SONNETS The work of Alex Boyd The Bromoil Process explained We walk in beauty Gary Auerbach
I ssue 4 Wi nter 2 0 1 1 T h e I nter natio na l Jo ur na l o f p h oto gr a p h y
A n alog One2 0 12
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The magazine where the future and past meet 2
I ssu e 4 D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 1
N u mb e r 04- D ec 2011
Contributors Vicki Reed Gary Auerbach Joy Goldkind Indra Moonen Peter Eriksson Alex Boyd Gabriel Van Ingen
Welcome to the fourth edition of Fuzion Magazine. Inside this issue you will learn how Joy Goldkind approaches the art of Bromoil, you will be stunned by the panoramic collodion images of Indra Moonen, humbled by the beauty of Gary Auerbachs platinum prints, taken on a journey through Alex Boyd’s Sonnets and much more!
Editors note Well, here we are at the fourth edition of Fuzion magazine, celebrating our first year of publication! It has been a fantastic first year, many acclaimed photographers have graced the pages of the first four issues. I am eternally grateful and humbled by the generosity of the photographic community for openly contributing to the magazine. The goal is to eventually move to publishing and distributing through an independent publisher, meanwhile the magazine will be available through Magcloud. Until then enjoy this issue!
Feature Writers and Bloggers Articles Joy Goldkind
Are you a writer looking to have your work featured? Are you interested in being a feature writer or blogger? If so then contact the editor as we are looking for writers and bloggers to submit either photography articles, book reviews, regular feature blogs and interviws/reviews.
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B(lith)ely, I Go Into the Dark
We walk in beauty
The Bromoil Process
The evanescense of the collodion process
Peter Eriksson Penumbra
Alex Boyd The Sonnets
Gabriel Van Ingen Camra 2011
Fron t C over - Alex Boyd
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www.vi c k ir eed. c om
V ick i R e e d Vicki Reed is a former newspaper photographer and magazine art editor who specializes in limited edition fine art photographs. She uses vintage, pinhole and plastic toy cameras to capture her images and custom prints them in her wet darkroom. She loves exploring alternative processes, including lith, cyanotype, hand coloring and encaustic. Born and raised in Maine, (USA) close to lakes, mountains and the ocean she developed a love of the natural landscape. Now living in Wisconsin, she continues to capture the landscape during hikes and kayak outings. She has won numerous awards and has been widely published, including Tim Rudmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The World of Lith Printingâ&#x20AC;?.
After thirty years in the darkroom I still experience excitement when I take a roll of film out of the tank, unrolling a bit of it as I hold it up to the light to see if there are images there. Though I understand the science of silver based photography, I am still amazed when I look at each roll of film, fresh from the fixer. I still believe it is magic. My love of this process is why I stubbornly cling to film, the wet darkroom and alternative processes. Each time I walk into my darkroom I never know where I will go that day and it is that not knowing, that process of discovery that preserves my childlike excitement about my art. Several years ago I had become complacent in the darkroom and that spark of excitement had dimmed a bit. Everything seemed very predictable to me with the chemistry and camera equipment that I was using. Then I bought a Holga, a cheap plastic camera with many flaws. I fell in love with the unassuming toy and the resulting images that are always a surprise. Shortly after my Holga discovery, I took an excellent lith printing workshop from Tim Rudman. Between the unpredictability of the Holga and the many variations in the lith process the excitement in the darkroom was reignited. The lith process involves greatly overexposing a print and then only partially developing it in special lith chemistry. The resulting images vary in tone and texture, often with smooth highlights adjacent to gritty shadow areas. The variations in tone and texture are a result of the paper choice, initial exposure, and the temperature and maturity of the chemicals. There are enough variables in each darkroom session to guarantee surprise, frustration and hopefully, delight. I have a degree in psychology in addition to my photography degree and studied reinforcement as part of my psychology curriculum. I learned that the most powerful effect on human behavior is achieved by random positive reinforcement. Never knowing when you are going to get the result you want keeps you coming back for more. It becomes addictive and the behavior is difficult to extinguish. Needless to say, the Holga and lith printing are perfect vehicles for creating this phenomenon and I fully admit that I have become addicted to this powerful combo. Some days I come out of the darkroom with little to show for my work and I am very frustrated. However, the knowledge that the next session may be a magical one makes me look forward to the next journey into the dark.
