Only 2 weeks to go until the biggest alternative photographic event Australia has ever had, opens in Victoria at Gold Street Studios.
We are very excited to have Jerry Spagnoli coming out from New York to act as keynote speaker for the event as well as run some of his incredible daguerreotype workshops.
The Symposium consists of 5 parts and runs for 2 weeks:
1. Pinhole Gathering 1st April 2013 http://www.goldstreetstudios.com.au/workshops/?ee=105
2. The Collodion Wet Plate Gathering 2nd April 2013 http://www.goldstreetstudios.com.au/workshops/?ee=104
3. Jerry Spagnoli Daguerreotype 2 Workshops 4th 5th & 6th and 8th 9th & 10th April (fully booked)
4. 4 Demonstrations discussion sessions 11th & 12th April
a) Photomechanical b) Light Sensitive Salts c) Daguerreotype & Wet Plate Collodion (fully booked) d) Dichromated Colloid
5. The Symposium – New Directions for Old Processes - 13th April 2013 http://www.goldstreetstudios.com.au/workshops/?ee=103
…time for a self portrait…
Well it was a busy coupla days testing various developer formulas and fix concentrations to get exactly what I want on a finished plate in different environments, so I decided to spend all that time with my cheapest model…..me.
Freezing movement on wet plate ain’t period correct but it’s a lot of fun when your drumstick explodes and you manage to stop the head of the stick at 1/1400th of a second as it flies over your shoulder.
I can’t imagine this happening around 1860 but damn I bet Matthew Brady or Roger Fenton would have loved the technology :)
‘My Mother Says’ is an image that’s taken quite a while to piece together. It’s a 20”x24” Clear Glass Ambrotype shot in the studio with my Chamonix 20”x24” custom wet-plate camera. One plate cleaned and ready to go and one plate exposed…sometimes the stars line up and things go right just when you want them to…
Last Friday night was the Miami Marketa where a street of very talented artists open up their studios, sell food and entertain with some amazing live music. This is a group of like-minded people that have a passion for their community and I was honoured to be invited to demonstrate some wet plate work at the ‘Relative Creative’ studio. It was a terrific night shooting a few plates of the locals and sharing some apple cider. Tristan and Owen were excellent hosts and very talented artists…it was really a melting pot of creativity that night :)
These plates are 20”x24” ambrotypes.
I’ve been planning this little trip for about 12 months and the day finally arrived last Friday…unfortunately the weather was clear but a 30 knot wind was howling that would blow my 20”x24” camera bellows like a kite, leaving a blur on the plates from the 30 second exposure. Friday was cancelled!
However after a depressing Friday cleaning up my studio, my first assistant Sam was convinced that Saturday was going to be far better. We got together with my second assistant Chris for brekky (how good is eggs benedict) and set off for Currumbin Alley with the caravan darkroom in tow.
The closest carpark to Currumbin Rock (dead centre of the middle plate) was about 400m away on soft sand. We walked the camera and tripods down, found a firm footing and started the levelling process (gotta keep that horizon where I wanted it…in every direction). Chris stayed with the camera and Sam and I went back to sensitise the first plate. I only had one spare plate if something went wrong…and sometimes it does.
What you need to understand is that on a hot day, time is off the essence so as to not let the plate dry out. This means I have to run + a lot + in soft sand = very tired at the end of the day.
I’ve been pretty blessed shooting mammoth plates in the past with not too much going wrong. A good part of that success is simply good fortune. I had some fogging issues on the first plate (there’s my only spare gone). I switched to another developer I had mixed for just such an occasion and got back to work.
I was generally unhappy with the developer pour but I was able to just let that go for a change and embrace everything happening that day. I ended up with my first 3x20”x24” plate panoramic and I was very happy.
…now to varnish…