borut peterlin, slovenia, ambrotype, Portrait photography, Wet Plate Collodion, Analog Film photography

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Self-portrait like a cave photographer

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borut peterlin 20130212-wpc-avtoportret

In Friday’s issue of Mladina weekly there will be an article about my portraits and I’ve made this self-portrait today with the help of my wife Alenka Peterlin. The inspiration for the portrait was a couple. First I’ve heard many times, that in wetplate technique I look like a native American, second inspiration was to include an element of exploration and third was that it should look raw.
That’s my aim in photography to explore, search and learn. I know I’m doing it in primitive, raw way, but that’s exactly me, having a hell of a good time. Photography is for me what for some people religion is. A mean to become a better man, to transcend boundaries that were set, to change the world. I hope this (blind) faith is captured in the image ;-)

Technical side: It was pretty cold, like -2C and to work at this temperature I’m using a normal developer, I’m just developing longer. Usually about 30-35seconds. I extend also sensibilisation of a plate from usual 3 minutes to 5 minutes. And that all there is. Sometimes I add two drops of nitric acid in 100ml of developer, but that’s not so important at working bellow 0C. It was a lot of light so the exposure was 3sec, f/11. This portrait was taken with Kodak Folding Brownie 3A from year about 1905.

I couldn’t have done the portrait without my lovely wife Alenka Peterlin, she is also a photographer. Thank you ;-)

You can see this and many other of my creative portraits on the exhibition in the gallery of Institut Jozef Stefan. Opening Monday 18.2.2013 at 18.00.

Wet Plate Collodion workshop’s report

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Uf, this day are fleeing as crazy. I’ll try to make short posts with lots of images. With Miša Keskenović we had a workshop of Wet Plate Collodion in Trieste and few days later I had a demonstration of Wet Plate Collodion photography in Maribor. Last but not least I’m running a class on collodion photography on VIST college. What I am trying to say is that my life is evolving around Wet Plate Collodion photography and I must say I’m enjoying immensely. It just takes so much time… Today I started to work on a real proper photographic personal project and in four hours I’ve shot like four perfect photographs. It takes a lot of time and patience to make it perfect, but that’s as I call it zen thing. With Miša we have next workshop on Fotopub festival in Novo mesto, Slovenia between 25 till 28 of July 2012. It’s going to be for four days and we accept only 10, maximum 12 people, no more! The fee is 250EUR and that includes material costs. Hurry, I know this will be sold out before the deadline.
PS: Pictures from the workshops are taken by Branimir Ritonja (MB) and Dr. Photo (TR)

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New portraits with an old Linhof camera

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Yesterday I bought a telescope bar so I can hang a backdrop outside. I never liked to photograph on a seamless background, but with this classic camera I fall in love in this clean aesthetic and so I bought this expensive bar, that allows me to set up a background just anywhere. Yesterday I photographed two artists. Hanna Preus is an artist dealing with sound art, I made this portrait for Mladina weekly and second one I made by pure coincidence. Žiga called for an information and since he asked me to make his portrait quite some time ago and I was on a highway, just passing his house, I stopped and made his portrait. I use this classical beauty Linhof Technika, format 9x12cm. For illumination I use northern light, photographing in the shade as old masters did and as Richard Avedon made his portraits In the American West. How do you like it? Is it better then Avedon’s? Ha, ha, I’m not pushing my luck, just joking, I had to ask :-)

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A creative portrait of a painter Darko Slavec

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darko slavec 20111003_1809_borutpeterlin_com


Darko Slavec is a painter whose exhibition is closing this Sunday in Koroška galerija likovnih umetnosti. His work is dealing with micro and macro cosmos and human existence in between. In his paintings few symbols are present in this or another way. Foremost bread, stars, universe, black hole,… Link to his pictures.