Vi cki Reed
Vi cki Reed
Vi cki Reed
Vi cki Reed
We Walk in Beauty G a r y A u e r b a ch
A native of New York, Auerbach moved to Arizona in 1970 to pursue a 20-year career in chiropractic. Following an injury to his wrist in 1991, Auerbach made the challenging transition to a career as a large format photographer, printing with the archival methods of platinum metal salts and photogravure. A student of the work of Edward Curtis, Alfred Steiglitz and Edward Steichen, his first platinum portfolio created over a 15 year period included photographs and interviews of Native American peoples. Acquisition of the collection of 44 platinum photographs by the Smithsonian Institution led to the creation of his book, ‘We Walk in Beauty’ Fifteen numbered sets of photogravures were produced, with five sets each in natural proof on Durer Hahnemuhle paper,Yamaguchi Gampi tissue and Chine Colle using both these papers together. During the last 10 years, Auerbach has been photographing with his 8x10 camera in France during many of his trips to Geneva, Switzerland, where he combined professional work with the World Health Organization. Frequently photographing at night and printing his images in platinum, Auerbach has compiled a selection of night images that he has now re-translated into a “Night for Day’ concept, making photopolymer and copper gravure plates out of the photographic negatives and printing them in negative. The gravure process has given Auerbach a new way to put the touch of his hand in the intaglio wiping of every print. Fifteen numbered sets of ‘Night for Day’ have been printed in gravure. Three different paper choices, Richard de Bas, Kitakata tissue and Japon colle using Rives and Kitakata tissue were used for this portfolio. In 2002, Gary created an environmental study at the Tucson Drawing Studio. Using live models, he demonstrated a relationship between the artist and model, using his 8x10 in taking one exposure while the drawing artists drew one composition. This work is in the Bibliotecque Nationale de France. In the spring of 2007, Auerbach was included in a survey exhibition representing etchings, engravings, gravures and photogravures from the 1400’s to contemporary, at the Musee Jenisch outside Geneva. Notable artists in the exhibit were Albrecht Durer, Francisco Goya, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Rembrandt, Georges Rouault and Henri Toulouse-Letrec. Other photographers included Edward Steichen and Paul Strand. Auerbach recently won second place in an international photographic competition ‘Prix de la Photographie Paris’ with over 35,000 contestants from 85 countries. He won in the category of ‘Book Concepts’ with his “Night for Day’ portfolio. In 2010 he also won second place for a book series in the New York Photofest.
www.w ewalk inbeauty.c o m
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Joy G old k in d
Joy Goldkind graduated from the fashion Institute of Technology NYC in 1963. Her” “photographs have been on the covers of international publications such as Eyemazing and Silvershots. Her portfolio has been featured in B&W, Zoom, Photolife, Color and View Camera Magazine. Joy has exhibited across the country and internationally including a solo exhibition at the Museo Nationale Della Fotographia in Italy, where her work is in the permanent collection.” “At the World Gala Awards she was awarded the Photographer of the Year 2010. Px3 Official Selection 2011. As the digital world advanced and films declined it was necessary to combine the” “old with the new. Joyʼs negatives come from a digital camera and computer. After the negative is printed it goes to a traditional darkroom where the old process unites with the modern world. The work is done in the Bromoil Process. A bromoil print is a silver gelatin image that has been bleached to remove the silver; the image is then inked with a greasy pigment such as lithographic ink to replace the silver. She uses this process because it enhances the softness and adds mystery” “to the images, taking them a step away from reality. Distortions Having raised three daughters, “I know many women do not really see themselves in the mirror”. The mind plays games so some think they are to fat or two thin and not pretty enough. The mirror is a powerful force in their perception of reality. These images show that the mirror does not always show exactly what we look like. As this body of work continues I hope to prove that what the mirror reflects is in reality what the mind wants it to see. Adagio This new body of work is more of an abstraction of the dancers fiqure. The work is about the movement of the body through space and light. These images are more a departure from reality into the rituals of dance. As with the past work the spirit of the person is more important then the actual portrait. Now trying to combine the dancer with the light and the movements of dancing to produce the image. The body moving is an essential part of all dances. In this portfolio we try to capture just a “few moments in time”.
