Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Posts Tagged ‘Family

About friends, alter ego and – oh – some wet plate photography

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This vlog is again a photographer’s diary or actually only two topics. Plus some Land Rover maintenance. I hope you’ll find it fun. Let me know if you prefer silver-gelatin print from the negative or ambrotype (wet plate collodion positive). May the topshit be with you!

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Survival guide for kids / part 01

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Christmas is time to be with family and I love to take kids to nature and encourage their creativity. This short video we’ve made in two takes in two hours, just before lunchtime, so it’s not a masterpiece of videography, but it is a quality parenting time, encouraging imagination and creativity. Needles to say we have a long list of episodes that demands the continuation of the series 🙂
I wish you beautiful present moment!


Written by Borut Peterlin

28 December, 2017 at 13:59

From my exhibition in Pula, Croatia, with love ;-)

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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,…

A selfportrait with my daughters. Done in wet plate collodion negative, format 8x10". Assistant Markele Zid

A selfportrait with my daughters. Done in wet plate collodion negative, format 8×10″. Assistant Markele Zid

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,[1] thence also of gates, doors, passages, endings and time.

A photography project on fears and delights being a parent

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Dear topshit readers,
I’m awfully proud on the following book I’ve made. I’ve joined an excellent workshop with Klavdij Sluban. Klavdij Sluban is an extraordinary photographer and won so many prestigious photography awards. One of the most important award was certainly European Publishers Award 2009 and this year he was one of the juror for Leica Award 2013. It’s fortunate for us that his parents were Slovenians and although he was born in Paris, he spend his childhood in Slovenia, so he speaks fluently Slovenian (among other half a dozen languages). He made a generous offer to make a whole year lasting workshop and we would meet six weekends across the whole year. His only condition was not to advertise the workshop internationally, but invite only Slovenian photographers. Last week we had an opening of exhibition as the final stage of our workshop.

The presentation of my art zine and a single photograph at Gallery Simulaker, Novo mesto, Slovenia

The presentation of my art zine and a single photograph at Gallery Simulaker, Novo mesto, Slovenia

The book I’m presenting is a fruit of collaboration at the workshop. I’ve learned hugely by just watching Klavdij going through images, picking one, the other, changing the order, putting it back on the pile and so on. We called it Sluban’s magic, because although sometimes images that were on the table were not impressive at all, but his selection of just say 8 images and juxtapositioning them in certain order, did made a huge difference. You can not understand if you don’t witness it. I’ve been at workshops with many many famous photographers, from Martin Parr, Duane Michals, Joel Peter Witkin and many others, but I haven’t seen anything like it. I knew from our first meeting that all I need to learn at the workshop is to tap on his frequency of thinking and the result is evident here in this book. Mark Osterman gave me a great comment. He loved that I used different camera formats (6×6, 4×5″, 8×10″) and also different processes (b&w film, wet plate collodion – ambrotype and wet plate negative) and I blended them all together in a book almost seamlessly. That’s Sluban’s magic, I tell you!

As I’m describing in the video I was aware that the story about the most beautiful children in the world is not enough. I shaped my concept around my fears and delights of being a parent. When I was a child, ten years old, I burned myself with a gasoline and almost died. When I became a parent I experienced fears for my children and one day I was strucked by a thought, what my parents had to go through at the time of my accident!

The book is on ebay (LINK) if you want a copy. If you want a print as well, I’ve just put two prints on ebay and link is listed below.

A link to the gallery of images on my website.

The book on ebay.

The print no.1 listed on ebay.

Print no.6 listed on ebay.

Portraying passion is back

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Sorry for not blogging for a while. You must understand me, I quit my job of photojournalist where I was working for almost 8 years and was working my ass off to provide income elsewhere. And proudly I must say I managed to find a job that is much better paid, so I’m sorted for next 12 months!

Nevertheless I miss weekly portraits assignments so if somebody is interested to be portrayed by my genius in the bottle, just rub my email address.

Few days ago I was playing around with negative wet plate process and I wanted to see if my month old albumen solution got bad and how does it reflect on the plate. It’s important to recognize an error and it’s pattern. Here are two results. I love them both. Not sure if because my daughters are on the pictures or do they have some attraction to you to?

