Today, I'm working on a new page for this site. The page is about my wet plate collodion work. I want/don't want to write something like this:
"Collodion Wet Plate Photography; This process dates back to about 1850. It's like a tintype, only I use black aluminum. In the darkroom, I treat a black aluminum plate with collodion, then a silver nitrate solution, making it sensitive to light. Using a large format camera, I then expose the image. The plate is brought back into the darkroom and developed. Each plate is the actual piece that was in the camera."
Then I'll go on to say:
"I love the imperfections in the final piece. The process uses fabulously hazardous chemicals. Each image is a one-of-a-kind hand crafted original."
But all of that just sounds too straight forward and dry. [Too dry for wet plate, har, har...] I mentioned my new page to Bob last night and we had this conversation:
Me:"People look at my plates and say they're 'spooky'."
Bob:"Well, you photograph dead things."
Me:"But dead things are beautiful!"
Bob:"They don't smell beautiful."
Silver nitrate stains everything black. I wear gloves, but you'd never know it. My fingers turn black when I'm making plates. It doesn't wash off. You have to wear it off. For a while, they are like tattoos. I wear safety glasses too, just in case.