LIFES -wet-plate portraits
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About

Lifes is part of my ongoing series of contemporary portraits exploring aging and human identity.   These portraits have been made with the wet-pl… Read More
Lifes is part of my ongoing series of contemporary portraits exploring aging and human identity.   These portraits have been made with the wet-plate collodion process, which is one of the early photographic processes from the mid-19th century. The pictures have been taken with an old wooden large-format studio camera. The method entails coating a glass or metal plate with collodion and exposing the plate while still wet.    On the plates time comes to a halt. Past and present intertwine inseparably into one - images turn out timeless. The plates created are unique, one-of-a-kind. The blur caused by motion and the short depth of field make the images dreamlike and delicate.   The most important reason for use of the wet-plate collodion process is that my subjects are human beings. I feel this technique allows me to get closer to the persons being photographed. Because of the slow tempo of the shoot and the relatively long exposure times, the persons will have to sit still and concentrate. This seems to enable people to shed their learned mannerisms. They appear to forget how they should behave when being photographed; they drop all roles. Therefore portraits drawn on the plates reach something that is more than skin-deep.   The wet-plate collodion process may also bring about a strange metamorphosis; people look different from their everyday appearance, like characters from a previous life or a parallel time sequence. This dimension is further enhanced by the historical nature of the process. I search for the humane in humans and for the stranger in us. Read Less
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