Posts Tagged ‘alternative photography’
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…
Dear_readers_I’m_so_honored to announce that in collaboration with Museum of Recent History Celje we will revive portraiture sessions in one of the best preserved skylight studios in Europe. The glass studio was build in 1898 and from 1920 Josip Pelikan was working there. After his death in 1977 his youngest daughter Božena Pelikan took over the family busnis and when she retired in 90′s, the studio was donated to the museum that renovated it with great care for details.
In the following month of February we are planing to revive public portrait sessions in the studio in a noble manner of portrait photography of 19th and 20th Century. Well not every day, but on certain days. I was working really hard to achieve sufficient technical and aesthetic level. First step is to revive the studio, so people could enjoy the nobility that once portrait photography had.
Next is to have workshops on photography techniques of 19th Century and finally my greatest goal is to have a festival of Alternative Photography. I imagine that exhibitions and lectures on the topic would resonate perfectly in this space. I already founded Fotopub festival of documentary photography and I was the Art director of Fotopub during first seven years and the festival continues to thrive, so I’m confident that if I could do it at age 26, I could do it even better 12 years later! Especially because I have huge support in my mentor Miša Keskenović and wonderful people of Museum of Recent History Celje.
But step by step. And first step, first foundation stone is of course photography. Do you like it? Would you like to have a portrait of you in this manner? This is not my whole portfolio, this is just the beginning. Beside ambrotypes the studio will offer also wet plate collodion negative, printed on either salt print, albumen print, cyanotype, gelatin silver-bromide print and so on. But more about that in the following post. Josip Pelikan Studio is located in Celje, Slovenia, EU.
This_weekend_Miša Keskenović was here in Slovenia and we had a workshop in Ljubljana. On Sunday and Monday he had one on one workshop with me on wet plate collodion negative, on salt print, albumen print and cyanotype. Miša is not extraverted person (like myself), so not many people know his work, but his knowledge of 19th Century photography is astonishing! He has a huge collection of books and e-books on the topic and have been doing it for couple of decades. He have read probably all German books on the topic. It took him couple of years to test many receipts and he came to a conclusion which receipts are working and which aren’t. For instance, receipts for wet plate collodion negative that are practicing currently in USA are very different from receipts that prof. Josef Maria Eder was recommending. The difference was a relations between iodides and bromides, so he test them and realized that Eder’s receipts were giving negatives with much greater density then receipts that are currently in praxis. Even with only one developing, without intensification, negatives were dense and blacks were clear, without fog! The receipt is not finished yet, we need to find Cadmium-Bromide and Cadmium-Iodide. If you can help, we would appreciate.
Today I was in Samobor, Croatia in Fotokemika company where they were from year 1947 producing foto material of all sorts. Last week they stopped the production and workers are unemployed now. That makes me very sad since they were producing excellent films and photo-papers under brand EFKE, but also under brands ADOX (Belgium), Rollei and who knows what more. Few months ago I decided to learn how to make my own photographical gelatin emulsion and so I went there and bought pure photographical gelatin. I laso bought infra red film, just to try it out and roentgen ortho-cromatic film for camera obscura experiments. By pure coincidence I’ve met there a friend Damir, that also drop by to buy some rentgen film and he explained me that you can use it for normal photography with some specific difficulties. For instance, I didn’t know that roentgen films have emulsion on both sides and they are very contrasty, which is perfect for salt print contact prints!
PS: On the end of the day I must say that this stuff is not that cheap as you would expected. Like for all that I payed 280 EUR. But that is a half a year stock if I’ll be shooting a lot. On the other hand, analog medium format cameras are from 200-600 EUR and digital medium format cameras are from 3000 – 12.000 EUR. For the difference in prices you can buy quite a lot of films & scans
Company Ercigoj contacted me if I want to be involved in the new printing process, that is stitching. They developed some kind of hi-tech CNC computer guided sewing machine. I never heard about that so of course I’ve was very interested. I’ve sent them two files and after:
50 working hours,
7.000 meters of thread,
of 21 different threads,
the picture size 116x39cm was done!
The result is amazing. I’m sorry because the scan or reproduction of the print can’t show true quality of three dimensional material that thread is. Nevertheless with zooming in details, you can imagine how does it feel like in real. I’m publishing few more pictures from their gallery. More info on the procedure you can see on their site or write them an email.
Happy new year everybody! Today it was really nice sunny winter weather (without snow though) and our family had a lunch together and I decided to make a group picture. I’ve made really nice group picture in about the same time six years ago, when my younger daughter and nephew Tilen wasn’t born yet (not to mention my short hair!). I tried to make a group picture with Wet Plate Collodion, but it didn’t work. It’s just too precise procedure to be in front and behind the lens. I knew I was pushing my luck with Wet Plate Collodion technique and it’s very likely not to succeed, so I took another picture on a normal sheet film of a format 9x12cm with Linhof Technika.