www.ver v egaller y. c om
Bromoil is derived of the oil process, Which was invented by E.J.Wall of Great Brittain and later perfected by Welborne Piper. The Bromoil process was popular from about 1910 through the forties and some workers continued into the early 1960’s. It was invented so that an artist could make oil prints without having a large negative. Bromoil, oil, and oil transfers are made in ink, creating the impression of an etching or a hand-made print. Any negative that prints well in silver can be used for this process. A significant advantage to the bromoil process is that original negatives can be used in an enlarger to make prints, eliminating the need for large negatives or contact prints, a frequent requirement of other alternative processes. Bromoil emerged from necessity and evolved into a well loved process with broad creative application. During the first half of the twentieth century the Pictorialists popularized bromoil as a favorite and often used process. Many of the artists worked with what are now considered “alternative processes” to achieve the characteristic soft, painterly expressive images. After World War II, photographic trends change dramatically. Straight photographs, such as those done by the F64 group, with sharp, hyperdetailed imagery were preferred and the pictorialists’ aesthetic fell out of favor. Demand for the required supplies diminished causing them to virtually disappear from the marketplace. This served to further dissipate use of the process. Today, there is a bromoil revival. Artists have returned to the past to find methods of expression that spark their imagination and provide new outlets for expression. The bromoil process affords the potential to achieve these things. No longer limited to the romantic realm of the pictorialists, the tone and significance of bromoil prints varies widely. An artist is able to control subject matter, style, texture
and color of inking, resulting in images as diverse and unique as each individual print maker. Photography has reached a level of refinement which allows the skilled artisan to apply their creative talents by varying technique and combining processes to create images of rare beauty. Today’s artists are using the alternative processes to compliment and contrast otherwise modern images, including controversial subject matter, dreams and imaginary worlds. I use bromoil to enhance the subject matter of the piece. The images from my work are at times created and inspired from a fantasy world and have an “otherworldly” quality. I use double exposures and slow shutter speeds to change what is true and expected in a scene. This process gives me the freedom to soften, blur or even completely erase an aspect of the original image. Creativity by deviation from the predictable is a valuable tool for furthering the artists’ vision. Basic techniques are simply a starting point in the process of developing a recognizable style. Supplies The majority of today’s modern papers are super coated, which hardens the gelatin and makes it difficult for the gelatin to swell in water, a vital step in the bromoil pigmentation process. Agfa Fine Grain Matt 118, Luminous Charcoal and Ilford’s Multigrade Matt Finish are some papers that work well for this process. Since papers are constantly changing in the marketplace, it is advisable to keep a large stock of a paper on hand when you find one that works for you. Stag-foot brushes are round stencil type brushes cut at an angle and long considered the best for bromoil. Their shape works well when
Supplies The majority of today’s modern papers are super coated, which hardens the gelatin and makes it difficult for the gelatin to swell in water, a vital step in the bromoil pigmentation process. Agfa Fine Grain Matt 118, Luminous Charcoal and Ilford’s Multigrade Matt Finish are some papers that work well for this process. Since papers are constantly changing in the marketplace, it is advisable to keep a large stock of a paper on hand when you find one that works for you. Stag-foot brushes are round stencil type brushes cut at an angle and long considered the best for bromoil. Their shape works well when inking the paper, as one end hits the matrix first and the bristles spread out and deposit the ink evenly. Bostick and Sullivan in Santa Fe, NM, carry a variety of sizes to work with. Experimenting with household brushes such as shaving, pastry and makeup brushes can yield interesting results. Allowing yourself to be inspired by possibilities is the first step in creating your technique. Directions for cutting brushes to the proper shape are in Gene Laughter’s book Bromoil 101. When a more traditional photographic image is desired, a brayer can be used to spread the ink. Brayers are rollers are available in both soft and hard varieties and used to add an even coat of ink or to remove ink, resulting in enhanced contrast. I use the brayer in combination with the brush. Every bromoil printer has their own balance of brayer and brush technique that work best for them. Lithographic ink from Graphic Chemical Company is easy to use for the beginner. Inks usually need to be stiffened, which can be achieved
