TOPSHIT PHOTOGRAPHY blog

Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Posts Tagged ‘land rover defender

How to fix a starter of Land Rover Series 3

with 6 comments

Dear readers, I apologise for off-the-topic theme, but I assure you it’s not off the topic! It represents the phenomena of me being changed ever sinc I’ve started to do hand-made photography. You know, if you want to do wet plate collodion photography and other alternative processes, you will have a problem to buy all the tools you need. OK, there are few places that offer specialised tools, like silver-bath, camera bellows, etc. But you need awful lot of money to just buy all the stuff you need. But even if you do, sooner or later you will start making things, repairing small issues at first and the next moment you will be calculating atomic masses of molecules, while on your brand new circular saw cutting acrylic glass and fixing your car.

That’s what it happened to me. I used to do what I was told by TV, I used to be a very good consumer. But I got sick of it. I did not got any pleasures and as a photographer I’ve spent 95% behind computer. If I would love computer so much I would be hacker or even better an accountant hacking tax breakes.

After five years doing wet plate collodion photography, I’ve experienced a lot of ups and downs, but most importantly my confidence of making things grew. In this video I’m fixing starter of my old-timer from 1972, Land Rover 109. Luckily the part on the starter that make the flywheel spinning it was only stuck due to dirt and minor rust. It haven’t seen the light for 44 years!

So for now, this is it. I have a workshop coming. The big one, seven day long workshop. Participants are from Israel, Sweden and Germany and of course Slovenia. After the workshop I have some excellent news. Stay tuned.

Written by Borut Peterlin

23 April, 2016 at 08:06

Topshitest dark-box in the world!

with 11 comments



Oh, I am so happy with this dark-box I’ve done in the last few days. In October 2014 I’ve bought a Land Rover Series 3 from year 1972 and it took me more then half a year that I started to trust the car and foremost my ability to fix it, or more often then not, recognising I need a help from a friend to do the maintenance of the truck.

I so much love photographing outdoor, especially documentary photography and you know how annoying is to do it in wet plate collodion process. Sure I’ve done it many times, you can get to a location, set up a tent and you work whole day at the location, clean the stuff and go home with bunch of plates. In the last four years that I do wet plate collodion photography, only twice it happened that I’ve set up a tent, took few plates, cleaned the place up, move to another location, set up the tent, do another bunch of plates, clean it and go home. It is so exhausting this moving. And moving a dark-box or a tent is not a problem, it’s to pour back all the chemistry, prepare it for transport… ARGHHH!!!

I had in mind for a long time a wet plate collodion mobile, a car that it will have a dark box and most importantly all other chemistry prepared in such a way that I would stop the car, set a camera, pour the plate, develop a plate and move to another location. I know few people have camper vans or even trailers, which is fantastic, but not suitable for my environment, not suitable for motifs I want to photograph.

Land Rover, Series 3, 109 LWB, Station Wagon, an old-timer from 1972 is perfect for my needs. It’s cheap to buy, it’s cheap to maintain (parts are cheap, but you have to do the mechanical work by yourself or go bankrupt),  it’s almost free to insure and foremost it looks good on you! Sure it’s not cheap to drive, it burns 13 litres of petrol per 100km (USA: 18 mpg), but it’s not a car for daily use, it’s a tool! I drive it about once a week down to the river or up into forests, near my house, to bring all the equipment,  I rarely make a trip longer then 100 km. You don’t want to drive long time with this car!

Screenshot 2016-01-02 23.16.42

A dark-box as a crate on a roof rack

Anyhow now I’m happy with my dark box. I need to make another shelf beside the dark-box on which I will have a bath with fixer or humectant and a box to store clean and exposed plates. On top of everything I can make a bed in my car! I can easily make a bed size 135cm x 180cm. OK, if I will have a dark box inside, it will be 50 cm narrower, but still plenty of space. When I was in Vienna PhotoBook Festival, I was camping inside the truck and had also a cooker for making soups, tea and other tasty meals. The dark box can be used also on the roof rack as a crate for storage.

 

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River Susica, a wet plate collodion negative on glass, format 10x15cm, taken with Kodak Folding Brownie 3A, from about 1905. Exposure: F/64, 5 minutes, old collodion, silver bath 5,7pH

Today I’ve made a quick test before lunch to see if window is properly filtering daylight and I’ve made this wet plate collodion negative. It’s done with Kodak Folding Brownie 3A, from year 1905, it was one of the first compact cameras in the world! Amazing camera, I love it so much. The most important is that I’ve made the plate in about half an hour with all the setting up and going back home to catch the lunch.  This Land Rover and the dark box is the most important tool I have! It will make a wet plate collodion process natural and easy. So happy!

Last but not least, my new year’s resolution is to make more videos and blog posts. I am amazed how many people are following me trough social network! The Ebay auctions are going good, the last one reached about 230 EUR and then I’ve sold another copy of the print to an Italian bidder that lost a bidding against a bidder from USA. Of course the second albumen print from the last auction was sold for slightly higher price then the wining bid was. If I add up the support from my patreons and the commissions that I receive in Slovenia and workshops I have, I must say it’s going great. I want to thank you, by revealing my craft secrets, that I have none, inspiring others and being inspired by others.

Thank you and remember topshit 2016 happens!