with Mark Osterman and his wife France Scully Osterman. Mark is Photographic Process Historian at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. France is an educator and artist and also a guest scholar at George Eastman House and it was such a pleasure to learn from them. After three fascinating days I returned to France with a new car, a new camera and a boot load of chemicals and started my own journey into the magical world of Wet Plate Collodion.