The wet plate collodion process is labor-intensive and requires keen attention. First, I cut a tintype out of black aluminium and pour salted collodion onto it. The plate is then immersed into silver nitrate. While it is still wet, it is exposed in the camera with my Voigtländer-Petzval 1846 lens. After exposure, each tintype is immediately returned to the darkroom for development and fix. The last step is to varnish the plate with sandarac lavender oil, which is applied by hand and warmed over an alcohol lamp.
Due to this process, each tintype is unique and possesses small imperfections that make each plate one of a kind. Tintypes can potentially last up to 150 years, so plan to pass the plates down to future generations!
Ambrotype, 2012. Self Portrait
ephemera is a series of wet plate collodion photographs depicting flower arrangements. This project explores the significance of flowers to the rhythm of human life and the deep symbolism which we have imbued them with. While it is influenced by the compositions of still life paintings, the use of historical and alternative photographic processes presents to the viewer a fresh, provocative perspective on the beauty and meaning of flowers. (click on button below to continue...)
The scenes depicted in this series of constructed imagery photographs could quite literally fit in the palm of your hand. Over the years, I have collected miniature props and figurines from antique, craft, garden, and secondhand stores, and in this series I use them to tell whimsical vignettes, often inspired by dreams. There is no single theme or story that unifies all these images, except perhaps a suggestion to the viewer to slow down and appreciate the little things in life.
These historical processes, which I especially favor for my photographs of the aging structures of the American countryside, encourage the viewer to meditate on the passage of time. Wet plate collodion and ambrotype are venerable photographic techniques that have become all but lost with the passage of time, so I see a parallel between them and the vanishing barns, decaying grain silos and crumbling ghost towns that dot the American landscape.
"The Dilemma," portrays a figure who is half-cat, half-human. He has caught a white dove, a symbol of peace, and is contemplating what to do next. Does he follow his feline instincts and kill the bird, or will he instead nurture and befriend it? This is the dilemma he faces. Limited Edition.