Thursday, December 24, 2020

California Redwoods Daguerreotype Trip

 Redwood Daguerreotypes

  This trip has been waiting in the wings ever since I made my first successful daguerreotype in the redwoods two years ago.  I actually planned on going as early as August this year, but one project after another, including the cats, kept getting in the way, and for months I kept pushing it back by a couple weeks.   When I got tired of pushing it back, weather moved into the region, bringing with it two weeks of solid rain.  That’s when the trip to the always reliably dry desert to shoot those petroglyphs happened.  Luckily a window of solidly good weather opened up not long after coming back from the desert, and I was on the road again. 

  23 years ago I traveled up to this same spot in Arcata CA for the first time.   It was the first stop of what would become a life changing adventure.  This was less than three years after I arrived to US as a refugee, and at the time I was working nights in fast food places, while attending community college full time and getting ready to try and transfer to UCSD with biochemistry major.  Being amid those woods for the first few days of the trip made me realize that my life must be dedicated to my first love of photography, and subsequent travel up and down the west coast set that in stone.  Upon returning, I switched my major to photography, and started the long and winding road of working in various photo businesses in order to appreciate and learn all various aspects of this noble art.   So this forest always held a special place in my heart.

  Redwood trees are incredible. They are the tallest trees on Earth, some reaching well over 300ft, and they can live past 3000 years, with trunks that are over 20ft in diameter.  Their bark is dark red, and their enormous branches, located only at top part of the tree, block out almost all sunlight with dense needles.  In the summer, when it’s 95°F in the town square less than a mile from the forest, as soon as you walk into the woods you want to put on a sweater.  It’s almost always damp in there as well, as redwoods actually get a lot of moisture by trapping coastal fog in the morning, condensing it on needles, and raining it down.  Being among trees that size and of that age really puts things in perspective. 

 Another thing that makes one realize the ravages of history, are the countless enormous burned-out stumps that dot the forest as far as the eye can see.  Those were the real old-timers, the original old growth.  Native never cut those trees, and while considering them sacred, never actually lived within the forest, always in nearby meadows or river valleys. When European settlers arrived, especially starting with 1849 California Gold Rush, there was suddenly a great need for building materials.  Imagine expressions on faces of loggers when they saw that there was a forest that ran for hundreds of miles, with trees so big that you could build 40(!) 5-room homes from one single tree.  Nature is still only rarely a first concern when people do things, and back then it was much less so.  Humans went cutting, and, by the time things slowed down, literally less than 2% of that original forest was left.  At that point, people saw a vast land in front of them, full of giant stumps which no man or machine at that time could uproot.  People wanted that land for agriculture and to graze their cattle on, so they really wanted those stumps gone.  At some point, some mildly bright individual came up with an idea of burning the stumps.   Problem is, redwoods evolved to withstand fires pretty well; their bark is fibrous, and snuffs out the flame by starving it of oxygen, so only extreme and prolonged heat can get through that bark and down to actual wood.  I guess the proposed solution was to try and burn them with root fires, so they would burn from the inside.  The spectacle must have been harrowing, and I can’t imagine how long or fierce those fires raged, but when it was all over, the outer portions of all those stumps still proudly stood; charred tubes 10-20ft tall, many of them wide enough to pitch a tent inside and have a fire next to it.  These ghostly grim reminders of human greed and avarice were also not dead.  You see, when one dies naturally, redwoods sprout new shoots from their roots, as nearby original trunk as possible, so a new forest soon sprung up in the land that people could not tame, and you can see in a few of my plates that old stumps usually have 2-3 new shoots right at their bases.   

  One of the plates also captures a peculiar and beautiful natural phenomenon I was not expecting to see.  Around 2005 or 2006, there was an abnormal for the area weather event, with something akin to a mini tornado forming, and that whipped through the forest pretty strongly.  Redwoods don’t usually fall from wind, but indeed their root systems are actually very shallow, so if strong wind is combined with rain, and the ground is soaked, they can topple over.  Shortly after hearing the news of that storm, I went back there to see the damage for myself.  It was surreal, with devastation visible in every direction. After coming there many times, and being familiar with almost every turn in that lower part of the park, the place looked unrecognizable and totally surreal.  It was like some sort of a lumberyard owed by careless giants, with splintered pieced the size of a train car jetting up in every direction.  Those who wandered in and wanted to go where they always walked freely to, had to climb over and under and around huge trunks and crawl between branches.  It looked like an absolutely impossible cleanup job, but I must say the city did an incredible job, and now it’s hard to tell which logs fell during that storm and which have been there for a century.  A particular scene though struck me as truly symbolic of the resilience of this forest.  One of the largest and tallest of the old burned stumps was crushed and broken by three near-buy younger saplings during that storm, so that was the second time that tree was in danger of meeting its demise.  But no, nature finds a way.  Not all of the roots of the younger trees must have gotten separated from ground, and so when they all of a sudden found themselves in a 45° position, they reorganized their plan for growth, and started sprouting branches all along the top portion of their trunks.  This phenomenon actually gave rise to a form of bonsai called ‘raft style’, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like in 20-30 years.

  Let’s get back to daguerreotypes though, redwoods do tend to get me rambling.  Two years ago, I actually made one of my best plates to date at this same place, but I was not satisfied that it was the only one I secured that time.  I felt that this time, especially after the grueling desert adventure, I was ready.  I’ll say that going from the ultra-bright Arizona desert to redwood forest lighting was extremely challenging, especially seeing how little UV is present that far north and this late in the year.  Humidity was also the exact opposite of the desert, with dew point hitting early, suddenly, and hard, so a couple of my plates suffered from that, but I think in one with the sun peeking through the old burned out log it really worked out splendidly.  I brought two cameras with me, knowing that my exposures were going to be long.  One was my usual Zone VI, with 90, 150, 210, and 400mm lenses, and the other was a fixed lens Burke & James 4x5 Orbitar, with its 65mm Schneider.   Sometimes I would set them both for similar exposures, or I would give the Orbitar such a long exposure that I could finish two plates with a faster lens on Zone VI.  The contrast in that forest is enormous, with deep shadows even midday registering at EV3, and splotchy sunlight getting through the branches unscathed being about EV13 or more.  Below one of the plates I’ve posted a phone pic for comparison.  You can see the camera mid-exposure at the bottom of the frame, and I adjusted all values while still there to match the scene as closely as possible to what it appeared as to the naked eye.  

  I can’t really describe how happy I am with these plates, which are all 4x5in, by the way.  Even the unexpected light leak or two along the bottom edge of some plates somehow doesn’t bother me at the least, when usually I’d be pretty upset about it.   A few of these plates though set my personal best record for now, and outperforming them is what I will work tirelessly at, but I really don’t know how much better they can possibly get.

Plate 1, Stump Fungus Lifting Redwood Branch

Plate 2, Mist in Redwood Forest

Plate 3, Three Giants

Plate 3 being captured

Plate 4, Old Giant

Plate 5, Misty Woods

Plate 6, Redwood Forest Glory

Plate 7, New and Old

Plate 8, Fallen Redwoods With Natural Raft Style Growth

Plate 9, Sun and Burned Stump

Plate 10, Redwoods at Dusk

Plate 11, Tree Trunk Habitat

  All these plates at this point are available for purchase, so feel free to find the contact link here.  At the risk of repeating myself, I will once again state that no digital reproduction on screen or in print can ever come near the beauty and depth of these unique plates.  For example one of the plates below appears a little warmer on the left than on the right.  That’s actually opalescence of that plate playing tricks on copy camera sensor, depending on angle of view and lighting in real life that plate changes hue from purple, to neutral, to golden, so holding it is not something I can ever hope to convey via this modern marvel of communication method.  I do however welcome anyone to contact me, and make an appointment for a private viewing, should you ever find yourself in San Diego.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Petroglyph Daguerreotypes on Daguerre’s Birthday

 Toward the end of November, I went back to one of my favorite places in the desert.  A spot out in the middle of nowhere, with nearest significant human population well over an hour drive away.  A tall cliff overlooks the arid desert plateau there, running for a few hundred yards north to south.  Winds blow tumbleweeds between desert shrubs and over cacti, and aside from lizards and flies it’s rare to see much life.  This wasn’t always the case though.

  Thousands of years ago, beneath that cliff there was a river valley full of life and game, a beautifully lush prehistoric habitat. Dating as far back as 10.000BCE, various waves of Native American peoples thrived in in this area.  They left behind petroglyphs upon the face of this cliff, and on some of the more prominent rocks below.  Researchers place the oldest of these markings as being approximately 12.000 years old, with newer ones being 5000 and 1500 years old.  Various rock alignments and paths have also been identified on the plateau, just above the main painted side of the cliff. 

  Having gone to this location before with wet plate gear, I wanted to pay homage to it in daguerreotype form.  Making those in the filed though is a task riddled with possible pitfalls, so this was to be a good test of my field readiness.  I decided to camp there for two nights, because there’s nothing quite like being in the desert on those clear winter nights.  I would set up on first day, work all second day, and have some time to shoot a plate or two in the morning of third day before heading back. 

  Of course, camping in the desert means that within an hour or two after arrival every item you brought with you is covered with an even layer of.  I knew that having some dust spots was going to be inevitable, and so made peace with them even while driving in, half an hour down a dirt road with some pretty hairy washes to traverse. I set up in such a way as to have most shade possible for my dark box and working table, but had to move the car and reconfigure once a day, because as soon as even some sun would reach the box, it would heat up to past 100°F.   Midday in the shade it was still 90° though, so fuming times and ratios had to be adjusted with every plate.  I also decided to switch my modus operandi, and this time limited my arsenal to only 19th century lenses.  With me I brought a 75mm Morrison WA, 100mm Dallmeyer 1aa, RR, 210mm C.C. Harrison Petzval, and 12in Waterbury single achromat.  Selecting perspective for my images meant climbing with a 4x5 and tripod on a 45° slope riddled with boulders as big as a room, with plenty of cactus in between each rock and of course the always-possible rattlesnakes.  Overall it was great fun, seeing how I consider moments of high concentration and intense work to be great fun if that work is in fact creative. 

  I fixed and gilded the plates after getting back home.  Thankfully I was reminded that this can indeed be done by a good fellow daguerreotypist, because gilding on location is a sure sign of begging for major trouble.  I selected the following 5 that spoke strongest to me.  Two plates are of same composition; these were made with the Harrison, utilizing different aperture discs in order to have less or more depth of focus.  

Dark box at dusk, petroglyph cliff in distance.

Plate 1, Dallmeyer 1aa

Plate 2, Waterbury Single Achromat

Plate 3, Harrison Petzval f16

Plate 4, Harrison Petzval f5.6

Plate 5, Harrison Petzval f16

  Some ambient info about the trip is as follows.

  While driving there, I was traveling at night east on an empty desert highway, and, while going full speed, saw an animal just about to dart out in front of my wheels.  Our reaction time seemed to have been about the same, because by the time my hands were making a move to the left it too froze in it its tracks, halfway over the white line on pavement. I didn’t move left much, so my headlights hit the figure full blast, and I was elated to realize it was a grey desert fox, which is one animal I have not yet seen in the wild, even by side of the road like this.  For a second there, I got a great look at a beautifully furry creature, and off behind the car it went.  On the first night on location, I had a very small fire going, upon which I made my humble dinner. Shortly after finishing the meal, I was in the state of contemplative meditation, reflecting upon successes and failure of the day, and just staring at the ambers of the fire, as has been my favorite pastime since childhood.  As one sits alone and looks at the fire, there’s a bit of a tunnel vision effect that happens, and the world outside the viewer and the fire pit softly muffles itself and gently drifts off.  There’s not a light or movement around you, and smoke materializes, rises up, and dissipates like civilizations in time. I must have been sitting pretty darn still, because all of a sudden two very bright triangles appeared within the rightmost reach of peripheral vision.  In my dazed dreamy state, I blinked as I moved my head much slower than perhaps the actual situation on the ground of having something unexpectedly come very near me, should have dictated. To the right of me, well within the reach of my right hand, stood an elegant and well groomed desert fox, with it’s medium grey salt and pepper fir, and large triangular ears with bright white fir inside those triangles.  Beautiful creature must have been attracted to the smell of my recent dinner, and was peeking into the fire pit when I first saw it clearly.  At that moment the fox realized I was not an inanimate object, and got seemingly confused or embarrassed, because it looked at me, back at the fire pit, at me again, moved away about a foot, made a move back for a split second, and then slowly trotted away and around the fire like everything was cool and planned.  By then my hand was already going to my phone, and at that moment I was quick enough to get the fire-lit photo below.  I noticed that the fox didn’t exactly run off, but was hanging around and examining camp perimeter area just outside view, so I tossed a few bits of bacon and salami into the dark, and saw them being carefully picked up.  As I tried to shoot another picture of two, complete darkness prevented my phone camera from focusing, but as it glanced over I did end up with that funny second ‘guess who’ photo.  The next night I was thinking my visitor would return, but coyotes were singing loudly nearby, so I think the fox was wise to stay put. 

  Along with enjoying cheerful crackling of the fire, the night desert is also perfect for stargazing.  The Milky Way is clear and colorful, and a myriad world can be seen twinkling down at you.  As I started that part of my meditation, I soon saw a really bright shooting star, thinking it was a great omen.  Then another one, then two more almost at the same time.  Well, turns out the nights I picked for my trip were the best nights to observe the yearly Leonids meteor shower, so I was staying up as late as I could, and saw over a dozen excellent meteors each night, with one fireball, that’s when they break as they heat up, and make multiple fiery trails.
  Upon arriving back to civilization, I saw that the main day of my making plates out there, November 18th, happens to be the birthday of J.L.M. Daguerre, inventor of the noble photographic method I was employing. 

 I am also very grateful to be able to say that 4 of the 5 plates above have been purchased by one collector, and are currently awaiting shipment to their new home.  I am keeping one of the two near-duplicate plates as a reminder of this short but fruitful trip.  Without such sales I would not be able to continue to survive and keep making more work, so, once again, Thank You to All who support independent artists like yours truly.


Friday, November 13, 2020

Cactus Cats of Balboa Park, Daguerreotype Dozen

 So much that a camera can do has yet been un-attempted, so many seemingly ubiquitous subjects have been limited to formulaic portrayal.  My passion for photography, and life-ling dedication to this most perfect of art forms, implores me to constantly reinvent myself, and, whenever possible, the medium I love so much.   In this project, I once again turned to documentary side of photography, the purest incarnation of this multi-faceted discipline. What could I do to make interesting images, while challenging myself and pushing the boundaries of how cameras have been used before. 

  Prior to this project, animals in their natural environment have never been the focus of daguerreotype images.  Pets and livestock have been subject of rare and sought-after plates from 1840-50s, and a few landscapes by skilled daguerreotypists of that time happen to catch a wandering cow or two, but no serious effort seems to have been made toward focusing on creatures in uncontrolled settings.  This really isn’t that big of a surprise.  With its low sensitivity to light, leading to long exposures, daguerreotypes require rather long exposures.  Add to that having to work with a bulky camera on a tripod, which has very shallow depth of focus from which the subject can’t move much.  On top of that, daguerreotypists usually tended to closely follow market demands, and portraiture was by far the easiest kind of images to get paid for.  Finally, preparation of plates is a tedious task, and if you’re not in any kind of control of your subject, a lot of trial and error comes into play rather quickly.   These challenges served as pure enticement to me when I learned of a colony of feral cats at our local park.  

