Saturday, 31 December 2011

Archiving & storing glass plates

I found this quiet holiday period being a good time for organising a way of storing my plates, (finally !).
So far I was keeping  some of them in empty sheet film boxes, lying flat one on another, divided with sheet of paper, some in boxes with racks, (which where actually constructed for transporting plates taken on location), or everywhere around in my studio (getting dusty) . Generally - a little mess, but the main problem is the fact that this type of storage capabilities actually ended. 
So I decided to orgainise it a little bit and
1.  I'm wrapping glass plates with an acid free thin paper,

2.   putting them in separate, standard, envelops,

3.  labeling with information like: type of glass, title/subject, type of varnish, year, camera and lens, portrait/landscape/still life,
4.  then packing them vertically and tightly into boxes with lids :

Looks like it should work, at least until I'll have a room full of boxes, and looks like I'm starting a New Year kind of organised ;)
Happy New Year everyone!!!

Monday, 26 December 2011


I guess all the gifts are given until now, so I can publish portraits from my session with Levi.

Monique and Levi had an idea to get Levi's collodion portraits as a Christmas gift for his dad.
It was quite an intensive session as Levi is a very restless young man, so we had a little trouble to get a sharp image. At the end and with little tricks we managed to get the results I'm happy with.
Hope Levi's dad likes them too. :)

8x10' black glass ambrotype, Industar 300/f 4.5, 13s, studio lights

8x10' black glass ambrotype, Industar 300/f 4.5, 13s, studio lights

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Studio lights for winter time.

Just a short summary on the lights I got recently for WPC indoor photographs.

After considering all the options which were tidily and nicely summarised by Kasia Kesicka HERE I decided to go for a polish version of Falcon Eyes - VITO LAMPS (cheaper)
Their specification is exactly the same as Falcon Eyes, that means I have 2 lamps, each with 9 x E27/28W bulbs(equivalent of 140W each / 1260W in total),light temperature ca.5500K. I have a soft box and reflector for each of them.

I managed to do five sessions, testing lamps with different format cameras and different lenses and the results oscillate between 10 and 16 seconds exposures. (was hoping for less, but it's still not bad, however challenging with children, I might need to look for a brighter lens in the near future)

I am mostly using:
one lamp as a main light with reflector and all 9 bulbs on,
the fill light in different variants - mostly 5 or 7 on, with softbox umbrella only or softbox on,
no other light for background or hair so far.
Lights set as close as possible to model.

Cameras & lenses:
8x10 camera plus Industar 300mm/f 4.5
4x5 Toyo camera plus Schneider Symmar APO 150mm/f 5.6

Here are some examples:
Tamara, 4x5 Toyo,  f 5.6, fill light: softbox + 9 bulbs on, 15 s,

Tamara, 4x5 Toyo,  f 5.6, fill light: softbox  + 5 bulbs on, 16s,

Sharon, 4x5 Toyo,  f 5.6, fill light: softbox umbrella + 7 bulbs on, 12 s.( overexposed)

Sharon, 4x5 Toyo,  f 5.6, main light 8 bulbs on, fill light: softbox umbrella, 5 bulbs on, 12 s.( still slightly overexposed)

Lubor, 4x5,  f 4.5,  fill light: softbox umbrella, 5 bulbs on, 15 s.(overexposed)

Vlad, 8x10,  f 4.5, fill light: softbox umbrella, 7 bulbs on, 12 s.

Anton, 8x10,  f 4.5, fill light: softbox umbrella, 7 bulbs on, 16 s.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Killruddery Exhibition photographs

Last Sunday it was a last day of my exhibition 'Killruddery. Reflections on glass. '  Straight after that I went on my holdays, so now I'm fnishing this short post (from Italian Dolomites:)

The opening on Thursday the 15th, was lovely, with an interesting mix of people (photorelation).
During the exhibition there was a big interest in works and the process, and my first public presentation went very well (althought there was a small issue with a developer)
Thank you all my visitors, (and buyers:). Those who didn't manage to see the exhibition can have a look at some of the works (most of them) below :

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

'Killruddery. Reflections on glass' - WPC exhibition

A while ago  I've started a documentary series about Killruddery Estate, what I've mentioned in one of my previous posts here.
This project is now ending with an exhibition of my works, opening today in the evening (15th Sept) in The Stable Studio, Killruddery House and Gardens, Bray, Co. Wicklow.
During the exhibition (18th Sep) I will also give a talk and present the technique of WPC.

