Archive for the ‘Large format camera’ Category
Oh, I am so proud to announce that my portfolio was published by B+W Photography magazine. It was actually in June’s issue, but it took a while that I got a hard copy in my hands. It’s awesome and a perfect piece in my portfolio box. Next Monday a photography festival in Arles is starting and I have 20 portfolio review meetings. So exciting!!!
A big thanks to the journalist Mike Crawford and the editor Elisabeth Roberts for the attention to my work.
Regular readers of my topshit blog – also known as topshit readers – are familiar with my Great Depression documentary photography project. Few days ago I was in Vegrad, another industrial giant that got bankrupt and left thousands of desperate people behind. Their greedy and corrupt CEO Hilda Tovšak is in jail at the moment, but she have much better times that all those migrant workers from Bosnia and Serbia…
I had disgusting problems with fog. I didn’t know why until I didn’t calibrate my pH checker and realized that it was showing 0.3pH less than it should, so my silverbath was actually 4.7pH so it was fogging like it’s English morning! I didn’t panic I adjusted everything that I could, but since I didn’t had nitric acid with me and I was reluctant to acidify silverbath with glacial acid, I was still having fog. But that fog was wipeable so, -No winter for Eskimos- I continued to work. In three hours that I had at disposal I’ve managed to make three plates. On the end of the day it was a jolly good day!
PS: If you want to qualify as a topshit reader of topshit blog, you might see this short video about the Great Depression project.
WHAT? Group Workshop in Wet Plate Collodion Negative, Salt Printing and Albumen Printing
WHERE? Berlin in Christian Klant‘s studio
WHEN? 16th-19th of Jully 2014
WHO? It’s intended for experienced ambrotypists and tintypists who wants to take new step into the world of negatives and prints.
HOW MUCH? Four days workshop costs 600 EUR and that includes all material cost and most importantly taxes. It does not include food and accommodation.
APPLICATION? The workshop is limited to five participants, so please hurry if you are interested by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Introduction to the processes the difference between wet plate collodion positive and negative
- Reviewing examples of negatives and prints we are expected to be making during the workshop
- Preparation of chemistry and cleaning plates
- The making of the first wet plate negatives
- Participants will learn how to make different densities of wet plate negatives
- How to redevelop a negative
- What light is appropriate for wet plate negative and how to work in inappropriate light
- Practicing a wet plate negative on still life
- Making a portrait with ambient light
- Making a portrait with studio flashes
- Varnishing glass negatives
- Making more negatives. The goal is that each participant will make several negatives with different densities for different printing processes.
- Varnishing glass plates
- Preparing albumen for printing process
- Preparing gelatin for salt print process
- Seizing paper for salt print process
- Seizing paper for albumen print process
- Demonstration of salt and albumen printing process
- Salt printing
- Albumen printing
- Toning with goldchloride
- Waxing salt prints
- Silver Nitrate bath maintenance (boiling with baking soda, filtering, adjusting pH,…)
- Demonstration of dry collodion negative & Carbon Process
Each participant will receive few pages of notes with all receipts and most important points to remember.
Alenka Slavinec is my friend and colleague photographer, but she is also film producer. Lately she is fully engaged as an editor of Fashion Avenue Kuwait magazine. She is globe trotting all the time, but a week ago she called me and expressed that she would like to have a portrait in wet plate collodion, so she came to my house and on Sunday. All three portraits are ambrotypes format 8×10″. On the first plate I realized that although it was a bright day, green leaves were filtering all blue and UV light (that’s their job), so exposure was taking too long. Luckily in my past life I was an incarnation of a digital photographer and all expensive equipment is still in Da Houze, so I pulled out my Elektrona’s Flash Feeder and two studio flashes of joined power 2250Ws.
The second plate was perfect. Really perfect. Black dress is defined against black background and if you do ambrotype or tintype process, you know how contrasty this medium is. It has a dynamic range of a cat after a massive meal. Then we made another one and we went for a lunch at Kolesar restaurant. It was really cool Sunday.
Side note: I know how to do fashion photography, I’ve been assisting Oliviero Toscani (UC of Benetton) among other things, but the truth is I don’t have a talent for fashion – that’s fashion as how to dress and mostly (!) care how you are dressed, as is evident on behind the scene pics. Perhaps I’m making a mistake. Am I?
The first week of May I’ve joined European Collodion Weekend in Eindhoven, NL. It’s an opportunity to meet collodion photographers from all over the world. Tarmo Virves drove all the way from Estonia. That’s 2100 km drive in one way! In comparison to him, I was lucky, I had only 1250 km of road to drive one way. Still it was super exhausting, but it was worth all the trouble. It’s a perfect opportunity to at least once a year meet many of my wet plate collodion colleagues and do together what we love to do, wet plate collodion photography. Thank you Alex Timmermans for organizing and I look forward of seeing you again next year! And thank you for fascinating »Howgh, ich habe gesprochen« portrait of me! Next year I will make one of you ;-)
Melanie Fraser made this video of me taking a portrait of Sherpa. It’s published only on Facebook so I hope you have access to it. HERE is an album from Henk Peters. And HERE is a link to an album done by Ferry “The President! van der Vliet.
