I want to share a great video with you about photography, innovation and the pioneering spirit that seems to be ingrained in the American psyche. Silver & Light is a little doco on Ian Ruhter; his processes with photography and how the transition to digital had changed his perception of photography. Ruhter wanted to get back to the craft of photography, and crafting an image, rather than the ‘Hey, presto!’ mentality of digital photography. So he re-pioneered an almost lost form of photography – wet-plate photography, or the Collodion process.
Invented in the 1850’s and the precursor to daguerreotype, wet-plate photography was a cumbersome form requiring the photographic material to be coated, sensitised, exposed and developed within fifteen minutes of exposure. This meant photographers needed a portable darkroom for developing the prints. So Ruhter created a darkroom on wheels… in a van.
The great advantage of the wet-plate process is the infinite detail achieved in the plate, it is amazing. Watch the video for some inspiration.