Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Ha, that’s a contemporary Wet Plate Collodion portrait – Primož Bezjak!

with 7 comments

Primož Bezjak, an actor

In Mladina weekly I’m publishing my portraits every week from 2006 and although I had a huge success with that kind of aesthetic, I needed a change. And Wet Plate Collodion technique is a real change indeed! In spite of technical difficulties of the process I still am trying to focus on a content, so that the portrait is not just a remake of old masters, that I can not surpass anyway, and sometimes I catch something that is from both worlds and is a signal I’m on a right path. Before the last example was the portrait of the band Silence.

Yesterday I’ve done a portrait of Primož Bezjak, an actor. He is very successful young actor. He was playing the main character in the movie Petelinji zajtrk, that was the film that brought to cinema the largest audience in Slovenia, beating Titanic and other blockbusters. On youtube is the film with English captions. But Primož Bezjak is mostly playing in theater and so it happens that he has a performance in Anton Podbevšek Teater and from the character and the feel of the performance I’ve build up the concept for this picture. The performance is inspired by the work of Samuel Beckett. Please take a look of the video bellow and you can see the visual parallels. The premiere is on Saturday and check on the site for other performances.

Technicall info: I’ve used camera ShenHao field 4×5″ camera, with a lens Linhof 135/3,5 at aperture 5,6, illuminated by two studio flashes of joined power 2250Ws at the distance of 60cm. Since we didn’t had a lot of time I’ve done this picture without a test and it came out perfectly! Plate is clean as never before and I’m in doubt that my plates are becoming too perfect, almost German-like!


7 Responses

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  1. Fantastic portrait, your wet plate collodion are exquisite! Just wish that more people could see them, you are a master!
    Do you know what I’ve done? I have bought a Wista 4×5 field camera. It came home a couple of days ago and I’m training…. 😉
    So in a couple of days or so I hope to go outside and take my first photo with it… I’m totally thrilled by this beauty and can’t wait to use it. And that is so much thanks to your great and very inspirational blog!


    26 September, 2012 at 10:38

  2. Uau, Wista 4×5″ field camera looks like mine SheHao. I guess ShenHao is a copy of Wista, but what it matters is a lens and of course a vision 🙂 yes, you need to practice and shoot like 50 films, then you’re ready to ride the horse. Have i told you what was my weekend project?

    Thank you for you opinion. I love this Wet Plate Collodion and have still much to dig in that mine. I like to use the old technique but to make a contemporary images. We’ll see how will it go. thx, B5


    26 September, 2012 at 22:15

  3. I have hoovered the swedish market for used 4×5 field cameras… nothing….. And to order something from another country or overseas would have costed me to much in shipping and customs, so I went for a new one, with guarantee, and though I’m never done this before I want to be sure it is working, or I’m in deep trouble….
    So, there was this Wista or the Tachihara, but they told me that Wista was a lot better… More genuine construction… Well, we’ll see. It looks good, and the Tachihara looked very good too, so it was hard to choose. Lenses will be a lot easier to find on the used market. Can’t wait to use it… 🙂


    26 September, 2012 at 22:57

  4. You know how I got one? I made a shopping list what I want and published it on FB and Twitter, with a question if somebody has a better offer and my friend from college offered me two for the price of one 😉
    And you’re absolutely right. It’s the best to rely on a good camera, then to think if you7re doing something wrong or is it camera’s fault, etc. I know, I have a camera that I’ve molded myself and I have German and Chinese cameras. I thing best 4×5″ camera is Linhof Technika, for which I don’t have enough money, but it’s nothing wrong with my ShenHao. Actually I love it! People are totaly impressed by wooden cameras!
    Good luck Marie!

    Borut Peterlin

    26 September, 2012 at 23:04

  5. I was following your adventures on wet plate collodion with fair amount of skepticism, but with last two portraits (Silence and Primož Bezjak) you really proved there is something in this approach, something worth pursuing on.
    Eager to see your future work.


    27 September, 2012 at 11:18

  6. Thank you very much!
    I have taken a couple of images now, but I totally wrecked the first four, by an incredibly silly mistake in the developing process…. Gah…..
    But yesterday I developed tho more bw sheets, and they are at least properly developed. I will scan and publish later today or tomorrow. It feels great to solve problems, even the most embarrassing ones…. 😉


    16 October, 2012 at 09:35

  7. DONT GIVE IN TO MUNCHIES!! haha~ marijuana by itself just isn’t acknowledged to cause zi xiu tang bee pollen achieve. Anyone has diverse reactions, but munchies are typical for many strains of weed.

    10 September, 2014 at 02:10

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