In my proposed project proposal I stated that I wished to experiment with glass plate photography. Initially I had considered Wet Plate Collodion. That was until after purchasing and reading a book on the process I considered it was highly likely that I may gas or blow myself up! The process involves volatile chemicals and extreme care. The book advises that you must be a practitioner of the dry plate process first before you embark on wet plate adventures.
Advice taken on board my next book purchase is "Silver Gelatin, A User's Guide to Liquid Photographic Emulsions". The book is well laid out, informative and inspiring. However nothing compares to a practical demonstration. As luck would have it I find a weekend workshop at Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow. The test now though is my patience as it is not until April!
Shooting on Glass: Dry Plate Photography Masterclass - Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 April 2016
The 15th January saw my return to University for a formative review: 6 essay hand-in and exhibition of practical work to date. It seems only yesterday that I began my studies! Thankfully the Christmas holiday and the bad weather gave me quality time to fine tune my essays and mount up the practical work that I was happy to show.
On arrival our principal lecturer Iain Irving introduced us the space that we should hang our work then left us to get on with it. This was my classes first experience of working together as a team, hanging out first joint show together. It must be said that my three classmates and myself are all strong, opinionated women: the potential for friction high. Yet to date we all have got along, respect each others standpoints and have bonded as a group. We proved this on this day by collaborating, negotiating, providing assistance and creating a joint and cohesive mini show of work.
You would think that being off work would mean that I would be relaxing! However I am at my happiest when either solving a problem, exploring, playing and/or making.
The stormy weather for the last few days has seen me exiled to the house and fine tuning my essays for January deadline: essays being a task far preferable to housework. The tempestuous elements far from being an inconvenience are the promise of new and exciting treasures to be discovered on the shoreline. So seizing a weather window I liberated myself from my academic employment and set off to catch the foamy waves with my Polaroid camera and see what flotsam and jetsam I might discover.
Disappointed I was not as the coastline delivered an elemental display that warned me to retreat further inland as the sea proceeded to fill my welly boots. The Polaroid camera caused me a little trouble as I manually evicted the film on each exposure......a problem only because of the wind. It didn't take me long to expose all my prints though and I wished I had brought another film with me. However, it is best that I didn't for the results of new processes are always best reflected upon so that experiments can either be replicated or improved upon.
Happy with my prints I decided to push them further by making emulsion lift transfers onto Fabriano 5 paper. Excited by the results I was glad that I didn't take the other film with me as the next experiment I intend to make will be a panoramic joiner, emulsion lift transfer onto wood that I found on the beach.