Archive for the ‘fine art’ Category
Salt print process was invented by Henry Fox Talbot in 1839 and it’s known as a very low contrast printing technique. From The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes I’ve learned a technique to chemically raise a contrast of a salt print. You add a drop or two of potassium bichromate to a 28ml of sensitizer and heat it up to about 40C, expose it in the shadow, best under daylight UV skylight and then do a 5 minute prewash in a hot (cca 40C) distilled water with another 3 drops of potassium bichromate. It does raise a contrast, but it also cause speckling so you need to work with heated solutions and expect that it will not work the first time. Check how many test prints I’ve done until I figure it all out…
OK, the exhibition was a success. Many people show up, lots of media attention and feelings were great! At the opening Društvo mrtvih pesnikov were playing, which is an big honor. As I wrote in the previous post, the series is devoted to a painter Božidar Jakac. Concept is best captured with words of Tone Pavcek engraved on his grave: “You’ve remained part of the landscape, its pain and its beauties. And this concept is mirrored in the images. I wanted that in every of image there would be a presence of beauty and pain. More about the concept in the previous post (LINK). I’ve designed the exhibition to be dynamic. I’ve exhibited original tintypes, ambrotype glass plates, toned cyanotype contact copies and also some inkjets.
For the exhibition I must express my gratitude to the Gallery Krka for invitation, Miša Keskenović for teaching me this noble art and to Mark Osterman for generous support in my learning of wet plate collodion negative. Inkjet prints and framing was done by Luminus.si
I invite you to see images in better quality on my website borutpeterlin.com. Exhibition in open until 23.5.2013 in Galerija Krka, upravna stavba Krka d.d., Šmarješka cesta 6, Novo mesto, Slovenia, EU.
PS: Prints are for sale. Prices are from 50 EUR for a cyanotype print to notforsale tintype of frozen river Krka that I’ve done at temperature -17C (link on the post). My email address is borutpeterlin(a)gmail.com
On Tuesday I’m opening an exhibition that will probably be my best show until now. In November I was invited to have a show in Gallery Krka in Novo mesto and I thought I’ll have enough time to do nice wet plate collodion plates until the end of April, but winter was lasting until day before yesterday and I was forced to make wetplate images in harsh conditions. I had an extensive help from my mentor Miša Keskenović and Mark Osterman, the world authority in alternative processes. Let me quote Mark Osterman: “Remember that no photographer in their right mind would have been making images in that severe cold in the old days..so you are doing ok. “. Topshit compliment indeed!
OK, I had a date of the opening of the show. I knew I wanted to do landscape photography from the beginning, which was not the smartest decision in winter time, but I also knew I don’t want to go for usual mainstream aesthetic, let’s call it national geographic kind of aesthetic or even Ansel Adams aesthetic if you want. I mention Ansel Adams, because he’s a huge influence to me, but I live in different times, I don’t want, can not and I’m not competent enough to replicate his perfection of his art. On other hand I also didn’t want to make shitty collodion plates, that would later be scanned and digitally fixed, printed as inkjets and call it an Art, that’s for sure! I mentioned before how I got inspired to do wet plate collodion process on the exhibition by Sally Mann in London’s Photographer’s Gallery. In her images I saw a huge potential to be explored, a huge vain of gold to be dig, so I was aiming for technical brilliance, but to somehow capture enchanting beauty of Sally Mann’s work. Mission imposible, I know.
Second resolution was, that I need to dig in art history and grow roots deep down there. One of my first tintype landscapes was of frozen river Krka at -17C in year 20012. Last time that river Krka got frozen it was some 85 years ago and at the time young painter Božidar Jakac painted the scene that astonished me as a child. Jakac later became a renown painter in Yugoslavia. I want to make a hommage to his work.
The title of the exhibition is “You remained a part of the landscape, it’s beauties and it’s pain”, that’s a verse of Tone Pavček engraved on his grave.
I’ll make a video podcast about my show, but let me share an image from the show, illustrating what I wrote above. It’s a cyanotype print from a wet plate collodion negative format 10×12″ (25x30cm). Print was toned with tanin from green tea. I took this image like 100 meters from my house and left my dog to guard the camera Because it was a huge contrast between dark trees and white snow, I dodged the plate while exposing. The exposure was 6 minutes at aperture f/16 and 2,5 minutes I was holding a black velvet in front of the lens. Of course I was moving the velvet so it’s not visible. I used Vageeswari 10×12″ camera with a Rodenstock bistagmat lens from year about 1907 and it covers format 18×24 cm, but I wanted to have vignetting effect, so I put it on a camera format 25x30cm (10×12″).
See you on Tuesday 23.4.2013 in Gallery Krka, upravna stavba Krka d.d., Novo mesto, Slovenia, EU, at 19.00.
Month ago I’ve made this portrait, but haven’t published it on my blog. Kaja Avberšek is an illustrator, so I suggested her that I’ll make a wet plate and then she’ll draw on it. Unfortunately I was doing small 4×5″ plates, on the field, so she didn’t draw directly on the plate, but did it on her computer. This is the result. It was published in Mladina weekly and I love how it turned out. Sometimes the publication is an icing on a cake and many times it’s just the opposite, but this time it’s definitely presenting my picture in the best way. Is it a bird? Is it Superman? Or is it topshit?
OK, I’m introducing a new rubric on my blog. It’s a quizzzzzz!!! I’ll be publishing my mistakes I have done with a question what is the cause of the mistake and few days later I’ll publish the answer. Of course if you will not guess it first. Let’s start with an easy one. Here are two plates. Problematic plate has some lines in blacks and in the right bottom corner even collodion lifted off. The other plate has perfect blacks, no peeling problems. What was the cause of those lines on the crappy plate?
