Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Honouring elderly photographers

with 6 comments

My neighbour Rajko Henigman is 87 years old and he was a photographer and cinema operator. His father Karel Henigman was a shoemaker and an amateur photographer who created amazing collection of photographs during the first world war. In the our little town of Dolenjske Toplice is a spa but during the first world war it was a rehabilitation centre for soldiers and Karel Henigman documented daily life of soldiers, during their exercise, rehabilitation, hospitals, preparing food and so on. Very impressive silver-gelatine glass plate negatives formats from 9x12cm to 18x24cm. Rajko is the keeper of his father heritage and he asked me not to photograph his fathers negatives.

Rajko was curios how am I enlarging my glass plate negatives, so I invited him to my darkroom and enlarged a portrait of him that I’ve done some time ago. He said my technique of dodging and burning is the same as he was doing it when he was young. He show me some tips and we enjoyed our time together.

Borut Peterlin and Božena Pelikan in front of Studio Pelikan

Borut Peterlin and Božena Pelikan in front of Studio Pelikan

Some time ago I’ve visited Božena Pelikan, 93 year old youngest daughter of Josip Pelikan. I wrote a post about the Josip Pelikan few years ago, but this time she showed me the other facilities that Josip Pelikan was using after second world war until his death in 1977. What a privilege to enter the rooms of a great photographer, seeing how he worked, how much have he created. I could feel his presence in the coat that was still hanging on the door where he left it in 1977.

It’s an honour for me to pay tribute to elderly photographers. They are inspiration. I hope in the future I could make a series of art images with these objects. I hope I can make a sort of a conversation with photographs between three photographers, the present one, the deceased one and the one that is not born yet, but will look at the images sometime in the future.

Do you understand? A photographer who is not born yet will look at my images that are not created yet, but when he/she will look at it will have a feeling that they are here from forever. When we look at the old images we have a feeling they are here because someone has left them, but no, they are here because someone created them and the other preserved them. Photographs in front of you are not dusty objects, they are someones intention.

Written by Borut Peterlin

31 January, 2015 at 23:49

6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Great post Borut, interesting that your initials are the same like from Božena 🙂

    Anyway I can imagine how magical place is the place you visited with Božena.
    Nobody can steal you that feeling!
    Best, J.


    1 February, 2015 at 09:35

  2. Thank you Jan,
    you are right. I was so deeply enchanted by the place and at the same time I know it’s impossible to pass the feeling. I am no poet and I can’t do much with iPad, but I’ve done these sketch-photos and hope the readers of my blog will relate to it in imagination.
    Yes, B.P. I use often B5 initial, that you will understand why, since number 5 is very similar in Czech as is in Slovenian

    Borut Peterlin

    1 February, 2015 at 10:26

  3. OK, thank you your explanation. I know pet = pět.


    1 February, 2015 at 10:46

  4. This is an amazing look back into another’s world. I love this perspective. As someone who is interested in history, I do feel it. I enjoy the view not only of a photographer, but also a look into another place not my own. It is rare to get such a personal look. It brings the world that much closer to a mutual understanding.

    John Fink Jr.

    5 February, 2015 at 18:52

  5. Thank you John! We are on the same frequency, mate!

    Borut Peterlin

    5 February, 2015 at 19:01

  6. Very nice and interesting post.I have many photos of my great grandmother’s austrian parents , taken in the early ‘900…and they are still PERFECT.I love this kind of photos,wet plate collodion,albumen print…it is a look back to another world,another time.
    Best regards,Lorenzo


    13 March, 2015 at 12:45

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: