Progress on large metal plates
Yesterday, we spent the day doing the first round of the fully large plates. The easel on the camera is now set for 24″x28″. It’s very limited what you can shoot with this camera; there’s no way to focus it, you just bring the subject forward and backward. I saw these faded, funky silk flowers in a junk shop, and somehow it just seemed right to practice with. Maybe it reminds me of my mother’s fading health; maybe that’ll be the theme of this first little test body of work.
Below is a bad iPhone snap of the first plate yesterday, sitting on the kitchen table. We had to sensitize it in a tray, (with agitation), but it worked. Everything about this process is beta test.
I am getting assistance from Samantha Angel, a fine art graduate from Watkins. She’s a photo major, just graduated, but she has experience and interest in wet-plate collodion. Without her help, we could not have done it yesterday. Everything is so large, it just takes four hands. I am thankful for her help.
So I guess we’re off and running. I have to keep ordering more chemistry and more plates, but we now have an established workflow. The frustrating thing about the camera is that it only points forward. You can’t tilt it up or down, or focus it, so that’s going to limit what I shoot. But maybe these limitations will be a good thing, in the end. Time will tell.