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Posts tagged ‘hand made’

The two hats of Heather

Heather in a cowboy hat.

Heather in a cowboy hat.

Heather in a Red Sox hat.

Heather in a Red Sox hat.













Here are two half-plate collodion portraits of Heather on aluminum. They were made out by Bug Light (Portland Breakwater Lighthouse) a couple of weeks ago. It was chilly by the October ocean, but she toughed it out — and so did my developer.

I went out there to shoot pictures of the lighthouse (which I will post later) and Heather came to see what it was all about. As so often happens when you’re making collodion pictures, demonstrations turn into portraits. It’s just how it seems to work out.

Lot’s of people stopped by to check out what we were doing. Heather acted as my spokesperson while I was under the dark cloth developing plates. She was a Public Affairs Officer in the Army, so she’s had tougher gigs. It was Columbus Day weekend. Numerous tour busses, stuffed with leaf-peepers stopped by to see the lighthouse. It’s an easy one to get to. Many of them snapped pictures of me and my oldsey-timesey gear after burning  lighthouse images on their CCD sensors. I’m getting used to accounting for the CDF, or collodion delay factor, when shooting in public places. It’s OK with me. After years of performing and shooting for newspapers, I’m cool with talking to strangers. I like it.

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27 Oct 2010

Lecia and Don

Lecia and Don.

Lecia and Don.

26 Oct 2010

John Cooper


John’s a former Marine, former Airman, recipient of the Purple Heart and former police officer. He’s also a hell of a good guy. I’m glad he came to the studio on World Wet Plate Collodion Day. Thanks, John.

3 May 2010

11 World Wet Plate Day pictures

Here are 10 of the 29 or so plates I made on World Wet Plate Collodion Day on May 1. Thanks to everyone who took part in this project!






Finn and Michael

Stacey and Dana

Stacey and Dana




3 May 2010

2nd annual World Wet Plate Day at the studio

May 1, 2010

What is a Wet Plate Day?

World Wet Plate Day is a time to honor the founder of this process, Frederick Scott Archer, and to celebrate the work of the artists who practice it today. Wet Plate Collodion is the photographic process of pouring Collodion onto a plate of thin iron or glass, then exposing and developing that plate while it’s still wet. This process was the primary photographic method from the early 1850s until the late 1880s.

Wet Plate photographers all over the globe shot plates this year on May 1st. I’m proud to say I am one of them. I put the word out through friends that I wanted to make as many pictures as I could on Saturday and everyone was welcomed and urged to stop by and get their picture made. I was overwhelmed by the response. I’m truly humbled by the game, patient group of fellow conspirators who came by and were so generous with their time and visages.

Last year, many of the photographers who took part in the first World Wet Plate Day compiled our images into a book. The proceeds went towards buying Mr. Archer a headstone, something he has lacked since 1857, when he died.

All told, I made 29 or 30 plates — mostly 5x7s — on aluminum. The following pictures were taken by friend and video artist Mark Ireland. See his website HERE. I’ll scan some of the plates and post them soon.

At the sink in my studio.

It was a great, sunny, day to make plates.

My assistant.

Focussing on Julian. The plate is ready, wet and waiting in the holder leaning on the tripod leg.

Julian in the wash.

A fragment of Julian's finished plate.

Using my hat as a shutter while shooting a plate of Finn.

Showing Finn what the plate looks like once it has been developed, but before it is fixed.

Pouring collodion on, and off, the plate.

A plate of my friend, John, dries in the rack.

Julian sees the upside down and backwards image on the ground glass.

2 May 2010