Entries in wet collodion (6)


New Book Cover and Back: Chemical Pictures 2019



The China Trip: 2014 Video

Here is a seven minute video I put together about my trip to China. I was invited there to open a branch of The Collodion Collective. It was a wonderful time! So beautiful and the people were amazing. I hope top return later this year. 



Revela - T and Barcelona

I'm fresh off of the plane from Barcelona. Jeanne and I traveled to Vilassar de Dalt, a small village just 20 km northwest of Barcelona to take part in the first Revela - T Foto Festival. It was a huge success and a lot of fun. A big thanks to Joan and Pep for inviting me and making this happen. What a great job they did!

I was scheduled to do a public demonstration and two workshops. It all went very well. There were almost 100 people in attendance between the demo and classes. A very nice turnout. 

One of the first friends we saw was Josep maria Ribas Prous. I met him in Reus, Spain in 2007. I was invited there to teach a week long workshop. This was the first public workshop in Europe open to artists and photographers. It started the revival that's happening today in Europe. I went on from Reus and taught courses all over eastern and western Europe for the next four years. And now that I'm back in America, I still travel to Europe at least once a year to teach. 

Quinn standing next to the information about Josep's American TintypesJosep was very kind. He brought us gifts. Beautifiul photographs for each of us (Jeanne and Summer). On top of that, Josep dedicated the exhibitoin of his 19th century American Tintypes to me. It was a great honor and I consider him not only an important figure in Catalan photography, but a good friend.  On this placard, it reads that the exhibition is in my honor. I was very humbled and excited to see a beautiful collection of American Tintypes. This was the first and last time these images will be seen in public. 

On Saturday, I gave a public demonstration about the wet collodion process. There was a very good turn out. Ilan Wolff gave his lecture before mine. Very interesting work and technique. 

Sunday was the first workshop. It was an introduction course held at Espai Photographic Association Nag - very nice facility in Barcelona. It was a large class and they all got on the process quickly and made some nice photographs. 

Monday was our day off. We wandered the streets of Barcelona during the day and relaxed in the garden until dinner time. We visited old friends and they made us a delicious dinner at their studio. Marti, Rebecca, and Rafel - thank you! We had a wonderful time!

Tuesday and Wednesday was the final workshop; making negatives and prints. Another large group but they all did very well. I had some old friends in that course, too. Muchas gracias to Ana and Lola. It was very good to see you again. This workshop was held at BCI FotoEspai School of Photography - another very nice facility! 

Thanks again to everyone that made this happen. I hope we can do it again next year.

The introduction to Wet Collodion course in Barcelona! Great group!!

Ana and Lola - very good friends and wonderful artists!

Cati and Maider - they made some great negatives and prints. We call them, "Las Chicas de Archer"! photo by Jeanne Jacobson

Las Chicas de Archer - photo by Jeanne Jacobson

Irene and Hawkey from Sweden. They took both course and did a fantastic job! Team Sweden! photo by Jeanne Jacobson

Anabelle and Estelle printing out their negatives on Aristotype paper - photo by Jeanne Jacobson

Toni and Pep - holding the show together! Thank you for all of the support!!

Quinn and Jeanne - loving life in Barcelona!

Quinn and Jeanne with Miquel's work at the festival!

Met some new friends at the festival - Las Chicas de Talbot

The opening of the festival with the Mayor of Vilassar de Dalt and all of the presenters - photo by Jeanne Jacobson

Another tattoo, Quinn? - photo by Jeanne Jacobson

Vilassar de Dalt - a beautiful village in the hills just northwest of Barcelona. - photo by Jeanne Jacobson

Miquel Angelo and his wife with Quinn and Jeanne - A great artist and a wonderful friend.

Our old friends from Barcelona - Marti, Rebecca and Rafel.

Thank you for everything!! We hope to return next year!!!


Bastard: Resembling a Known Kind or Species But Not Truly Such

First things first, in that order: Happy 2013 (New Year)!

Recently, there's been a flurry of passionate responses to people making Facebook pages that encourage and support the "bastardization" of Wet Collodion photography. I've received my share of emails asking me what I think of this "movement". This is my response.

