Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Posts Tagged ‘recession

Documentary project Great Depression

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Two years ago, at the start of my wet plate collodion path, I set myself a project to document state of bankrupt companies. Imagine the moment when the last worker at the last shift, turned the lights out. The moment when it became dead silent.

Now when I’m looking back at my videos (LINK) even blind would see the progress I’ve made. Nevertheless I love imperfection on my plates, so my plates don’t compete with flawlessness of film. This plate that is published under is about as perfect as I want it to be.

Last Thursday I went back to photograph Novoles company and Marcos Núñez Cid was recording a video about my project. He made a true masterpiece. I’m sure you will enjoy it.

Let me highlight that this project is getting quite some attention. First I had a beautiful exhibition in Gallery Photon, Ljubljana, Slovenia, then it was published in DOC! Photomagazine, issue #21, from pages 140-169 and in May, it will be featured in one of the UK’s leading photography magazines. The project was chosen to be presented on a group touring show under organization of European Month of Photography, so if I understood it correctly it will travel across Europe. Last but not least, I also sended this images to Slovenian Photography of the Year competition and the project did not pass even the first round of selection of 30 artists! If that’s not an achievement, then I don’t know what is!


Wet Plate Collodion project on current recession

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short 4 minute video.

longer version 14 minutes.
Ladies and Gentleman, let me introduce my new project, Great Depression 1912-13! I have been thinking for a long time to make a project that would incorporate wet plate collodion technique beyond the technological and aesthetic fascination. I wanted to make a concept where wetplate process would be a foundation of the concept, not a picture effect in the sense “geee, that looks so cool…”

And this is it. Project Great Depression 1912-13 is a documentary photography project where in wet plate technique I’m documenting state of a bankrupt companies with an emphasize on things that people left behind after they have been working there for decades.

Why the title Great Depression 1912-13? My aim is to make a picture series that would look old, ancient, as a document of an event that happened long, long time ago. I want that viewers will get the feeling that this sort of events happened like hundred years ago and since then society has learned the lesson and this sort of things can not happen to us, to a modern man in 21st Century.

The old bellow camera and wet plate technique is perfect to embed in pictures emotional detachment from the event. To prove my point, just think how great does it look a mugshot of Lewis Powel, the Lincon’s assassin photographed by Alexander Gardner and compare it to a contemporary mugshot of a murderer. It’s not (solely) the photographical technique that makes you feel different looking at a contemporary mug shot in comparison to a historical mugshot, it’s the knowing that murderer from a 19th Century mugshot is harmless, whereas a mugshot of a contemporary murderer is scary, since you can easily imagine that it could hurt you.

Of course in my picture series Great Recession 1912-13 I’m not hiding that this pictures are contemporary, just the opposite. I’m emphasizing the tension between the title and aesthetic elements on one side and documentary features on the other side.

I started the project in company Novoles that is about 500 meters from where I grew up. For me it’s important to start small, local and now I want to go to photograph larger stories. I have a wish list of international companies that I want to photograph, like the airport of Ciudad Real in Spain and of course Kodak company in Rochester, NY.

Let me finish with an anecdote. I’ve been photographing the entrance of Novoles and although I liked my first plate, it was full of mistakes. I’ve been working for another hour to make three technical nearly perfect photographs, but then I picked the first one. It’s perfect just as unperfected it is! And that happened to me many times!

Large images you can see on my site

Great Depression 1912-13Great Depression 1912-13

Great Depression 1912-1320121201_7977

Small marketing steps in great recession

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This days my schedule got a bit loosen up, so I used the time for some marketing fine tunning. I needed new visit cards and first I wanted a visit card with a hole in the middle and an embossing, but that was just too much complicating and also quite expensive. Decided to simplify it. I wondered how much info can I strip out of visit card and on the end I decided for just a telephone number and a webaddress. My good friend Jure Kocuvan liked the idea and helped me out with typography.
borut_vizitka_prva stranvizitka_zadnjastranBPT_8463vizitka z luknjo This is the first – unrealized version.

Second small fine tunning I did with a help of Jure was a favicon icon on my site It’S really difficult to make an icon that makes sense and that the message comes across in the size of 16 x 16 pix. This is the first version, but the number 5 was blending too much with background so we did a surrounding white space in a shape of a shield. I love this small almost unnoticed fine tunning, although without a question I don’t devote enough attention to them, especially on this blog.
favicon prijefavicon poslije

Last but not least I have still few more new years gifts on my shelf and they are for sale @ recession prices 🙂 Small one 20 x 30 cm is for 50 EUR, panoramic picture 100 x 30 cm is for 90 EUR. Posting cost is not included, but it should not be more then 10 EUR. They are printed on archive inkjet print, plasticized and mounted on Dubond / alumount. The plastic wrapping is just for temporary protection. The plastification of the print is a standard archiving procedure, but that is not the wrapping that is seen on this pics. All inquiries on my email

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Today was not my day…

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Today I had so many photo-terms. Starting with a portrait of a Trimo CEO Mrs. Tatjana Fink. I forgot to bring to Trebnje tripod and a softbox for the flash, but luckily I was an hour early, so I called taxi to bring me those things. He charged me 30 EUR! But as long the quality does not suffer I don’t mind losing all the profit if learn on mistakes.

Then I was photographing three individuals for the cover of Trimotim, a corporate Trimo magazine. The wind blew my Balcar 1500 Ws of balance and it fell down on a fully stretched tripod. The back of the flash broke and the whole housing shifted and its electric wired guts were all over. It was still functioning though!

Then I was photographing an interview with newly elected Minister of education and sport Igor Lukšič. I did great pictures, but then I had to run to Mirna on another social event of Trimo, but my battery in the car was dead. I called and they charged my battery and although I was late for an hour I still did all the pictures required.

I was talking with some corporate people and the question about recession aroused and how do I dare to build a house in this times. I said that recession is like a winter. And during the winter we are not panicking because flowers are not blooming and I feel OK, just to know roots are deep and safe.

Today I was working from 7 am until 9 pm, but I lost more money then I earn it. Nevertheless I did good pictures and all my customers were satisfied and that is what really matters.

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Written by Borut Peterlin

1 December, 2008 at 23:25

Questionmark with US dollars

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Yesterday we’ve arranged with Abanka so they let me 100 notes of US dollar and 100 notes of EUR currency, so I could make question mark with USD currency and exclamation sign with EUR currency. Of course pictures were shot in the sealed room in the basement of the bank. This is an add version for Mladina‘s supplement on Finances that will come out in next issue.
Design: Ivian Mujezinović Kan
photography and arrangement: Borut Peterlin
creative director: Robert Botteri.

Written by Borut Peterlin

13 November, 2008 at 06:36