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…