Beside the group picture I also took portraits of nephew Tilen, niece Enja and daughter Brina (hoover above an image for a name). I’m becoming really comfortable working with this Wet Plate Collodion technique. Can’t wait to get new chemicals, because I have so little silvernitrate that the level of the fluid is not covering the glass plate, so I need to constantly rock a tray, to get fluid evenly on a plate. I know… annoying and I feel stupid standing there rocking a tray for five minutes for every picture, but then again, I rather do that then sit and wait for a postman to come
Now I’ve decided that I’ll keep on doing Wet Plate Collodion and since I’ve done such a beautiful portraits of our children, also my wife recognize benefits of this kind of photography, so I need a new camera. A big camera! This Linhof Technika and the large format camera for Wet Plate Collodion process are borrowed. I need to make some money to buy this monster, so my plan is to hire a studio for a day and do portraits for people. Are you interested to have that kind of portrait? Send me an email and I’ll send you back all the info. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: I’m publishing also an older picture of my neighbor with her newborn.
Srečno novo leto vsem! Danes je bil čudovit sončen zimski dan (samo še sneg je manjkal) in imeli smo družinsko kosilo, tako sem odločil, da je čas za novo skupinsko družinsko sliko. Pred kakimi šestimi leti sem prav tako v prvih dnevih leta naredil eno čudovito fotko, a takrat se še ni rodila hčerka Brina in nečak Tilen (da ne omenjam mojih kratkih las!). Poizkusil sem narediti skupinsko fotko v tehniki mokri kolodij, a proces je prezahteven in prenatančen, da bi lahko bil pred in za objektivom. Ker sem vedel, da izzivam srečo, sem pred tem naredil še posnetek s klasičnim filmom, to je črnobelim plan filmom formata 9×12 cm in sicer z lepotico od kamere Linhof Techniko.
Poleg skupinskega portreta sem naredil še individualne portrete nečaka Tilna, nečakinje Enje in mlajše hčerke Brine. Res fajn mi je delat s tem mokrim kolodijem na steklenih ploščah in komaj čakam nove, sveže kemikalije. Srebrovega nitrata mi že tako zmanjkuje, da moram banjico konstantno zibat, da je tekočina enakomerno prekrije ploščo. Vem… zelo zoprno in se počutim neumneo, ko za vsako fotko pet minut ujčkam banjico s srebrovim nitratom, a jebiga, raje to kot, da sedim in čakam na poštarja.
Sedaj sem se odločil, da je mokri kolodij prava stvar zame in bom vztrajal v tej tehniki. Glede na to, da sem naredil čudovite portrete otrok, tudi moja žena spoznava prednosti te tehnike in sprejema odločitev, da potrebujem (še eno) novo kamero. In to veliko kamero! Prej omenjena Linhofca ni moja in prav tako je veliko formatna kamera izposojena, tako potrebujem nov prihodek, da plačam za to zver. Moj plan je, da za kak dan najamem studio in naredim en kup portretov v tej tehniki. Bi morda želeli svoj portret ali portret svojega otroka v tej tehniki? Pošljite mi email na email@example.com in vam odgovorim s podrobnosti.
PS: Objavljam še eno starejšo fotografijo sosede z novorojencem.
Readers of my blog (and everybody that meet me) knows about my adventure into 19th Century photography. Until now I was limited to my Kodak Folding Brownie, but I was looking for proper large format view camera that will work with glass plates in wet plate collodion technique. I searched on many websites, places and talked to many colleagues, but yesterday morning I woke up with a memory that I know a store where there used to be a view camera standing in a corner. I was probably wrong, but since I was in Ljubljana I drove down to the store. I was shocked to see it in the corner waiting for me
I thought it will be a wooden camera, but since it was made out of metal, I was sure it’s using normal film holder, but to my surprise it had a wooden back with adaptors for various formats. Camera is manufactured by Idro Celje from Slovenia, a company that doesn’t exist anymore, but obviously they were making bulletproof cameras for usage in reprography. I named it Panzer camera as it reminds me on Panzer IV tank. It uses a 25cm Carl Zeiss lens and it’s interesting how aperture is marked. There is no f stop, just the size of radios of the aperture. I never saw a lens like that. It’s meant for a work in reprography so you can not screw it on a normal tripod. Today we had a chance visit of a family friend that makes stuff from metal and I asked him to make an adapter for this camera. With the adapter I will be able to photograph outside on a normal tripod. Life is smooth when I’m tuned in photography
I’ve bought 2mm glass that was cut on format of 12 x 16,5 cm and without really learning how to properly clean the glass and prepare it for collodion layer, I started with spilling collodion and the rest of Wet Plate Collodion ritual. I’ve made a set up with my cameras (Kiev – my first camera) and exposed it with two Balcar flashes with joint power of 2250 Ws. I was shocked how much light I needed to properly exposed it. I needed 30 bursts and if my math is correct it emitted 67.500 Ws. And my collodion is young like three weeks, so it should needed less light then an old collodion. Perhaps flash is emitting very little UV light upon which collodion is most sensitive on. I don’t know, I have much to learn. Anyway I’m overwhelmed with my first glass plate and I made also a contact print on a normal resin coated silver-bromide paper. Easy Sparky I’m not that far to make albumen prints, at least not yet. After first success I noticed that collodion is starting to peel of the glass. I know… It’s not good to skip lessons in photography, but hey, it’s fun nevertheless!
PS: My daughters love the magic box as we call the camera