When ever I find myself with photographic urges to make portraits, and I don’t have a willing subject, I often find myself referring back to Anna’s photos. So, on this rare weekend that I find myself with nothing more to do than spend some quality time with prospective clients, I thought I’d experiment.
I’m really interested in Wet Plate Collodion. If you don’t know what that is, I highly recommend clicking this link! I would love to one day have a darkroom, a large format camera and a willing (many willing) subject(s). I think this would be a cool thing to throw in for an engagement session, in conjunction with the standard digital fare. In the meantime, I’ll have to make do with photoshop. The Dynamic Range of this format is absolutely impossible to copy in photoshop – if you’ve ever seen one in person, the picture is literally jumping off the glass or metal plate, they are mesmerizing and beautiful and the first kind of photography that ever made it’s way to the masses. It’s amazing, too, because this very very old format of photography contains a higher dyanmic range and smaller microscopic grain that cannot be found or imitated in any other medium, but has been long since forgotten in main stream photography because of the difficulty involved in making one. I’ve never done it, but from what I’ve heard, you are working with hazardous chemicals, the subject must pose for up to a whole minute without moving in order to obtain a clean picture, and you must develop the plate right away after taking it. With Ambrotypes (glass plate) you have to varnish the plate with a torch in order to set the image into the plate! But if you squint perhaps, or if you’ve ever seen a digital scan of one, this may not be reminiscent. But I was inspired.