Mahoenui, Waitomo, january 2013

 Posted by on January 28, 2013  Add comments
Jan 282013
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I’ve finally been able to admit to myself something that everyone else has probably been aware of for a long time, something I really already knew but that I guess I felt was not necessarily a photographically acceptable driver for my photography in this environment. I am process driven. The means is just as important as the end in most cases. Sometimes more.

It’s why I want to print my own work, why I want to experiment, and change direction every picture it seems. This year, I’ve decided, I’m going to stop trying to fight it, and embrace it, see where it takes me. The old processes really interest me and I feel some deep seated desire to learn in order to be able to pass them through. They rely on little technology, or electronics or electricity, albeit much on nasty chemicals. Not all though. Some use minimal amounts, and some none at all. And sunlight to develop.

I’m still working on the anthotypes, although they’ve taken a back seat lately, their time consuming nature and my lack of experience has been trumped by the money earning activities. I will get them sorted! 

Ambrotypes are another that I love the look of in old images. That’s a fascinating process and one that I’d like to add to my skills, a tantalising taste at a workshop last year has had me wanting to make images that will work with the collodion process. Which involves a wet plate camera, now antique. (Sigh) Not easy to come by. So I make pseudo ones for now.

Next month I attend a workshop on the Albumen process – eggwhite and salt based paper that is sensitised by silver nitrate. Can’t wait. Now I just need the time to spend experimenting with the processes. And a wet plate camera. And a printing out frame…


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  7 Responses to “Mahoenui, Waitomo, january 2013”

  1. Jenny as you have seen I dont produce run of the mill images, they are a little different at times one would say. I have sometime ago come to the conclusion that I have to follow my heart even if I dont fully understand what or why I produce what I produce, Tony Bridge said last year at a lecture I attended that sometimes our concious brain takes a little bit longer to catch up with our subconcious brain. I hope one day I understand why I produce the images that do. What I am trying to say is get out of your own way & let your heart & soul drive you to where you need to go ,at the moment, it can be hard to do but one you do it a bit it becomes easy to let go & enjoy the journey.

    • Thanks Scott! You’re exactly right but it’s hard to keep true to the path when you admire the different work of others so much, even when you do know its not for you.

  2. Well I just have to smile after reading this, I can’t keep the image of Jen as the sorcerer’s apprentice mixing and stirring potions to create her magic.

    • oops, should have read, I can’t keep the image of Jen as the sorcerer’s apprentice out of my head; mixing and stirring potions to create her magical images.

  3. It’s interesting how sometimes the process is where the intuitive spark comes from. The like to the subconscious. And sometimes it is all in pointing and firing the shutter. People often talk about the defining moment in photography but that is not always the case. The art can be in the process just as much.

    • Thanks Tim, I’ve just come across this and it resonates. Son Rob’s work, too, is about process and is much more easily justified in the world of painting. I definitely get on much more of a creative roll once I start exploring a process.

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