with bee’s wax. One must simply add the melted wax to the ink. Only practice will reveal how much to add for the desired result. Artcraft Chemical Company carries copper sulfate, potassium bromide and potassium bichromate, which are used to make the bleach. Dektol for developing the print is fine; use one part Dektol and two parts water. Standard stop bath and a 10% solution of sodium thiosulfate are utilized for the stopping and fixing of the original black-and-white image. Method To begin, print a black-and-white image that is one stop darker than usual, with detail in the shadows as well as the highlights. Use a standard stop bath and fix in a 10% solution of plain unhardened hypo. Wash as thoroughly as you would for a normal print. Fully dry the print, for best results let it sit overnight. The next step is to bleach the print, which serves two purposes. First, it removes the silver image, leaving only a faint, subtle image. The second result of bleaching is called tanning and refers to the hardening of the gelatin in the print. Tanning causes the gelatin to harden in proportion to the amount of silver that was in the original print. This results in the darkest areas of the image hardening the most, while the lightest areas remain soft and more water-soluble. To prepare the bleach you will need the following stock solutions: 100gm copper sulfate mixed with 1000mls distilled water; 100gm. potassium bromide mixed with 100mls distilled water; 10gm potassium
bichromate mixed with 1000mls distilled water. To create the bleach formula mix 70mls of the stock copper sulfate solution, 70mls of the stock potassium bromide solution, 30mIs of the stock potassium bichromate solution with 830ml of distilled water. Soak the prints in water for five minutes prior to bleaching. Then soak in the bleach for six to eight minutes. Wash thoroughly for six to eight minutes; fix for five minutes in a 10% solution of plain hypo with no hardener. The print must be thoroughly washed and dried completely. The bleached and tanned print is now referred to as a matrix.
evenly on the matrix. To accomplish it, fill your brush or brayer with ink and drag it clear across the matrix. Begin at the top and work to the bottom, then rotate the print until all sides have been inked, this is a step best demonstrated as it is difficult to imagine without seeing.
Inking: Before you apply ink to the matrix it must be soaked in room temperature water for five minutes. This allows the gelatin to swell; the highlights will swell more than the shadows. Printerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ink is oil based so the shadows, which have not absorbed as much water as the highlights, will absorb more ink. The ink builds up slowly in the highlights until the details become visible. Mix the ink to the desired stiffness while the matrix is soaking.
The third movement, hopping, is used to remove ink and create contrast. This stroke is essentially the same as pouncing except no ink is on the brush, and further distributes the ink already on the matrix.
Remove the matrix from the water and carefully dry the front and back with a soft paper towel, making certain there are no droplets of water on either side. Attach the print to a glass support using painterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tape; masking off the edges of the image in order to give it perfectly inked borders. Now it is time to ink. There are three traditional brush movements used for placing the ink on the matrix. For a beginner, these may be difficult to visualize without actually seeing the movements of the brush.
The second brush stroke is called pouncing and is also accomplished with an inked brush. Pouncing consists of an up and down movement of the brush, which distributes the ink between the highlights and shadows. This motion can also add ink where necessary.
At this point my work departs from traditional methods, and I repeat a modified prior step. The matrix is put away for a few days and once it is fully dry, I re-soak the paper again, swelling the gelatin. The matrix is then wiped ensuring there are no water droplets on either the front or the back. At this stage I add color with soft ink on a brayer or a brush. I fill in the highlights and add color to any area I desire. The range of artistic possibilities inherent in the bromoil process allows for the making of a distinctly unique print. Once the basic techniques are learned and practiced, a bromoilist will develop their own style and enter into a world of endless creative possibilities limited only by imagination.