Also this year there were with us models Sabrina, Wilma, Sherpa and Ruth. I took their portraits and enjoyed every second of working with those guys. I was shooting only negatives, although the first test plate was so underexposed it turned out as a decent ambrotype. I’m publishing three out of five photographs I’ve made. I’m doing albumen prints and this process takes time.
On Sunday we did a group portrait and with a generous help of Christian Klant I’ve managed to prepare one plate and took a group portrait. I was lucky to guessed the perfect exposure time and when I was developing I haven’t lost ten drops of developer, thus keeping maximum silver on the plate and resulting topshit density of the negative. This weekend I’ve made three albumen prints. The HIRES of the albumen print is available on THIS LINK. You can download it and print it for your own collection. It’s free to use it for non-commercial use. There are no model-release form signed, so it’s intended for only personal archive.
If you want to buy an original albumen print I can print it for you. The size of the contact print is 10×12″, that’s 25x30cm. To achieve archival quality of the print it’s toned with gold-chloride and washed with Ilford Washaid (among other steps of the process). I’m selling it for 70 EUR + 10 EUR shipping. If you are interested, mail me on email@example.com.
At the event I was selling my prints and I’ve sold four! I actually covered all my expenses of the trip. Further more, when I was driving south I stopped in Nürnberg at Peter Kunz and give him a crash course on dry collodion. Although we had only few hours and deliberately we’ve chosen impossible motive to photograph, we’ve made a good dry collodion negative! It’s a step test, on the left it’s underexposed on right it’s overexposed, but the dynamic range of collodion negatives is V.A.S.T. so you have Spotmeter was showing on the darkest part of the black shoe 8.5EV and on the metal part of the camera was 15.0 EV, sky was 15.5EV. Everything was there. Considering that we had few hours to do it from scratch, I call that a success. Peter Kunz is infected with collodion negative fever ;-)
I’m planning five days workshop on wet plate collodion negative, dry plate collodion negative, albumen and salt printing in Berlin. More details will follow, but you are the first to know ;-)
Swimming in a river, breaking focusing glass, bloody elbow, photographing in underwear,… Anything for a good wet plate negative
Last week was a beautiful weather and I’ve decided to make some landscape plates. I live surrounded by very fascinating landscape so it’s hard to decide what to photograph but this time I went down to the river. This winter was wet and we had icy rain that made huge damage on trees and infrastructure. On THIS LINK you can see images of Iztok Medja from Postojna region where every single tree was damaged! So this icy rain made that many huge oak trees felt in a river.
The tree was stable enough to hold a camera and a tripod, but as you can see it was really hard to focus and compose the frame. After I’ve made a good negative I set myself a new frame. I went in a river, carrying a tripod, but I slipped and fell in the river fully dressed. The river Krka is very cold and wet even for a wet plate photographer! My tripod sunk and I had to find it, touching muddy riverbed with my feet. It’s Manfrotto, don’t worry. I’ve climbed out of the river, undressed and solely in my underpants I went back in the river, setting the tripod on the position. When I stretched to get my camera I was hanging with one hand on a branch while with the other I pulled the camera down and the camera swung and with focusing glass crashed in my elbow. U PIČKU MATERINU!!! I didn’t care much for the focusing glass or the cut on my elbow, but how will I make a photograph without a focusing glass? I took the largest piece of focusing glass adjust it in the approximate position and focus. I close down aperture to f/32, so I knew I’ve sorted the focusing problem. I didn’t know what is in my frame, but who would want to know that!?!
The result is pretty good. I’m publishing also a carbon print that I’ve made from it on glass and on Fabriano F5 paper that I’ve seized it with hardened gelatin. The carbon print is showing the potential this negative has, but I will make it better. You will see it in European Collodion Weekend, this weekend!
Oh, the story doesn’t end there. When I finish and packed everything and was ready to drive home, I was reluctant to dress wet cloths and drive home. On the end I did dress my wet clothes back and drive home. Luckily I did so, because as it happened our street was being asphalted and it was closed for car traffic. Imagine that I would walk beside them barefooted wearing only underwear and apron? I know East Europe is much more relaxed about nudity then West Europe, but not that much :-)
PS: if you are wondering how to make a focusing glass, I’ve made a post HERE. It takes 15 minutes.
PPS: Here is another version of carbon print. It’s from the same wetplate negative that I’ve published few days ago, but now I’ve made new glop and followed all the instructions of Mark Osterman how to boost contrast to the limit. I’ve decreased amount of gelatin by 25%, increased pigment to 50ml of India Ink per one litter, cut sensibilization time by 50% and voila, the result is here! It’s even too contrasty. I’ve sensitized new tissues but with longer sensitizing time, so it’ll be more sensitive, but less contrasty. More to come, more to come…
Two years ago, at the start of my wet plate collodion path, I set myself a project to document state of bankrupt companies. Imagine the moment when the last worker at the last shift, turned the lights out. The moment when it became dead silent.
Now when I’m looking back at my videos (LINK) even blind would see the progress I’ve made. Nevertheless I love imperfection on my plates, so my plates don’t compete with flawlessness of film. This plate that is published under is about as perfect as I want it to be.
