The Paper Neg is Back

More playing with paper negs.... the texture in the photo is from the paper fibers in the negative. 

and Ry from earlier this summer.

Still workin on getting the wet plate going... its just taking time with the crazy summer schedule.

In The Moment

Being on vacation is always double edge sword.  I love the going away part but the getting out of town and (worse) the getting back in the swing of things is a killer.  It was a great time away with E and the kids, time to let the hair down, I take my fun seriously.

I also had fun working on being present and aware... its amazing how many times I go somewhere only to realize I'm not there, busy in the past or the future.  When you at Disney, there is so much to see if your looking.   Its one of the fun parts of photography, aware of my surroundings then using the camera to record how I see it.  Now, to plow through the all the images, here a few

Ready, Set, Attack!!!! Cyborg Mickynaughts away.  The digital wrist band that tracks you through the park combined with the finger prints scanner required to enter the park is a little disturbing.

Now to refocus.  I hope to have my wet plate gear and chems up and running by the end of next month.  A lot of work to put it together, but Im excited to start making some images with the process.  Other projects in the works, hope to share as they develop... no pun intended.

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Renee  commented on  June 29th, 2014

You raise a good point... We are often anywhere BUT the present moment. Even on vacation, I find myself thinking of my next task, or plan of attack. Thanks for the reminder to live in the present and capture each moment.

I found a new love

Yes..... Wet Plate just might be my new love.  It takes a lot longer to do that shooting with large format, I like slowing down.

I had a great time in Indy and a wonderful teacher, Dale Bernstein.  Dale has many years of experience in the process and showed some really beautiful work he created on black glass which has a very deep dimensional feel.   There was one other attendee for the class who is a professor of chemistry at University of Illinois and has been involved in the process for a few years now.  It was great to have him in the group, though the conversation between he and Dale sometimes went right past me due to my lack of experience in the process.  

One of the more fascinating aspects of the process is that the collodion is mostly sensitive to ultraviolet light.  This is challenging because the colors being photographed are rendered differently than with traditional panchromatic films.  Blue things, like the deep blue beads in the last image or blue eyes are rendered as light objects and the wood table I was photographing on absorbed UV light.  Also, light meters don't work for determining exposure.  When I asked Dale how you figure the exposures he said “Years of experience”.  Well here we go, I got years,… I hope.  The exposures for the images here were between 10 and 16 seconds with the lenses wide open.

My next step is to start putting the pieces together.  I have a camera and lenses but the rest has to be built from the ground up.  This includes a plate holder for the camera, developing equipment, and the chemistry (which I will mix myself).  Oh and clearance from the lady of the house to have the chemistry in the house.  Remember, this process is from the 1850’s - how safe do you think chemistry was back then?  

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Neil Schierstedt  commented on  June 11th, 2014

Nice work...... a technique that is needed to be kept alive. Digital can't do everything.

Categorized In: | collodion | wet plate

My First One...

Yippeee, I did it

a few more from today.  The in studio coating and developemnt tent.

What happens when you get some collodeon on you... It turns brown when you go out in the sun, its going to be with me for a while.

Heading to Indy.

I know that bragging that I'm going to Indy is not what most people would envy.  But I’m excited as all get out!!!!  

I'm heading off to take a two day workshop on Wet Plate Collodion Photography.  This is a process that was developed by  Frederick Scott Archer in 1851 and uses a glass or metal plate as the negative and is hand coated just prior to photographing.  The photography and development must also be done while the plate is still wet.  Mathew Brady used this method during the Civil War but also use Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes.

I'm hopping to have some sample work from the workshop to show you next week.

The image below is closer to a Calotype which was developed by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1835.  Of course Renee is not that old, I made this photograph of her last week.

Mom.... What were you thinking!!!

The stories are the first things to go... the boxes of images from countless trips and who knows where else are all that is left.  It has been almost two years since my mom passed and when we dismantled her house all I had time for was to put all of her images in boxes to go through them later.  I have finally found the energy to go through some these boxes and while some images are obvious keepers there are, literally, rolls and rolls of images from places I know not and of people that they once knew.  Without the story….. they are worthless to me.

I think this really points a finger at how important the story is.  Without mom putting these images into some context, album or journal, there is no way for me to relate to them….. history lost…. life experience lost.   Elise has created scrapbooks of our kids and our family, and no doubt, they were a lot of work.  She has created something tangible, something lasting, of our family which is in a form that can be passed from person to person and understood without me having to be there.  I have seen the reaction of the kids when they look through these albums - they have tremendous fun and take pride that they are important enough to be written about.

The new digital age is leaving us with an even more frightening hole - images left on broken hard drives or on lost cell phones to rot and never be seen.  You know where they were taken, you know who is in them, you know the significance.  Take the next step and share the story with the images and  you will create a powerful history that is interesting for the future..

Not your ordinary Senior Session

High school Seniors are unique individuals who are on the brink of their adult life -- what an exciting time.  Ms Amber had a great time showing off who she is during her Senior session.  While she dutifully kept her appointment for the school contracted photography studio, she chose Wehmeier Portraits to create and capture the images she (and mom) will enjoy for years. 708-226-1593.


Categorized In: high school seniors | hs senior | orland park photography | orland park portraits | orland park seniors | senior session