9.10.2015

Wet Plate Collodion

It's now been a year since I first became interested (obsessed) in the wet plate collodion process and I am finally at the point where I am able to start practicing this amazing, fascinating and complicated art.
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Last February I took a two day workshop with Will Dunniway where I learned about the entire process from mixing chemicals, pouring plates to developing, fixing and varnishing. It was intense and it solidified my desire to move forward with this art.
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I have slowly been acquiring all the necessary things and it's taken many months, lots of patience and a ton of help from family and friends and Will. My dad has helped tremendously and even though he doesn't read here I can't fail to mention him and all his encouragement and financial aid.
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This is a plate from the workshop taken on Will's camera by the master himself.
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With this type of photography the whole thing must be done while the plate is wet which means you need a darkroom close by to develop. Our friend Erick made me an awesome mobile darkroom for my birthday! You can't see the outside in this picture but it's really pretty!

This last weekend I poured my first plates. I had some major chemical problems but I was able to get a few decent plates. I have a lot of practice ahead of me but it is a dream to even be at this point!
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Our friends Mike and Vanessa. (Vanessa moved which is why she is blurred)
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Ruben
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After Ruben had sat for 5 photos he made me sit for one. We call this one "Dust Bowl Annie" hahaha! The camera got moved while the plate was being exposed so I'm blurry.
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My daughter Alex had the best shot. I'm pretty pleased with this one. I'm still working on getting a perfect focus but again...practice, practice, practice! 

That's what I've been up to! If you are interested in seeing how the whole process works, HERE is a detailed video. It demonstrates the process on glass instead of plates but the steps are still the same. 

I hope you enjoyed this post because there will be more like it in the near future!

♥ anne

16 comments :

  1. Absolutely haunted by these photographs. Had to show Darin again this morning. I am so excited for this process and your work; you've done a beautiful job pursuing your dream thus far and it seems like you have great momentum. That shot of your daughter absolutely takes the breath away! I mean I knew she was beautiful but this shows her in such a timeless light, as if the spirits of all her ancestors can breathe through her now, thanks to this image. Wonderful work dust-bowl Annie! Each one is an absolute treasure, even with imperfections and slight blurriness, that makes them all the more unique and lively.

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    1. Thank you so much Heather for all your encouragement and nice words! From all you've told us about Darin I know he'd love this type of photography. It seems to be right up his alley. I'd love to do a family portrait of you all!

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  2. Hey, what happened to my comment?!??!

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    1. Okay weird. So the gist of it was THAT I LOVE THIS new art for you! Dustbowl Annie is gonna rule the West Coast with her traveling portrait show. The one's of Ruben and Alex are beautiful. This is perfect. I'm so excited to order my first portrait!!! Can one pre-order a portrait? I'd love to do that. And next year, we're def gonna set up a booth for you darling ;)

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    2. I call dibs on holding Maggie!

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    3. My reply to heather got deleted too :( if you aren't signed in before you comment it deletes it.

      Yes, you most definitely can pre-order a portrait! I can't wait for the day that you are in front of my lens :) And Maggie can't wait to be back in your arms. She's all yours!!!

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  3. I am in love with your photos, argh! Slaying me! and I NEVER say that for fear of hyperboly, but I swear, these. photos. are. slaying. me. Please keep going and keep posting more. They are beautiful you talented, talented, woman! xo So proud of you Anne, you're making it girl. xo

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    1. Thanks so much Teeny! I appreciate your words AND the fact that these images slayed you! :)
      Love ya friend and thank you for all your encouragement!

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  4. Will you be doing portraits with this? I live in your neighborhood and have wanted one of these SO BAD. Let me know if you would be interested! sagesilverdesigns@gmail.com

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  5. These are so awesome, Anne. I love the dust bowl one of you. And ya, Alex is killer. How long does the subject have to stay still for? I want one with my boys... but... they move. Ha.

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    1. About 10 seconds depending on light. I haven't tried to take one of the younger kids yet for that reason but I say lets give it a go.

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  6. I just came across your blog and you inspired me right away :) I've always wanted to try this too. Now I really really want to!! Your daughter's photo is pretty amazing. xx

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  7. Wowee, wowee. Seriously fantastic. And ditto what Heather said about Alex. Really good.

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  8. I have a friend that uses vintage cameras and develops his own film, but what you're doing here is extraordinary!

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thank you so much for stopping by. please feel free to leave a comment! i love reading them :)


anne