Images that follow are cleaner. I was cleaning my plates with very diluted nitric acid and I doubt that there will be any effect, but it was. I got very clean plates. I also give it a try of Miša Keskenović receipt for a quickclear collodion. Miša started to modify a receipt from Eder and adjust it for quickclear usage. It is based on three salts, NH4I, CdI2 and CdBr2. It’s rich in iodides and very sharp, very contrasty, very thick. Actually it was too thick for this weather, so I got crepe lines. I love it 🙂 Obviously it’s not forgiving to work with the collodion, but it is rewarding when everything goes well. For more info read the description of an image.

Homage to Paul Graham

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Paul Graham at the workshop in Fabrica in year 2000

Last week I was on a vacation and I’ve read a book review of newest project by Paul Graham at Aphotoeditor by Robert Haggart. I’ve first encountered Paul Graham’s work at an exhibition at Month of Photography in Bratislava, year 1994. It was an exhibition of New British Documentary Photography. When I was in Fabrica, Benetton’s communication research centre, year 2000, he had a two days workshop there. Until then I didn’t fancy his aesthetic, but I understood his topics and I loved his early works especially Beyond Caring and Troubled Land. His work you don’t understand on a first glance, it took me a while of reading and contemplation to get familiar with the idea that war photography can be done with medium format camera from far and it’s OK, that your pictures aren’t good enough because you’re not close enough.

While we had a workshop together he asked from us to go out and make pictures, that we wouldn’t otherwise, we were asked to make mistakes, rigorous technical and compositional mistakes. We went out and each of us shot a roll of film and I took it as a joke, throwing camera in the air and taking pictures with a timer on and of course nobody took an effort to look trough a viewfinder. And accordingly that’s how our pictures look like, a one big mess! Paul came along and start shuffling pictures and out of this mess of unsharp, blurry, over&under exposed pictures made a series that actually looked really cool! Then he was talking about possible connotations that this kind of aesthetic could be applied to. I was astonished! What a good workshop!

So when I read the book review that I’ve mentioned before I clicked through the book and as always it’s not on a first ball as we say it, but as all Graham’s projects it takes some time to get familiar with his new “invention” in photography. To be honest my belief was that diptychs, triptychs and other typtichs are for photographers who can not make a good picture, then they do some distracting maneuvers with juxtaposing several images together. In 99% it’s like that, if you ask me, or even more if the theme of the series is dealing with identity of a photographer (grow up!).

But, I’m also great fan of Duane Michals and his way of transcending an image with a sequence and Graham’s diptychs are sharing a some sort of rhythm that I like. Furthermore this is actually a street photography, a contemporary modern version street photography, that I adore. Robert Haagart wrote:

“But, inch by inch, I realized that the book’s locale is strictly allegorical. It could have been London, or Barcelona, or San Francisco, or almost any city on Earth. The title of the book is not “NYC,” it’s “The Present.” Mr. Graham is asking us to take him at his word, and look beyond the obvious.”

At the moment I was reading this I was at a vacation at the sea site in Nerezine, Croatia, so I wondered if it could have been NY, London, Barcelona, why not Nerezine as well? I took my camera and the very next day I’ve made a jackpot of an image that I’m publishing bellow. I’m continuing with the mining the concept…






My love affair with middle format cameras (Mamiya, Bronica, Yashica, Fuji,…)

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As followers of my blog might know, I got into large format photography. First only with Wet Plate Collodion technique, but then when I run out of chemicals, I started to shoot also film. I got into it right away! I mean I’ve shoot 26 film folders with about 100 films in each before I started digital, so it’s not like I discovered America, but I must admit, that in this digital revolution I left out many things, that I didn’t know I’m missing them. Like the smell of fixir on your fingertips 🙂

But seriously in this digital revolution suddenly all images are the same. The same optics, the same flashes, printers, the same images… And when I started to rediscover the analog cameras again, I felt a child-like joy and things started happening. Like the other day I was walking through storage room of a friend and noticed Zenza Bronica ETRS, format 6×4,5 and I borrowed the camera that nobody was using for a very long time. Then another friend borrowed me a Mamiya C220, a twin-lens camera format 6×6 and I loved it. I was publishing pics by this camera and a Facebook friend offered me a Mamiya C330 camera for 200 EUR. That offer you can not refuse so I’ve bought it. It’s in mint condition! The seller told me a lot about the former owner of this camera and I’m feeling kind of guilty that I’m dragging this camera constantly with me, whereas the former owner was taking it out only on special occasions.

