Wet Plate Collodion

In our digitalized era there are cameras everywhere and they are available to everybody. Pictures are taken all the time, even without anybody noticing. In comparison, the photographing situation with the wet plate collodion technique and the slow process itself are radically different. The act of photographing becomes a performance per se. The visible chemical layer the process leaves on the surface of each plate often challenges the very idea of a good photograph – a flawless image. At the same time the chemical layer gives the wet plate its specific and characteristic appearance.

I use the wet plate collodion technique particularly as a tool for portraiture. The slow process and long exposure time challenge the person photographed to simply concentrate on being. As a result, learned mannerisms often fade and the image captures a stronger presence.

 

Mobile Darkroom Project

The wet plate collodion technique demands an on-site darkroom, as the plates will have to be developed straight after the exposure. After being restricted for years to work in the studio next to the darkroom in 2014 I build a mobile darkroom into an old horse trailer. Mobile Darkroom Project got started and the Polvijärvi portraits were the first images made on field. Mobile Darkroom Project is an on-going photographic venture to set myself free of the restrictions of the studio and take wet plate collodion photography on location.