Out of the Ether

January 30, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Out of the Ether

I fell in love again.  I found my roots.  My passion for photography has been rekindled. 

I began my photography career 20 years ago, learning the ropes in the darkroom.  Learning how to develop film and make prints.  It was magic.  It was rewarding.  It was a lot of work.

For the first 10+ years of my career, film was king.  I did head shots in black and white; developed, printed and delivered them in less then a week.  I shot Polaroids to test lighting and used it for art projects, I shot colour transparencies and had to wait 2 or 3 days for the lab to process the rolls before I knew if what I shot actually turned out.  I learned to use and trust a hand held light meter; there were no meters in the big cameras to rely on.  I learned to manually balance flash with ambient light, I learned to trust my eye.

Then came digital.  I became a slave to the camera with the big screen on the back and automatic everything.  I began losing the trust, started second guessing my instincts and basically, got lazy.  I got used to it too.  It seemed to work... for a while.

But over the last few years it felt like something was missing from my photography, a lack of spirit, of depth, of feeling.  I had tried a few times to get back into the darkroom, but for what ever reason, the timing was off.

Now, the time is right.  I have discovered the "wet plate collodion" process, and I found what was missing.

Learning "the ways of the plate" is not easy, and it is a finicky, labour intensive, temperamental process.  But the rewards are well worth the effort.  Now instead of shooting 300 frames in an afternoon, I am truly satisfied to MAKE just one great hand-made photo in an entire day.

I found my passion again.  I found it on a wet plate of aluminum as an image was appearing before my eyes; like an angel appearing out of the ether.

2015 Cape Charles Cup A 501

 


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