Last Thursday I went back to photograph Novoles company and Marcos Núñez Cid was recording a video about my project. He made a true masterpiece. I’m sure you will enjoy it.
Let me highlight that this project is getting quite some attention. First I had a beautiful exhibition in Gallery Photon, Ljubljana, Slovenia, then it was published in DOC! Photomagazine, issue #21, from pages 140-169 and in May, it will be featured in one of the UK’s leading photography magazines. The project was chosen to be presented on a group touring show under organization of European Month of Photography, so if I understood it correctly it will travel across Europe. Last but not least, I also sended this images to Slovenian Photography of the Year competition and the project did not pass even the first round of selection of 30 artists! If that’s not an achievement, then I don’t know what is!
Markele Zid made this video about our daily life in Studio Pelikan. It’s a job, somebody’s got to do it… :-)
We’re working on a website too. You must come to see this gem from our cultural heritage! It’s part of Museum of Recent History Celje and it’s located on Razlagova ulica 5, Celje, Slovenia, EU. The studio is open for public and I do make public portraiture sessions, but I’m not in the studio every day, so please send an email of inquiry to address tajnistvo(at)mnzc.si and then we’ll find a term.
The video and about the show photographs done by Markele Zid
Last few weeks too much stuff happened. But let me share them on my blog chronologically. On 13th of February I’ve opened a solo show in Slovenian Association Club in Pula, Croatia and it will be open for a month time. On the show I’m exhibiting 39 pieces of my series Family Album. With resources that I had, I was using different kinds of frames, so I conceived the show in a dynamic manner. Different walls, different frames, different emotions,…Yesterday I’ve made a great self-portrait with my daughters. Do you know the story of Janus? Wiki: In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus (Latin: Ianus, pronounced [ˈiaː.nus]) is the god of beginnings and transitions, thence also of gates, doors, passages, endings and time.
Ciao ragazzi, I’ve listed a new print on EBAY, starting as an auction of US $0.99.
The story about this print is:
Beside 19th century photography processes I love contemporary art just as well. By Wikipedia the definition of contemporary art begins with a sentence: Contemporary art is art produced at the present period in time.
I am not an art historian, but I think that’s nonsense! If I create the same kind of images that were made 100 years ago, how can that be a contemporary art work? By my definition contemporary art has nothing to do with the current time that was created but with the attitude to create something that wasn’t done before. Contemporary art (by my personal understanding) is taking reference from art history but involving in the concept contemporary issues and by doing that the artist get across a certain personal view, a certain personal message. Because contemporary art is always a sort of an experiment, that is why contemporary art is so experimental, so unique and without one leading concept or aesthetic.
And this is my artistic credo in creating this photograph. Most of the story is told in the movie. In the movie I’m making a reference to the book Looking at Photographs by Szarkowski. I want to add that in 1995 I’ve seen an exhibition of Andreas Gursky in Georges Pompidou Center, Paris and one of the most impressive images was a huge picture of running shoes. I can’t find the image on Internet, but let me describe that visually the Gursky’s image was looking like a perfect product shot printed as a C-Type print size about 2×3 meters. I didn’t like the image at the time and to be honest I’m not fan of his work even now, but that does not mean I can’t learn something from his work.
The point of Gursky’s running shoes is basically the same as mine. I know, you’re seeing that kind of shoes every day, but look again! In the contrast to Gursky, my running shoes are really mine and I did run many hundred of kilometers with them and wore them out totally. My feet are imprinted in the shoes and so are thoughts… The first lesson I draw from Gursky’s work is that the trivial object can look extraordinary if presented in such a way.
The second visual reference is the book One Third by Klaus Pichler. I bought it at Anzenberger Gallery bookshop. The book is fantastisch! The little visual element that I needed for my image was the elevated object on black canvas.
The carbon print is made from wet plate collodion negative and it’s a part of a limited edition of 12 prints. I’ll donate one to George Eastman House, where I’ve learned this beautiful technique and I’ll donate one print with the running shoes to the SONS Museum for the collection of shoes by artists. But the copy number one goes to ebay as an auction starting from US 0.99$.
With the work I’m making an artistic statement about our consumer society, about how public relation image is cherished more then the real thing or a real person itself.
Because readers of my blog share with me a passion toward technical solutions of these antiquarian techniques I feel obligated to write about that as well. I was using Vageeswari 10×12″ camera with Voigtlander Heliar 300mm lens, closed down to f/32. I’ve illuminated the shoes with four flash heads of joined power 7000Ws and to achieve good density I had to flash 54 times. Wet plate collodion negative loves flash light, but as a lazy medium needs a lot of light! I was developing the negative for 3 minutes.
For carbon print I was using Indian Ink as a pigment and for temporary support of carbon tissue I was using the back side of cibachrome paper. You can see brown emulsion of the paper in the video. For final support I’ve used fixed out gelatin paper.
On the end let me thank Marcos Núñez Cid, my assistant from Spain for making this wonderful video.
PS: By the way, that’s already second print from the project. You can see the post about the first salt print that was sold to China for something more than US $300 (with shipping).