Everything started with photographs I took in my friend's workshop (In Jamese's workshop), where I found beautiful pieces of statues waiting for renovation. These were Killruddery statues, and James told me about this place.
James is a wonderful man, he worked in Killruddery for quite a long time, has a big passion for this place and would tell you a lovely story about each subject from my photographs, giving them a much deeper sense.

When I visited The Gardens I thought it will be a really great idea to document them and that wet plate will be the most suitable technique. I knew that collaboration of WPC and historical surroundings of Killruddery House will create an interesting photographs, giving a sense of the long tradition of this beautiful place and giving an honour to its uniquity.

It was a hard but satisfactory work. It was a challenge. I think everything wrong what can happen when working with WPC on location, happened there, (not mentioning details like changeable Irish weather,rain and wind, forgotten parts of equipment, etc) but even then some of the photographs turned out very well and this is what I love about WPC, I really welcome all the uncernity and imperfections that it brings.(however still practising my patience)
I spent a few following Mondays/Tuesdays in Killruddery running around with my plates, here is the proof:

I am looking forward to today's evening, hope everything will go well and the visitors will enjoy the exhibition.

I would like to dedicate the exhibition  to James, thanking him for inspiring me to undertake the Killruddery project and also for all his help with building or repairing my photography equipment.

WPC exhibition photographs to follow...

Exhibition Dates:
16-20 Sep 2011, 9.30 a.m - 5 p.m
23-25 Sep 2011, 9.30 a.m - 5 p.m

Talk and presentation of the Technique:
18 Sep 2011, 2 p.m


The Stable Studio. Killruddery House and Gardens
Southern Cross
Co. Wicklow

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

WPC Workshop :)

Everything happened in Glencree with diligent assistance of my cats :)

Maciej has a background in photography, but his life path moved far away from this profession. However since we met and I took a portrait of him, he kept asking me for showing him the whole process. I think collodion has truly awakened his forgotten passion.

While I was introducing Maciej to wet plate collodion process, Lubor accompanied us with his camera and did this short video, which  I decided to share:

Monday, 22 August 2011

Peoples Photography 2011

Peoples Photography is a great, open air, photography event taking place every year in August, in the centre of Dublin. It gathers together photographers of all age and experience.  Photographs are exhibited on the railing of St. Stephen's Park. It is a great opportunity to exchange the knowledge and get feedback from friends photographers and the public. I really enjoyed it last year and I'm taking part this year,this time with cyanotypes and collodions, See you around.

Peoples Photography
27th & 28th August
9 a.m - 6 p.m
St. Stephen's Green

my space last year:

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Hiawatha's Photographing @ Americana & RootsWeekend

(click the image to enlarge)

The above poster (des. Kasia Kesicka) promoted a collodion portraiture event, which took place during Americana & Roots Weekend in Greystones, (Ireland) last weekend, and was organised by my collodionist friend Kasia Kesicka and myself.
It quotes a poem of Lewis Caroll, British writer and poet, best known as author of 'Alice in Wonderland', who was also a passionate photographer - 'collodionist'. He wrote the above poem about the wet plate collodion process and we decided to honour the event with the same title. (whole poem HERE)

It was a vibrant, very interesting weekend and I must say - everything went very well. We met with a big interest from the public and had quite a few happy clients, who decided to have their own ambrotypes or ferrotypes.
Although we both already worked on location earlier, it was a first time when we took part in re-enactment event, open for the public. We had plenty of concerns (i.e. if and how to varnish plates on the spot), but I think we created a well organised team and managed everything well. (plates taken on Saturday were varnished at home and were ready for collection the following day, and on Sunday plates were varnished on the spot, with traditional varnish)
We also learned a lot from each other as we use different collodion receipts, different equipments and Kasia works mostly with metal plates, myself - with glass.
All in all it was a great experience!

Gallery of ambrotype portraits taken: