Film Photography Podcast - Episode 92 – December 1, 2013
The internet radio show for people who love to shoot film! Fuji FP-3000b Instant Film, Sun Prints, Large Format Wet Plate, Panoramic Cirkut cameras, Color Infrared Film and more. Join Michael Raso, Mat Marrash, John Fedele, Leslie Lazenby, Mark Dalzell, Ollie the Pug and special guest Large Format photographer Joseph Brunjes!
The wet plate or collodion process dates back to the mid 19th century and still survives today with many photographers still practicing it. While Joseph shoots in many formats, he was drawn towards large format and then wet plate photography, eventually taking a course at the Center for Alternative Photography under the tutelage of Joni Sternbach (best known for her series of surfer portraits on wet plate called “Surfland”).
This also dragged him into the world of 8x10 photography. Collodion is not for the faint of heart, he was concerned over safety when he learned that the fix contained Potassium Cyanide (however you can use Ilford Rapid fixer, much safer) - however the actual Collodion contains Either (explosive) and Silver Nitrate (could blind you for good). That being said, he still loves the process as it gives a truly unique and one-of-a-kind image.
It takes a lot of practice, especially when pouring the emulsion. Not to mention pushing himself as a photographer as the sensitivity of the emulsion really depend on the time of day, temperature, age, and humidity, so a normal light meter really doesn’t help much. Although he really wants a brass lens, he likes the results from using a modern lens as well to really help bring balance between the old process and the modern subject matter.
At the end of the day you really feel a sense of accomplishment, both as a photographer and a subject, Joseph mentions, because of the amount of time, practice and effort you’ve both put into this. What is next for his wet plate work? He is working on a project photographing men with their cars, he’s aiming mostly for unique cars, he has a WW2 army jeep, a Model T, and has a line on an Edsel. Want to check out his work? You can find it online at his website or on flickr.
Think wide…very wide.
At Photostock 2013, photographer Jamie Young brought along a rather unique camera, a Curkit, it is a large format panoramic camera. This ultra-large format takes 180 degree panoramic images on a unique roll of film (either 4 inches or 8 inches depending on the camera) then rotating on a tripod base, and with it created a totally unique group shot of all the photostock participants. While the Curkit is certainly the Rolls Royce of Panoramic cameras they are hard to come by in a working condition due to their age (first produced in 1904), you can still get film from Illford for them through their Ultra-Large format order day.
There are also plate panoramic cameras that use a custom curved plate and a swing lens. But what about for the average shooter? There’s plenty of cameras that use traditional roll films, such as 120 and 35mm. Well there are plenty of options available. There are the expensive cameras like the Hasselblad Xpan, Noblex, Widelux, and Roundshot. Not to mention offerings from Lomography, the Spinner 360, Sprocket Rocket, Horizon Perfekt and Kompakt, and the Bel-Air. And as Leslie points out, you can also built your own panoramic pinhole cameras. It is an amazing niche of photography and wonderful to explore with many options. Have questions or want to explore it more, you can check out Alex’s blog introducing the topic, or reach out to Jamie Young through his website. Do you shoot the format? Post some of your work to our Flickr pool or shoot us a line: email@example.com!
DIRECT POSITIVE PAPER! Joseph also left Michael a little gift, a pack of Harmen Direct Positive paper. This is photographic paper that you shoot like film! You load it up into your film holders and go out and shoot away. Designed for use in daylight (Mat does not recommend shooting this under hot lights), it is rated at ASA-3 and you can develop and load it under a safe light because it’s orthochromatic (not sensitive to red light). You can better help tame the contrast by using a yellow filter or pre-flashing the paper under yellow light. You can pick it up in sizes of 4x5 up to 11x14 from Freestyle! Sadly this is the only direct positive paper still manufactured.
SHOP THE FPP ON-LINE STORE! Have a film head on your Christmas list? Check out the FPP store for all your film Christmas shopping need, cameras (like the Debonair) and plenty of fresh film stocks from 110 to 8x10! One stop Film Photography shopping!
Winter is a great time to get out and shoot and print, so get out there and we’ll be back in a short two weeks. Post in our pool, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or send your holiday cards to Film Photography Podcast PO Box 152, Butler, NJ, 07405, USA, or leave us a festive message on the hotline: 973-850-6330. Super Positive!