Having spent most of his life building things for other people, photographer Rene Smets of Lummen, Belgium now enjoys his retirement by designing and constructing unusual wooden cameras which he would then go on to use for wet plate collodion photography. On the 3rd of October René set himself a project for the winter; to build a camera lens made out of wood. He would then go on to spend an exorbitant amount of time over the next nine days bringing his idea to life.
Rene documented the process with photographs, but like all great makers, started with a self made design first of which he would follow throughout the process:
This is how the lens would start its life. Two different pieces of Belgian wood that have been dried over a twenty year period. On the left is Buxus wood, Continue reading
Image manipulation has always been rife in photography. The airbrush tool is more than a whimsical reference to the past, an actual airbrush was commonly used on prints long before digital photography was even a glint in our eye. Welsh photographer Tony Richards recently shared with us some close up scans of old plates from his collector’s archive that reveal just that – the retouching of skin on portrait photographs.
However, as Tony points out on his blog the manipulation has taken place using a pencil rather than an airbrush. On first glance it is difficult to discern any type of editing from the negative or resulting CDV cards but when scanned in high resolution it reveals a whole swathe of strokes. Continue reading
It’s a cry photographers know all to well, “the final shot of the day was the one, I’d finally cracked it” and that rings true for Alex Timmermans’ most recent wet plate collodion creation ‘Swan Lake’. A man who strives in meeting a bar of perfection set so high he’s known to keep working on a set until sheer beauty is realised. Just take a look at the final plate.
Swan Lake by Alex Timmermans, 2015
What is so striking about this image alters depending on your perspective. Initially, the swan, which we know as a beautiful but fierce creature is mid-dynamic, calling upon a dancer somehow floating on water in a self embrace. The stage looks incredibly dangerous however Continue reading
We caught up with Anton Orlov this morning who kindly agreed to guest post here on PhoGoTraphy and share his latest work:
The day has come my friends! After months of being nothing more than a dream and concept, weeks of experimenting and building, and days of testing and working out the kinks today at San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts I will be unveiling what I believe to be the first completely transparent and entirely functional camera. I call it CLERA, short for Clear Camera, and without further ado here it is pictured against the clear San Diego skies. It is the first camera where you can actually SEE the image projected onto the piece of photographic material during the exposure!
#CLERA by Anton Orlov
I came up with this idea while working in my dark box and developing tintypes. Those of you familiar with my work know that for the past few years the medium of wet plate collodion has consumed my photographic endeavours almost entirely.