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The Internatio nal J o u rnal o f p hoto g rap hy i s s u e 3

Fuzion Photography

Carl Radford

Image courtasy of Gabriel Van Ingen

This issue is dedicated to Carl Radford, photographer, teacher and friend.


I ssu e 3 S e p te m b e r 2 0 1 1

N u mb e r 03- Septemb e r 2011 Th e C o ll odi oni sts

Contributors Edition Alex Timmermans This Welcome to the third edition of Fuzion Magazine. Branden Fernandez Carl Radford Dale Bernstien Denis Roussel S.Gayle Stevens Guy Brown Jody Ake Joni Sternbach Feature Writers and Bloggers Michele Cole

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 photography articles, book reviews, regular feature blogs and interviws/reviews.



If you would like to submitt a your work for publication you can either send it direct to the editor or upload it through the Fuzion Maazine’s website.


If you have an upcoming exhibition or publication that you would like us to feature then send us the details.


very journey has a beginning. The decision to dedicate this issue to the work of wet plate collodion photographers came about after spending 2 days learning the process myself this Summer. On page 60 you can read about my experiences learning to flow and expose my first collodion plate. This third edition of Fuzion Magazine is dedicated the photographers who are practicing and promoting wet plate collodion. Keeping alive a tradition that still has its place among all the modern technology available today. It is also dedicated to Carl Radford who has helped me start my own personal journey with wet plate collodion. Gabriel Van Ingen, Editor

Published by Fuzion Magazine Advertising: email for a media pack For inclusion into the photographers directory please contact the editor for rates.


26 © Joni Sternbach

© Alex Timmermans

52 © Gale Stevens




Dale Bernstien


Denis Roussel


From the compost

Jody Ake A promise of adventure and solitude

Joni Sternbach SurfLand

S.Gayle Stevens Calligraphy

Michele Cole Purgatory

The collodionists Gabriel Van Ingen

Alex Timmermans

A coincidental discovery

Brandon Fernandez An image making mantra

F ro nt C over - Joni Sternbach



26 32 40


60 52 60


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D a l e Be r n st e in During the mid 1980’s photographer/artist Dale Bernstein had the privilege of working with some of the world’s great photographers including Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Horst P. Horst, Arnold Newman and Robert Mapplethorpe among others. For the last 20 years the New York born Bernstein has operated his own commercial studio in the midwest working for a large variety of corporate clients and advertising agencies. Over the past 15 years he has been practicing the wet plate collodion process. He has shown his work in several galleries including the George Eastman House in 2001. He also authored the article “The Wet Plate Collodion Process” in View Camera Magazine (July/August 1999) and “Searching for Watkins” in PHOTOVISION (November/December 2003). More recently he concentrated his efforts on a grant project of the urban and suburban landscape using the wet plate technique. Dale Bernstein is a published, award winning commercial and fine art photographer who started his undertaking of the wet plate collodion process in 1996. His book COLLODION TRAVELOGUE is available through Blurb. com.

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D al e Ber nst ein



D al e Ber nst ein


D al e B er ns t ein


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F r o m t h e c o m p o s t Deni s Rousse l To create these images, I collected items from my kitchen compost bin and arranged them in simple compositions. These remnants of our everyday activities are the unique subject in my photographs. Through the artistic process, they are transformed from mundane waste into extraordinary images. This transformation mirrors the one which occurs naturally through the composting process: wasted food scraps become a valuable soil amendment. Like many, I am concerned by the deterioration of our environment. Specific environmental issues can be difficult to solve in isolation as all things are connected. My photographs, by emphasizing the beauty of mundane food waste, offer a counterpoint to the complexity of the problems we have to face. In addition, the photos highlight one personal action that is a small piece of the overall climate solution as composting food waste reduces the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from landfills. This series of images was produced using the wet-plate collodion process. I was drawn to wet-plate collodion photography because of its particular aesthetic: the actions and manipulations of the photographer are seen in the final image as marks and artifacts that speak of the process itself. Each collodion photograph is a one-of-a-kind object, which, paired with its amazing visual quality, reinforces the value that the photographer gives to its subject. The modern usage of this antiquated process also gives photographs an ambiguous timelessness.

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Deni s Rous s el



www.d enis - r ous s el. c o m




Jody Ake I have always loved the west. The mountains and desert plains call to me with a promise of adventure and solitude. I travel there as often as I can, amazed at the scope of the land, looking for meaning in the emptiness. I think of early photographers heading west for the first time. Carrying with them their large cameras and working with laborious early processes. Capturing images of the west that most will not see for themselves. I think of them as I look for signs of those that came before me. Photographing the evidence left behind by progress and expansion. I photograph the New West through an old process, comparing what I find with what those that came before me found.

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Joni Sternbach craft. It draws spectators as well as entices new subjects. Once on location, the darkbox and chemicals are set up before I compose the picture and sensitize the plate. The process is slow and each image can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Exposure times range anywhere from 1/2 second to 5 seconds, depending on where I am shooting, the time of year, the speed of my lens and freshLandscapes, seascapes, and the human imprint on these views has ness of my chemicals. The nabeen my focus. Returning year af- ture of collodion is spontaneous ter year to the same location has and unpredictable, as it’s a hand poured emulsion. Its’ raw qualled me to examine the juncture ity suits the subject matter, giving between land and sea, explorit a distinctive appearance and ing subject matter in a constant state of transition. Surfers are an echoing important traditions of nineteenth-century anthropologiintegral part of this liminal state. cal photography. I am fascinated by the physical and poetic way that they inhabit The photographs were shot on America’s watery landscapes. both coasts of the US and more recently in Australia. SurfLand is a I work with a large-format camera and wet process that must chronicle and celebration of these fascinating denizens of regional be prepared and developed on location. The procedure is elabo- surf spots across the nation. rate and is part theater and part SurfLand is an ongoing project, begun in Montauk, NY in 2006. The photographs are a unique blending of subject matter and photographic technique. Using the instantaneous wet-plate collodion process, I am creating one-of-akind tintypes that are imbued with a feeling of ambiguity, timelessness and mystery.


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S.G aY l e St e v e n s Calligraphy S. Gayle Stevens has worked in antiquarian processes for over fifteen years. Her chosen medium is wet plate collodion for its fluidity and individuality; she especially delights in the flaws. Using modified Holgas and camera-less photography; she produces small wet plate tintypes. She exhibits extensively across the United States. Ms. Stevens received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. Called the “Alt Queen� by her students, she has taught alternative photo processes at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn Illinois for ten years. She resides in Downers Grove, IL US.


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alligraphy consists of a series of wet plate collodion tintype photogenic drawings of plant and animal specimens I have collected on walks near my home and in my travels. This series is inspired by “cabinets of curiosity”, natural history collections from the 17th century, and the precursor of museums. The original meaning of “cabinet” was a small room; these rooms housed collections of plants, preserved animals and minerals. My collection contains diverse plant and animal remains. I have always been intrigued by what is overlooked in daily life and these objects are cherished for the unique beauty of their sparse remains. I have rendered my drawings of these specimens in wet plate collodion. The silhouettes of the photogenic drawings are rendered as black shadows and echo the brushstrokes in Chinese calligraphy, sparse yet expressive. Changeable as the original specimens, the silver rich plates are unvarnished and will tarnish with age. The speed and degree of tarnish will depend on their environment and the patina will be that of antique silver. The Calligraphy series is composed of single and multiple five inch square plates displayed in the style of 19th century specimens and housed in black wood shadow box frames. This collection will be displayed as my personal museum of specimens collected on my daily walks. These images are my memento mori; an acknowledgement of lives passed, a rendering of fleeting shadows.


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Purgatory M ic hel e Col e Michele Cole is a photography teacher and fine art photographer based in Burlington County,NJ. She received her BA inArt fromThomas Edison State College in 1999 and her MFA in Photography from theAcademy ofArt University in 2011. Michele has been an artist her entire life. During childhood, her favorite mediums were graphite, colored pencils and the Kodak Hawkeye Instamatic camera she received in forth grade. These early artistic ventures guided Michele and transformed her creative vision into a career as a graphic designer and art director. Eventually, the desire to share her experiences with others overrode her interest in commercial work and Michele transitioned to the role of teacher, mentor and fine art photographer. Michele specializes in wet plate collodion and other historic photographic processes including platinum and palladium printing. The slower, more methodical approach of working with collodion, and the labor (of love) involved in handcrafting each image is an important part of her photographic practice and her personal aesthetic. The wet plate process, which relies heavily on processes of the hand, allows Michele the freedom to create images that are visually engaging and narratively stimulating. Michele’s award winning work has been published, exhibited across the United States and resides in many private collections.


Mi c hele Cole


I often wonder what causes us to make the decisions we make as human beings. What internal/external forces influence our choices and shape our lives? As individuals, I believe we are the sum of the people we know, the experiences we have had independently and those we have shared with others.These experiences become an inextricable part of who we are and determine how we interpret the world around us. In any given situation, different people will respond in different ways based on their personal experiences. Â Purgatory attempts to discover and decode the internal discourse of a person living in a dysfunctional relationship. At different times throughout life, reaction to specific stimuli can cause an individual to lose sight of who they are and who they aspire to be. Purgatory attempts to capture those intangible conversations and present the emotional impact. While one individual cannot control the actions of another, they can control their responses to those actions. Internal discourse can be a mecca of mental entrapment perpetuated by self-doubt, tension and inaction. Vintage dolls, doll parts and self-portraits combined with selective focus and mirrors symbolize the surreal, dream-like quality and emotional fragility of dysfunctionally inspired thought. These conversations, and the emotions that result from them, define the self-imposed barriers that replace living, with merely surviving. Images are made using the wet plate collodion process. The meandering edges of the collodion and other inconsistencies inherent in the process underscore the imperfection of life experienced by the dysfunctionally involved. Each hand-made palladium print is as unique as the brush strokes that define its square boundaries metaphorically representing an individual trapped in a perpetual cycle of dysfunction.


Mi c hele Cole



Mi chele Cole


The Collodionists by G a briel Va n Ingen “When you take a workshop you become a part of a community. You discover how much you have to learn from others - and how important that is. You also discover how much you have to give to others - and how good that feels.� John Paul Caponigro

Š Gabriel Van Ingen

www.the- c loc k t ower.c o .u k


Driving away from the Clock tower in Haverthwaite after a two day collodion workshop I felt that I had turned a corner. I had taken a small but important step in my growth as a photographer. I attended the workshop having long desired to learn the collodion process after seeing my very first plate. The wet plate collodion process produces images of amazing detail with a three dimensional quality that propels the image beyond the two dimensional plane of the tin or glass plate. I have a fascination with alternative photographic processes, including toy cameras, home made chemicals and I already had several projects in mind to which I could use wet plate collodion. After Booking on the workshop I waited in anticipation all Summer to go to the Clock Tower to finally start my journey with the collodion process . And so on the Saturday morning I rolled up at the Clock Tower and was warmly greeted by Carl, Alex and Deborah, the journey began.

Š Gabriel Van Ingen


© Gabriel Van Ingen

A small group of students lead by Carl Radford, with Alex Boyd and Deborah Parkin assisting, were introduced to the process of making wet plate collodion images. Over the weekend we spent our time learning the process of flowing, exposing and glazing our plates. With Carl’s experienced guidance we were all able to very quickly start making our first plates. The first plate that I flowed on the Saturday morning was a success, I thought this is going well. Unfortunately it must have been either beginners luck or the fact that Carl was guiding me very closely as the next few were terrible. Flowing the plate really is a craft in itself. Slowly poring the collodion onto the centre of the plate and then guiding it to the four corners without overlapping or spilling it until you return the excess into the jar is a painstakingly slow skill to learn. Most of my plates made on the Saturday suffered from scratches, blank areas where I had not flowed the plate correctly or underdeveloped sections where I had not kept the developer on the plate. But I loved it! It was so refreshing to take part in a hands on workshop where you were free to experiment and learn by your mistakes. All the materials and cameras were supplied as part of the fee and we had free reign to make as many plates as we wished.


I took a small break on both days to get to know the other students and have a chat with Carl, Alex and Deborah. I had spoken to them all before but never met so this was a great opportunity to get to know them. Both Carl and Deborah have previously had their work published back in edition one of Fuzion magazine, and after a chat with Alex we agreed to publish his work later this year. By Sunday afternoon all the students had made some very impressive plates which was a testament to Carl’s patient guidance. We gathered at the end of the Sunday evening to examine each others work and to have a recap and Q&A session with Carl. I feel very fortunate to have taken part in what may be Carl’s last collodion workshop for a while. When he does run another one I highly recommend that you sign up quickly as they sell out fast, after all I will be the first to sign up again! For more information please visit.

Top left Guy Brown flowing a plate Top Right Deborah Parkin assisting in fixing a plate Above students gather at the end of the weekend to examine the final plates.


Image courtasy of Carl Radford


G u y B r own

“I attempted to do something a bit different with this image of Carl Parkes, my partner during the wet plate workshop. Carl is a software engineer, so I wanted to show the technical side of his character. Also, I find it very appealing to make images of 21st century technology with a 19th century photographic process. I photographed Carl with the iPad camera, and then he did an excellent job of hold-

ing it still in front of his face during the 5-second exposure. I’m pleased to say that the iPad survived the experience without suffering any silver nitrate stains.” -Guy Brown

Guy Brown


Alison & Charlie

Image courtasy of Carl Radford



Image courtasy of Carl Radford


Alex Timmermans Starting with a coincidental discovery and ending in a passion!

Alex never imagined that a photographic process, that was invented more than 160 years ago, could have such an impact on his love for photography. Alex is an autodidact photographer who likes experimenting with old forms of photography. He has practiced photography throughout his whole life starting with a Nikormat ftn. The change from analog to digital seemed with time to be a logical step. However, the exciting and magic work with films has been lost during this change. Everything is getting more predictable! A few years ago, he was astonished by a report of “Sally Mann” about Collodion photography. He went back to one of the most magic forms of photography. This was the most inspiring and pure form of photography he has ever seen. It was special to have the possibility to work with antique cameras and “Petzval” lenses of

www.c ollodion- ar t . b l o g s p o t.c o m


more than 150 years old. These are lenses with historical names like Dallmeyer, Hermagis, and Darlot and such antique studio cameras with a glorious photographic history. It is pure because of the possibility to use simple chemicals to reproduce extremely detailed pictures. In this photographic process, coincidences can greatly influence the result. Apart from working with chemicals, these coincidences can be caused by weather circumstances as well. He immediately started searching for more information about this process. Internet was the keyword here when it became clear that the modern technique could make a perfect combination with this historical photographic process. A lot of information about collodion photography became available online. Moreover, old books and manuals can be digitally found with a variety of forums containing worthy information. It was also a wonder that all the chemicals that have been used earlier were still available for use. It was time to make a careful start after collecting, or self-making



A l ex Ti m m er m ans


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of all the needed objects such as silver bath, bottles, etc. And getting the necessary chemicals with their related formulas. It was a challenge to mix all the needed ingredients without having any chemical background. The way to success seemed to be more difficult than he thought to be as he had many difficulties on his way. He had to perform many experiments before finding the correct combinations of chemicals, although many data were finally available. That is why we must admire Scott Archer, in 1851, was able to discover one of the most beautiful kinds of photography. He must have had a euphoric feeling after finishing his first picture. Ultimately, it was obvious that the only way to success is to go on! After more than halve a year of daily experimentation, he was able to have the whole process in his own hands, This gave him the feeling that he was actually working on an original form of photography. He always took his time to check the lighting, pose and positioning of the camera ..etc. To make a portrait, he needed one hour including all the work. High concentration of the model is needed as well. However, seeing the picture grow in the fix bath is a magic spectacle which is worthwhile to spend so much time and energy.

One great advantage of this kind of photography is that it is completely independent of the available formats. Since glass and aluminium are very easily customizable, you can determine yourself which size you want to capture. The only limiting factor is the format of the camera as the most cameras in Europe have a format of 18 cm.x 24 cm. However, Alex has succeeded throughout the years to collect a few original studio cameras with a formats up to 40 cm. x 40 cm. Recently, he has got a camera with a large format of 20 x 20 inch made by Andrev Donchev in Bulgaria. Moreover, throughout the years, he has collected a nice collection of lenses. The mark Hermagis is the most favorite for him, not only because of the magnificent quality of the lens, but also because of the incredibly beautiful engravings on these lenses. Collodion photography is not only a kind of photography. It is a passion as well!

A l ex Ti mm er m ans



B ra nd on Fe rnande z His image making mantra strives for intimacy and simplicity I began learning the wet plate collodion process in may of 2010 after taking a workshop by Portland photographer Ray Bidegain. I have been shooting for twenty years, but this process has made me re-think everything I have learned about making photographs. The time consuming and often frustrating process leaves me more often than not disappointed in my final result. When things do seem to come together the results are humbling and incredibly gratifying. Watching the plate develop gives me a child like feeling that can only be described as cathartic. I am not making these images for nostalgic purposes. Most of my cameras are modern. I use modern lighting techniques when in the studio. I do not make images for other photographers I make images for myself and people who are drawn to the presence of a portrait. I am attempting to capture an intimate moment as simply and directly as my abilities allow. My graduate professor Ron Nagle Used to tell me, “you gotta blow it to know it.� It has since become my mantra for image making. Brandon Fernandez MFA Mills College 1998 All images included are from summer 2011

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Brandon F er nandez



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A n alog One2 0 12

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The magazine where the future and past meet 68

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© Gary Auerbach

G ar y Auer bac h’s We walk in s hadow s Alex Boyd’s The Sonnets Indra Moon’s Places of a neverlasting kind Gabriel Van Ingen’s Caffenol Sessions 69

Al e x T i m m e r m a ns

Fuzion Magazine issue 3  
Fuzion Magazine issue 3  

The collodionists.