Here’s today’s portrait in Josip Pelikan skylight studio. The studio was built in 1898 and Josip Pelikan was working in it from 1920 to his death 1977. Now it’s a part of Museum of Recent History Celje.
On the plate I have some lines from not perfectly cleaned plate. I cleaned it several days ago and I thought it’ll be OK, but after few days, a plate in a box, needs to be cleaned again. I like it as it is but I strive to achieve Quinn’s perfection and then scratch it if I want
Those edges are from albumen coating, because I had that box prepared for wetplate negative. Nevertheless it’s kind of cool, I might use the effect in the future.
Below there is a wet plate collodion negative format 10×12″ (25x30cm), digitally inverted into positive. I wanted that everything would be sharp, so I had an exposure of 15 minutes at aperture f/32. It’s cool one, although I knew at the time that perfect exposure would be 25min, but I was afraid that the plate would get dry. It was quite warm in the studio.
The portrait was done with modified Plaubel Peco 5×7″ camera and Voigtlander Heliar 300mm f/4,5. Exposure 6 seconds, f/4.5
The studio was photographed with Vageeswari 10×12″ camera and same Voigtlander Heliar 300mm f/4,5. Exposure 15 minutes, f/32.
PS: Do you see the difference between collodion negative picture and the digital one? I didn’t notice that while I was developing the plate the keeper of the gallery changed a small detail and I don’t mean my 4×5″ camera. Leave a comment Internet!
Two days ago I saw this flooded tree and I knew immediately it will look good on picture, but there was too much water, I couldn’t come near the tree. Yesterday I saw the water level has fallen, but didn’t had time to make the picture and on other hand I knew the flood will be gone by tomorrow, so today I decided to make the picture. Only problem was that I had to work in Ljubljana, to make half a dozen on location portraits for Mladina weekly. OK, I did it with digital camera, but still a lot of work. I decided I have an hour to make the collodion image, no more. I drove to the place, set up the tent, made a test and then also the plate. All that in 42 minutes. I cleaned the set up and head to digital work.
After finishing portraits that I had to do in Ljubljana, I’ve stopped at the spring of the river Krka. Since it’s flooding water is rushing out from the cave so I couldn’t get a decent point of view, so I started to photograph the spring of stream Poltarica. Wet Plate Collodion process is a complicated process and beside that you need to know how to do it, you need to figure out the workflow. Today I had two missions. One was to figure out why I had blisters on some plates few days ago and the second was if I can do 4×5″ negative wetplates in my small darkbox.
First mission was soon cracked. It was cold as it was the other day, it was 3 degrees Celsius and I had no blisters whatsoever. I remembered that the other day I had this problems only at the beginning of the shoot when it was raining just a little bit. I’m sure a drop of rain fell on my plate when it was already coated with collodion and when I dipped it in silvernitrate bath, rock&roll started.
Second mission was a total success as well. I’ve made four plates and I can’t wait to print them. I’ve learned many small, but important details of a workflow so now I’m thinking to do a project in Bosnia in this manner! It’ll be 20th anniversary from the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that was established byDayton Peace Accord in 1995 and I already did a cycling tour on the ethnic border between Republic Srbska (Serbs) and Federation Republic (Muslims+Croats), photographing how landscape changed politically. The ethnic border was founded in Dayton and it’s known as Dayton border. My cycling Tour de Dayton you can see on THIS link, but this year I’ll do it again with my luxurious car and do a wetplate project and prepare an exhibition for 2015.
Today was a good day. I was preparing yesterday several hours, cleaning plates, subbing them with albumen, calibrating chemicals, mixing fresh developer, getting gear together, nevertheless I succeed to forgot my plate holder at home, but luckily I’m shooting my neighborhood so I drove back home and picked it up. It was cold again! Zero degrees Celsius! I prepared stronger developer and for wetplate negative the sensitization was 7 minutes. I wanted to be eight, but I was getting some weird pimples on my plates. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s because of albumen, low temperature, collodion drying, thin collodion film, longer sensitisation in silvernitrate and stuff, I know, but lesson learned, for the next time I’ll be subbing only edges of plates with albumen.
I’ve done several plates, but with these two wetplate negatives and I’m very happy. Working in this conditions it’s hard, especially doing a negative, but the results that wetplate negative is delivering is justifying all the pain.
As you’ve noticed, I’ve redone the image of a tree trunk in the water. The image from the earlier post was done with Kodak Folding Brownie and I wasn’t satisfied, so this time I used my Schneider Kreuznach Tele-Xenar lens 500mm f/5.5. I like it a lot!
PS: By the way, this Saturday, 6th of April, I’m working in Josip Pelikan studio and if you want, I will make you a portrait.
On Saturday there was a photo-fair in Šempeter pri Gorici, Slovenia, EU and I presented my work and promote the revival of Studio Pelikan. It was fun, I’ve sold two cyanotypes and wet wetplate portraits, but more then that I’ve met many colleagues and friends. Here are two portraits that I’ve done on the location and on the bottom there is a short 46 seconds video how I was sharing my love.
Today I was driving from work through a forrest with beautiful light! True fairy tale scene. I got home, pick up my wetplate stuff that was still packed from yesterday and I head back. I’ve done two ambrotypes (or winter ambroice) plates in 35 minutes and the time start counting from stepping out of a car, setting everything up until sitting back and driving away with two plates. I’m experimenting how fast can I work, how much time and preparations do I need. I love it. Very relaxing, very spontaneous!