When I was talking to him I got this idea that I would like to make a picture that would reflect his work more then a usual portrait. I bought this photoshop class at Creativelive and armed with new knowledge of wrapping and displacing images, I said to myself: And Now for Something Completely Different. Second picture I’ve done more in conventional manner. In Mladina weekly the second image will be published. Which one do you prefer?
More of my creative portraits on my site:


From Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan, France

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B5 presenting his Tour de Dayton project to honorable audience in Arles.

Today I’ve returned from Visa pour l’Image Perpignan 2011 festival in south-west of France. Fotopub crew Andrej, Baco and myself reunited in Perpignan with Meta Krese, Arne Hodalič and Chris de Bode, where we started making program for Fotopub festival 2012. It will be a blast, I can tell you that, but you know that already, so please book a week between 23.-28. July 2012 and come to Novo mesto, Slovenia.

I brought also my portfolio to Perpignan and show it to few agents. An editor from the most important agency in the world (how difficult is to guess which) loved my creative portraits and even more my Flower Power images. His comment: “You’re f… Bold. You break every rule there is and I hate them as much as I love them! I can’t stop looking at them!” We promised that we’ll start a cooperation, but I know since I’m based in Slovenia and not in London or Paris or NY, it will be much harder. No doubt challenging times in front of me :-)

On the way back from Perpignan, we stopped at Arles and check few exhibitions. I love Arles even more then Perpignan, but not more then Fotopub, of course.

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Written by Borut Peterlin

4 September, 2011 at 22:37

Posted in Uncategorized

Photoshop bodybuilding

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This picture is for JC and Igor 2times Jackson. Guys, if you’ll learn Photoshop, you don’t have to do fitness! Photoshop bodybuilding by B5.

PS: Igor 2times Jackson.

PPS: I think it’s a nice experiment, when we don’t trust pictures since the invention of photoshop, especially if Photoshop is mentioned. We shouldn’t trust them also before the invention of Photoshop, if I might add :-)

PPPS: The comments and reaction followed mainly, where else then on Facebook.

Written by Borut Peterlin

30 April, 2011 at 16:23

Posted in Uncategorized

Katarina Avbar – creative portrait for Mladina weekly

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katarina avbar 20110207_3679

Katarina Avbar is a singer-songwriter and I made this portrait for Mladina weekly. Yesterday morning I got an assignment and in the afternoon we met and I decided that I’ll do a portrait right away. Today is a holiday in Slovenia and I was reluctant to go to Ljubljana again. We met in chambers of Slovenian Writers Association, since she is collaborating with them. So here we were without a good concept how to make a picture. I like the room, since it looks like a room from The Shining film at Timber Lodge Hotel. So first I took a picture as a sketch and I loved the symmetry of the room, just there were way too many elements. I wondered how can I get rid of everything and focus only on fabulous sculptures of Slovenian writers and on beautiful Katarina.

20110207_3647Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 6.27.19 PM

I’m publishing work in progress pictures. You can see the first picture with initial view of the room. I decided to flip the table, but composition was way too predictable and sculptures didn’t play a meaningful role in the picture. I took a picture then I tried to even more reduce the elements on the picture and focus on only four sculptures with Katarina behind. When she stepped behind the sculptures the doors were not seen and as you can see from the first picture I loved the doors and I wondered how can I keep them in the picture. I asked Katarina to stand on a chair and hold a guitar. The guitar didn’t had a strap so she just hold it by her legs. P.E.R.F.E.C.T. That vertical position of a guitar goes perfectly with a perspective. On the end all I needed is to light it accordingly with a composition, so I used two flashes Nikon SB 800 and SB900 triggered by SU-800. Flash above sculptures had a softbox, flash lying on the floor in front of Katarina was set on 35mm zoom, since I wanted to have shadows going along the perspective. You can also see how I was playing with the light above the sculptures figuring out what combination of shadows works best.

I’m really pleased with the result. I’m describing all this because many photographers are discouraged to start doing a photography since they don’t have a clear, detailed concept. Let me tell you a secret. Even God doesn’t have a concept, so stop worrying and just do the picture.


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