The first is walking. The purpose of walking is to spread the ink
Jo y Go ldk ind www.ver v egaller y. c om
Indra Moonen Historical photographic processes appeal to me because it makes you go back in time where nothing is to be taken for granted and a slow pace is warranted. On top of that whole new varieties in possibilities unfold to add this extra layer of expression to an image. The cumbersome nature of the wet plate collodion process got to me and intriqued me but also its dark characteristics. It adds to the melancholic mood Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m looking for in my work. The images published here convey this particular mood very well. Dark places in where there are no people visible to the eye, only evanescence, captured and preserved on my plates for a little while to be.
Indra M oonen
Indra M oonen
Indra M oonen
Indra M oonen
Indra M oonen
www.c ont r as t ique. c o m
Indra M oonen
PETER ERIKSSON P en u mb ra My project Penumbra started off in the summer of 2003: I had freelanced for several years before with mostly corporate portraits, but when the Internet bubble burst early in the decade i found myself losing ca 70% of my clients within a few months. I retreated to other positions whithin the photo business, tired of both the IT sector and the – quite frankly – boring proposition of starting to get new clients, but still photographing the same old time pressured portraits of people who seemed to consider the photographs a necessary evi,l and gave you a few minutes at the end of a interview session. Two years on i bought a beautiful swedish handbuilt 4x5” camera from the fifties just to try to get my initial love for photography back, brought it with me together with some packs of Polaroid 55PN to our summer retreat in the south of Sweden, and thus was Penumbra born. The first years i shot only for myself, indulging in the slow – almost meditative or therapeutic – way of working with the 4x5” camera and long exposures, just doing photography that i loved just for my own pleasure. I also fell in love with the wonderful 55PN film as I just love how it translates reality into BW, and also the fact that it makes chance a part of the otherwise very controlled 4x5” way of shooting by never turning out exactly the same twice. And also: the lovely framing you get with the package. I photographed my kids – I have four daughters – my wife, myself and the immediate surroundings of our house for the three years to come. I was then asked to participate in a local group exhibition in my suburb community, and thought that it was time to try some of the photographs from
the last summers to the public. I found that they seemed to cling on to people, that people could refer to what was my own – private - captions of my memories. After that I more deliberately started to see the photographs as a project and has since 2008 exhibited the material about ten times, with the crowning achivements being invited to the Photo Fairs in Stockholm and Gothenburg, and also to Gallery CordenPotts in San Francisco. Penumbra is to me a vain attempt to keep my memories of past summers alive. In a sense i create my own memories, as the 4x5” doesn´t lend itself to snapshots. The images are sometimes thought out a long time in advance, but for the most times i try to recreate something I´ve experienced during the day – or days – before the shot is made. Sometimes i guess they are as close to a snapshot that you can get with a big camera on a tripod by way of just grabbing the camera and running out to photograph when I see a scene i can´t resist.The photographs shown here are from the last two summers, with the ones from 2011 being shown for the first time. Next year three things will make me end this chapter of the project: I´ve shot the project for ten years, and I have then photgraphed my daughters from the ages of five months up to eighteen years – from infant to young woman. And last but not least I´m running out of film. When all these three things coincides, I thought it would be a good time to put the project to a halt, although I know I will continue it in some other form (there´s already an 8x10” camera waiting to be tried out…)
Bio Peter Eriksson Born 1968 Lives in Tyresรถ, outside Stockholm, Sweden with wife and four daughters. Started working with photography in 1996 Works as a photography teacher and with personal projects. Freelances with commercial and editorial photography on and off. A selection of exhibitions: Stockholm Photo Fair 2009 Gothenburg Photo Fair 2010 Gallery Pang Pang, Stockholm 2010 Gallery CordenPotts, San Francisco 2011 Tyresรถ Art Gallery, Tyresรถ 2011 For watch more works: www.petere.se
So n n e ts A l e x B oy d From the pages of Vogue Magazine to a solo exhibition at the Scottish Parliament, the instantly recognisable images from Alex Boydâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sonnets series of photographs have been seen in some high profile places.