On the end of the day I’m suspecting it’s middle age crisis kicking in. When I was studying photography in 90’s this cameras were really expensive. Like a camera like that was half the price of a car and now, thanks to digital revolution, nobody wants them anymore! Thank you, very much!

Here are few recent pictures. Square ones are with Mamiya C220, lens 80mm, f/2,8 and rectangular ones are with Zenza Bronica ETRS, lens 150mm, f/3,5.

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The last image: Daughters are delighted by father’s new camera!

Written by Borut Peterlin

18 August, 2012 at 16:08

New pictures for my Family Album

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I haven’t been blogging much lately, since I am in a very productive period of my life. Unfortunately I can’t afford to be focused and I work on many, many different fields, mostly for commercial clients, but in this days I can’t complain about that, right. Also this blog gained quite some attention, although you don’t comment much 😦 so I think twice what am I publishing. But this formula just doesn’t work. Now this is my only second post this month and I decided to go back to my old habit to publish what I make during the day.

My niece Enja had a birthday party so I took few photographs on collodion and on film. I used my ShenHao 4×5″ camera with a fast lens Linhof 135mm f/3,5. How do you like it? Leave a comment, rate, like and Rock&Roll!

PS: More family portraits on my site



The opening of the exhibition “Family Album” was fantastic :-)

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Yesterday I had an opening of my exhibition “Family Album” in Gallery Laterna in Črnomelj, Slovenia. It’s a small nice gallery with passionate public. The gallery was packed and at the opening not everybody could fit in. Even friends and colleagues from Novo mesto, Ljubljana and Zagreb came! On the end of the opening ceremonial I’ve made a demonstration of the Wet Plate Collodion and made a group portrait in front of the gallery. Unfortunately this was about half an hour after the opening, so not everybody are on the picture.

From the show I’m literally astonished what kind of quality does a small 9x12cm ambrotype contains! Bojan Radovič and Luminus made a print size 100x80cm and it’s perfect! I have some serious ideas with newly discovered potentials. What do I have in mind? Let me step back and describe a little the background inspiration for the show. About two years ago I saw an exhibition of Sally Mann in The Photographer’s Gallery in London. I immediately fall in love with Wet Plate Collodion process and this was also times when I had enough of my job as a photoeditor and news photography on general. I was looking for a person who would know something about it at the affordable price. Year later I’ve bought a kit from Bostick & Sullivan , but I had all the chemicals, plate and a camera, but still nobody to show me how to do it. In November 2011 I’ve finally met Miša Keskenović who taught me nearly everything that I know about this process. Since then I’m working almost every day with it and it’s Rock and Roll!

Motif-wise of course I was photographing mainly my family and finally I was indulging the need what Susan Sontag describes as a need of a parent to photograph child’s progress. The absence of photographs from your child’s childhood it gives us parents a feeling that you haven’t been a good parent. And I must admit I’ve took thousands of photographs of my children, but ony few of them are in our Family Album! Finally with Wet Plate Process I had a feeling I’m making pictures that are worth to keep for the future! With Wet Plate I was shooting also large format 4×5″ sheet film and I’ve totally fall in love with it!

When I got an invitation for the show, I was told that budget is no-budget, so if I had to finance the show from family’s budget, why not devote the exhibition to my family! This was the start, the inspiration. After working couple of months for the show, I discovered several potentials that will go beyond our family album pictures series. For instance. The photo of Lučka leaning on a tree is inspired by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson‘s (better known as Lewis Caroll) photograph of Alice Lidell (Alice in Wonderland) and when I developed the photo I said to my self this is sooo cool, I want to illustrate a whole book with this kind of images! I have many friends that are writing for children. If you have a tip for me, please contact me.

Anyhow, the exhibition will be open until 14th of June 2012, but before you visit, please call the keeper of the gallery Slavko on 040661802. He will be more then happy to open the space upon your visit.

Včeraj sem imel otvoritev razstave Družinski album v galeriji Laterna. To je majhna, čedna galerija v centru Črnomlja z zvesto, strastno publiko. Galerija je pokala po šivih in za časa otvoritvenega ceremoniala niti ni mogla sprejeti vseh obiskovalcev! Celo prijatelji in kolegi iz NM, Lj in celo iz Zagreba so prišli! Na koncu sem naredil skupinsko sliko in demonstriral tehniko mokri kolodij. Na žalost so nekateri že odšli, tako na fotki niso vsi obiskovalci, a se že tako vidi, da je bil žur!

