Archive for the ‘Large format camera’ Category
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?
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.
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.
Weather is horrible everywhere and forecast is not promising, so when I saw that raining stopped for few hours, I packed my wetplate kit and head to the river Krka, to make new plates. In a month time I have an exhibition in Galerija Krka in Novo mesto, Slovenia, so I need to make a good use of every moment that is left. I had to work fast, so I decided to use my fuji darkbox and Kodak Folding Brownie 3A. I decided to go for wetplate negatives. It was quite cold, 4C degrees Celsius, so I was sensitizing plate for 7 minutes, but real problem was developing. The key to make a good negative is proper developing that goes from 1 to 3 minutes. I was developing in my dark-box, but while I was breathing, glass was starting to fog and after a minute I couldn’t see nothing, so I continued for a while, then I stopped. Consequentially negatives were weak. Then raining started again and I got all wet, but that’s appropriate for a wet plate photographer isn’t. At home I redeveloped the negative to build up some density. Now I’m looking the plates and I see the first one, that had a hole in the center of the image is actually more appealing then the second one that is technically better.
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.
I’m still working hard on Wet Plate Collodion process, but negative on glass, not positive – an ambrotype. Two days ago I gave myself a challenging task. To do a nice wetplate negative in challenging conditions. I set up my darkroom tent in a park near my house, choose one motif, two view cameras and devote eight hours to make a good ambrotype and a good negative. It’s still winter in this corner of the world (Slovenia,EU), so I mixed my chemicals for -1⁰C temperature, but in my tent there was + 5C, so developing was quite demanding. Nevertheless it was a good day. Very good!
Print for sale. Size 30x40cm, FomaBrom baryt paper, toned with sodium sulfide and sellenium toners. Bidding auction on ebay. [/caption] Today I’ve printed the wet plate negative, format 5×7″, on a classic gelatine photographic paper. I was doing tests what combination of paper, exposure and toning works best. I decided to go for split toning with sodium sulfide for highlights and selenium toner for shadows. The toning increases stability of silver, so it will remain like this for at least a century. This print was done on FomaBrom fiber based paper, size 30x40cm (12×16″). All process were done by museum archival standards. I’m selling this print on ebay – LINK. Still learning how this ebay works, so I’m opening a bidding auction. This goes for the first print in edition of 12. Rock and Roll!
My camera had a leaking problem and I’ve successfully locate it and fixed my camera. Now it’s working perfectly again! I lost lots of time with fixing my camera, but the hardest is to locate the leaking problem. I hope this video saved some time for you and for your camera’s leaking problem.
Birthday party of Boštjan Pucelj at Klevevž thermal spring, near Šmarješke Toplice, Slovenia. Wet Plate Photography at -3C without heat source. I prolonged sensitization from 3 to 5 minutes and I developed without sugar and added one drop of nitric acid for clearer blacks and silverish neutral whites. Developing time was 40 seconds.