These large format landscapes featuring a lone figure in some of Scotland’s most distinctive locations have won praise from figures such as Harry Benson who called Sonnets “stunning”, and director Michael Prince who made a film about the series which was shown at The Glasgow Film Festival in 2011. The series also inspired a collection of songs by classical and jazz pianist Mike Garson, best known for his work with David Bowie. Taking its name from the Sonnets from Scotland collection of poetry by Edwin Morgan, Sonnets is an ambitious five year project which has seen the photographer create almost 100 works which have taken him to some of Scotland’s most remote locations such as Ailsa Craig, as well as some of its most recognisable such as Glencoe and the Isle of Skye.
He is also the recipient of numerous awards and accolades such as winning the Dewar Award 2010, a Scottish Art Fund Award, the Toscana Prize and was a 2010 finalist in the Renaissance Art Prize as well as EU photographer of the year 2009. Currently Alex Boyd is experimenting with early photographic processes such as wet plate collodian, and will appear in a new BBC series in February 2012 about Victorian photographer Francis Frith.
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Boyd draws on the work of other Northern European artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, Edvard Munch and Anselm Kiefer in his bold exploration of the rückenfigur (back figure), creating works which are contemplations on the landscapes of Scotland, choosing places which have been vital to the construction of our national identity. Sonnets has been exhibited internationally with notable exhibitions at the European Parliament in Brussels, and made headlines in 2008 when it was displayed as 84 metre high projections on Europe’s largest building, the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest. When it was shown at the Scottish Parliament in 2010, the exhibition featured an intimate portrait of Edwin Morgan in honour of the poets 90th birthday, work which was later celebrated in a parliamentary motion.
A l ex Boyd
A l ex Boyd
C A M RA 2 0 1 1 GAB R I EL VAN I NGEN Three days surrounded by thousands of people, hundreds of real ales and ciders, an old plate camera, a portable darkroom and a band of morris dancers, what could possibly go wrong?
“I am fascinated by the alchemy of photography as well as the beauty of the print. Together they allow me to see a little further.” - MG
My love of alternative and historical process’s dates back to 1992 when I was first introduced to alternative process’s such as cyanotypes and platinum printing. I was extremely fortunate that during the early years of my photographic education that I had an inspiring teacher who was extremely passionate for teaching alternative process’s. I now carry on this tradition through my teaching of alternative and traditional process’s to all my students. I insist that they start out by learning analog camera and darkroom skills for at least the first term of their education. The wet plate collodion process is one that I have wanted to try for a long time, and so after gathering together my resources including sourcing a Tachihara plate camera, several plate holders, chemicals and a portable dark tent I set my self the task of arranging a suitable photographic project. One of the projects that I had long wanted to undertake was a brewers project, capturing the English tradition of brewing ale. Fortunately for me Nottingham hosts the annual real ale festival organized by Camra ( campaign for real ale). My plan was to spend three days as artist in residence and to take portraits of both the guests and stall holders. I arrived on the first morning minus the chemicals I had ordered, even with advance planning weeks ahead my chemicals had still not arrived. So I decided to get everything set up anyway and keep my fingers crossed that the chemicals would arrive later that day or worse case the next morning. I had a small amount of chemicals with me so I spent most of the fist morning setting up, choosing a suitable location for shooting and making a few test prints. Fortunately the organizers had reserved me a great spot next to an area of open grass from which you could look out onto the festival which covered the whole grounds of the Castle, it really was an amazing view.