However you feel about tradition, heritage or nostalgia, people will constantly push the envelope to make something new and leave the old behind. Most people think that I’m in the "keep it pure" camp. I’m not. I never have been. I'm all about people having reason and purpose for the tools, processes, or methodology they use to make photographs. In other words, why are you using collodion, why are you using a certain format, a certain aesthetic, etcetra, etcetra. It’s amazing what I hear and read about myself, I never knew about most of it (grin). It's true I have great respect for the processes that I work in, however, I do utilize (and will continue to do so) the wonderful technology of the 21st Century. Too many times, I’m judged as one of the "purists" when I'm only asking for honesty - be clear and specific about what the image is - full disclosure - and WHY the photographer made the choices they did. The viewer can make up his or her own mind when it comes to respecting the work and/or the process, or not.


Studio Q - Denver, Colorado - photo by Mark Tucker (www.marktucker.com)I'm not hung up on people making images from their TV or computer monitor or from film positives/negatives or from anything else. Again, my only issue with any of it has been calling it what it is – that's all. The whole argument kind of reminds me of what I heard the American Civil War re-enactors talking about all of the time. It never seemed to be about the imagery, or the subject matter, but about things like when plywood was invented and if their clothes were "period" or not, all of the stuff that really meant nothing to me. However, in the context of what they do, I can understand their concern. That’s what this is about – CONTEXT – nothing else. 

Let me give you an example: If I have an image shot on Tri-X film, 35mm, and I create a large digital negative from that and then make a Salt print from it, what is it? Or should I say, how should you describe it? Does it matter that it's from a 35mm image or, moreover, that it's a copy of a copy and now exists as a Salt print? Does this stuff matter? And if it matters, why does it matter? Aren’t we all simply trying to make images that best describe our desire to express, question, challenge or confront something in our lives? I think that's what we should be talking about, don't you?

So it begs another question; if we are making images that are moving, interesting, challenging, etc. why do we care how it was made (or the process)? I’ve been involved in photography for almost three decades. I've had shows that were film based and no one ever asked me if the images were 35mm, shot with a Nikon or if they were Tri-X or HP5 or anything else. Why are we having these arguments now? Why do they matter? Have you ever wondered what kind of typewriter Ernest Hemingway used? I don’t think anyone has – and even if you had that typewriter, I don’t think "The Old Man and the Sea" would pour out of you because you owned it.

I think this will pass, or mellow with time. Everything does. It will be interesting to see where all of this goes. Will we ever make images that transcend the process? Will we ever stop obessing about the technical and gear? I know this "bastard" community is trying to establish some basis for the "anti-purist" and trying to give levity to what some see as a stiff, conforming group of people in these processes (and there are some very hardcore purists). I get it. However, too much levity is annoying and dangerous, too. There's a balance. This is a very political and ego driven niche. There are "camps" and factions breaking off of the mainstream all of the time for all kinds of reasons. I did it, too. In 2003, I was told by the (American) Civil War reenactors that it was a waste of time to start my collodion forum board (www.collodion.com). I was encouraging artists that wanted to work in the process for creative reasons, not commercial or reenactment reasons, to join and share knowledge and work. They told me it would fail. I went ahead and did it anyway. And look at it today! 

I know I’m painting with a very broad brush here (no pun), but I think it would be healthy for the community to stop, take a breath, and have a chat about why both sides feel that this is a topic worth discussing or creating Facebook pages for – what do you think?


New Wet Plate Collodion Camera & New Formats

I've got a new camera - an 8x10, Black Arts Camera - that Steve Silipigni built for me. The camera is new and I've chosen to work with some new formats, too.

For the duration of my project, and for the upcoming exhibition, I've decided that the square format and the landscape (4"x10") format will serve me better in what I want to do.  

My new setup includes: 4"x4", 4"x5", 5"x7", 6"x6", 6.5"x8.5", 8"x8", 8"x10" and 4"x10".

The history of the square format in photography begins in 1929 with the introduction of the first Rolleiflex. The Rollei’s designers, Francke and Heidecke, had been producing various rectangular format cameras since about 1920. Their decision to make the Rollei a square format camera rather than a rectangular one was based on considerations specific to the twin lens reflex (TLR) configuration, rather than aesthetics. The elegant waist level viewing system of the Rollei would have been miserable to use sideways when a horizontal picture was desired.

Around the middle of the 20th century, talented photographers such as Richard Avedon, Robert Doisneau, and Irving Penn used the Rolleiflex camera in their portraiture and editorial work—choosing the Rollei. Diane Arbus, one of my major influences, made her incredible portraits with a Mamiya TLR. In all cases the resulting negatives were square.

Today, I made a few images. I made some 4"x4" images and 6"x6" images. Here's the most successful image from today.

I'm looking forward to working with these new formats and this new camera! We'll see what happens!


 6" x 6" (15cm x 15cm) Black Glass Ambrotype