Z razstave sem se mnogo naučil. Najbolj oprijemljivo je to, kakšno neverjetno tonaliteto, ostrino in nasploh kvaliteto vsebuje ena majhna ambrotipija velikosti 9x12cm! Bojan Radovič in Luminus je naredil inkjet povečavo velikosti 100x80cm in izgleda fenomenalno! Norišn’ca, vam prav’m!

Pa tudi sicer sem nenadejano naletel na potenciale, katere nisem vedel, da obstajajo. Naj malo pojasnim o čem govorim. Pred približno dvema letoma, sem si ogledal razstavo Sally Mann v The Photographer’s Gallery in se v trenutku zaljubil v proces mokri kolodij na steklu! Ta čas je sovpadal z mojim naraščajočim nezadovoljstvom poklica fotourednik in novičarske fotografije v obče. Iskal sem človeka, ki bi me lahko naučil o tem procesu, po sprejemljivi ceni. Leto kasneje sem kupil cel kit pri Bostick & Sullivan , a še vedno nisem vedel kako se s tem operira. Lani novembra sem spoznal Miša Keskenovića, ki me je naučil skoraj vse kar vem o mokrem kolodiju. Od takrt delam ali se učim o tem postopku vsak dan in je čisti Rock&Roll!

Jasno pri učenju postopka mokri kolodij, sem fotografiral predvsem svojo družino in končno sem potešil vzgib, ki ga Susan Sontag opisuje, kot potrebo starša, da dokumentira odraščanje svojega otroka. Pač v sodobni družbi se starša, ki ne fotografira svojega otroka smatra za malomarnega starša. Seveda to ne pomeni dejansko to, a v principu tako se počutimo starši. Sam sem posnel tisoče fotografij svojih otrok a le nekaj jih je dejansko v obliki fizične fotografij in v družinskem albumu.Končno s postopkom mokri kolodij delam fotografije imam občutek, da delam fotografije, ki so vredne hranjenja za prihodnost. Medtem, ko sem snemal na kolodijske plošče, sem tudi začel fotografirati na 4×5″ velikoformatni plan film in se čist zacopal v mehovke in fotografiranju na stojalu.

Ko sem dobil povabilo za razstavo mi je bilo povedano, da ni sredstev za produkcijo razstave, tako sem pomisli, če že moram razstavo financirati iz družinskega proračuna, zakaj jo ne bi posvetil svoji družini! To je bil prvi vzgib, inspiracija. Potem ko sem delal za to razstavo par mesecev, pa sem odkril kar nekaj potencialov, ki bodo daljnosežni! Na primer fotografija Lučke, ki se naslanja na drevo je bila inspirana s fotografijo Alice Lidell (Alica v čudežni deželi) fotografa Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, bolj znanega pod psevdonimom Lewis Caroll. Ko sem razvil to fotko sem bil tako navdušen, da sem takoj pomislil, da ilustriram kako knjigo za otroke po tem postopku. Poznam veliko pisateljic, ki pišejo za otroke, tako se bo že kaj našlo. Če imate nasvet me prosim kontaktirajte

Razstava bo odprta do 14.6.2012 in če boste šli pogledat, prosim pokličite prej skrbnika galerije slikarja Slavka na 040661802. Z veseljem vam odpre galerijo tudi zunaj urnika galerije.

Photo: Damir R.

Invitation to the exhibition of my Wet Plate Collodion photographs

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Dear reader, I invite you to the opening of my exhibition Family Album that will be in Galerija Laterna in Črnomelj, Slovenia on Friday 25.5.2012, at 19:00. I’ll exhibit a series of portraits of my family that I’ve made in last half a year. Some of it are made in Wet Plate Collodion technique, others are taken of sheet film format 4×5″. Large format rules! I’ll also make a live demonstration of Wet Plate Collodion portraiture. Fun it will be! Here are some previews from the show.
Dragi bralec, predraga bralka, vabim te na otvoritev razstave Družinski album, ki bo ta petek, ob 19. uri v Galeriji Laterna, v Črnomlju. Razstavil bom portrete svoje družine, ki sem jih naredil v zadnjem obdobju, v tehniki mokri kolodij na steklu in na velikoformatnem plan filmu. Na otvoritvi bom izvedel tudi demonstracijo tehnike mokri kolodij. Bo zabavno! Tu je nekaj predogledov z razstave.

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