Gabri el Va n I ngen
“The organizers had reserved me a great spot next to an area of open grass from which you could look out onto the festival which covered the whole grounds of the Castle, it really was an amazing view.” My love of alternative and historical process’s dates back to 1992 when I was first introduced to alternative process’s such as cyanotypes and platinum printing. I was extremely fortunate that during the early years of my photographic education that I had an inspiring teacher who was extremely passionate for teaching alternative process’s. I now carry on this tradition through my teaching of alternative and traditional process’s to all my students. I insist that they start out by learning analog camera and darkroom skills for at least the first term of their education. The wet plate collodion process is one that I have wanted to try for a long time, and so after gathering together my resources including sourcing a Tachihara plate camera, several plate holders, chemicals and a portable dark tent I set my self the task of arranging a suitable photographic project. One of the projects that I had long wanted to undertake was a brewers project, capturing the English tradition of brewing ale. Fortunately for me Nottingham hosts the annual real ale festival organized by Camra ( campaign for real ale). My plan was to spend three days as artist in residence and to take portraits of both the guests and stall holders. I arrived on the first morning minus the chemicals I had ordered, even with advance planning weeks ahead my chemicals had still not arrived. So I decided to get everything set up anyway and keep my fingers crossed that the chemicals would arrive later that day or worse case the next morning. I had a small amount of chemicals with me so I spent most of the fist morning setting up, choosing a suitable location for shooting and making a few test prints. Fortunately the organizers had reserved me a great spot next to an area of open grass from which you could look out onto the festival which covered the whole grounds of the Castle, it really was an amazing view. Just before leaving for the Saturday morning the postman dropped of the chemicals at Clear View studio, I was so relieved, without them the project was finished. I planned to arrive early, before the public entered, to give my self time to fill my water containers mix some developer and fix, make a few test plates and to go through all my equipment. But even as I was setting up crowds were already gathering, I was amazed at how early people were arriving. I set up my tables with several large and small examples of my collodion work including information on the process and the project with an open invitation to get involved. By lunch time on Saturday I had made several test plates, worked out a few glitches, taped up a few light leaks and worked out an exposure of around 4 seconds; I felt ready to approach people and ask them to sit for me.
I approached a group of (merry) guys and under the pretense of helping me set up a shot, I asked if one of them would help me out, I knew this was a better way of just outright asking them to sit for me. The key to the whole weekend was to get people involved and I knew that if people saw the process in action then they would be curious enough to come over and participate in the project. That first plate was a success and it was the catalyst for the rest of the day, after people saw the process in action I had a queue of people waiting to be photographed. The Saturday was a huge success and I managed to make some great plates, the sun shone brightly all day and the chemicals had behaved themselves. I decided to pack up just as the sun started to go down and the main marquee became so busy as it was impossible to move around. The Sunday morning started again with the sun shining brightly and I headed of to the Castle grounds looking foreword to another successful days plate making. I started of the day by moving around the castle grounds, taking some feature shots of the gardens and of the public arriving. As on the Saturday the ground quickly filled up and the sight of someone carrying around a large plate camera, stopping to set up and then ducking under a dark cloth drew some curious enquiries. Apart from the obvious “how many megapixels does that have?” many were curious as to what i was doing and what the project was about. I was the first person to ever be an artist in residence at the festival and everyone agreed that it was a fantastic idea to do something like this at the event. As the afternoon moved on my plates began to suffer, the continuous loading of the wet plates was making the wood swell and I began to
suffer with extreme fogging. Eventually I moved to shooting with a smaller 5x4 camera and using plastic double dark slides I adapted to take plates, this seemed to temporarily sort out the problem for a while but it did continue to challenge me for the re of the day. Sunday was a much harder day to shoot as along with he fogging I had to navigate through the thousands of people who had turned up to sample the beers; so I joined them! A short break and a few samples later I felt refreshed enough to try a few more plates, no sooner had I began to make a successful plate I found my stand surrounded by a band of morris dancers who began an impromptu session of several large and loud dances. I to admit that I am partial to a bit of morris dancing, especially after a few samples of ale, and I found myself engrossed in the performance. If only it had been earlier on n the day then I would have grabbed them and taken them outside to make a few plates, sadly it was to dark by then as the exposures were around 10-15 seconds. Normally not a problem but for inebriated morris dancers it was to much of a challenge. As the last of the sun dipped behind the castle I packed up all the gear, locked it away inside the dark tent and decided there was only one thing left to do, join in! I had been given a fair amount of tokens by some very generous stall holders, including promises of some great samples to be had. With my Tachihara in my satchel, box of plates in the bag I headed towards the food stall, stopping along the way to take part in that great British tradition of real ale drinking! Gabriel Van Ingen www.gabrielvaningen.com
Gabri el Va n I ngen
Gabr iel Van I ng e n
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