  I was never truly a cat person, always related more to openness and sincerity of dogs, but I respect all animals, and enjoy getting in touch with their energy.  As most people are probably aware of, cats are among the least cooperative of all subjects, so I knew this was going to take a lot of patience and dedication.   Starting in early October, on nearly daily basis, I paid visits to this liberated feline hangout, armed with one or two plates ready for exposure.  The goal was to catch these creatures in candid moments amid their favorite backgrounds.  They spend midday deep in the bushes, hiding from relentless San Diego sun, and prefer to emerge only an hour or two before sunset.  These kitties also don’t like to hang out in open spaces much, preferring deep shade of some low cactus or palm, which made exposure times range wildly, from 7 to 60 seconds, with most being 15-20sec.  More often than not some noise from a nearby freeway or appearance of a fellow troop member made my subjects move mid-exposure, but I never let that discourage me from trying again and again.  Some individuals were just impossibly jittery, even when they sat or lounged their heads would be turning every two seconds, scanning surroundings for danger.  Others were relatively comfortable with my presence, and all I had to do was not move too fast and hope that no sudden noises would scare them.  Basically, seeing each successful plate coming out of my developing chamber felt like a miracle every time.  

  I can honestly say that this was the most difficult photographic project I’ve completed so far.  Sure, there have been much more complex works that took me many more attempts than I could have ever expected, but in those instances I was usually shooting for something so well defined in my imagination that I could not deviate from that goal.  This time though, no preconceived notions of specific compositions existed in my imagination, the only aim was beauty and uniqueness.   I was working in a strictly documentary style with a live subject, which I had zero control over, and so my patience and intuition had to be pushed to their limits.   Due to relatively high level of difficulty of this project, I gave myself a bit more leeway in terms of possible acceptance of plates with more slight imperfections that I normally would allow myself to have.   There was no way though I could bring myself to erase them, I mean look at that cuteness!   Also, please do keep in mind, as always, that daguerreotypes are different from every other medium you have ever seen.  There’s no way to really translate how each unique plate truly look in real life; thus images below are to be taken as a guide to their appearance. When examined live all these plates look considerably better than what I was able to achieve in copying them for this post, but only those who purchase each plate, and their guests of honor, will have a pleasure of experiencing these plate live.  


P.S.  These 12 original plates are now available for purchase on first come basis.  Prices range from $1200 to $2500 depending on which plate it is, so please do feel free to email with inquiries.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Pandemic Summer, Silver Image Medley in Daguerreotype & Collodion

  In this third and final catch-up post, I will briefly explore various inspirations of this summer and images resulting from them.  Perhaps the reader can gain a bit of insight to what makes me tick, and what makes me aim my camera in directions I choose. 
  While subject matter varies broadly, all images are united by my unwavering conviction that beauty will save the world, and that in production of these works I not only find myself, but also bring a spark of joy to those who will see them and, in case of personal encounter, feel their weight in hand. 

  While on the patio of a local coffee shop, on a beautiful summer day, I was daydreaming about open sun-soaked meadows, flanked by shady mixed forests, taller blades of glass gently swaying in warm breeze.  It’s been a while since I laid in such a meadow.  Such meadows allow one to clear a lot from the mind, allow one to simply be and feel Earth’s breath.
  On the way back, right by the car, I noticed a small dandelion sprouting out from a sidewalk crack.  It was ready to shed its tiny seeds, and I could feel the hope for them to be in that same meadow I was just picturing.  I carefully brought it to the studio, and made this daguerreotype in a manner in which I would have seen it against the sky while we were both there, in Nature.  
  Blue is part of the process, and other coloring was added by hand.
  After the shoot, I took it to the local canyon, and released the seeds.


Dandelion, 1/6th Plate Hand Tinted Daguerreotype (SOLD)

  In Australian aboriginal societies, a walkabout it a rite of passage, a spiritual quest, undertaken in solitude, with aim of connecting with Nature, and finding your spirit within it.   For me photography has provided this experience. Walking out of my darkroom with a daguerreotype plate in-hand and camera slung over my shoulder, is my spiritual experience.  All preconceived notions are shed, and I let the direction of my search be guided by the great flow of energy, which comprises all matter including myself.  It’s hard to explain, it’s as if light itself makes me turn down this street or the other.  Eventually I see something that asks to be upon my plate, and this is how the plates below came about.  It can be light striking bark of a tree, or a scene within geometry of which I glimpse my own ghost.  Plates made in this manner are most precious to me, as they best sing praise to what I regard as photography’s highest honor; its inherently perfect potential of distilling visual experience of life into permanent impressions. 

San Diego Naval Hospital, 4x5in Daguerreotype (SOLD)

Ghost of Self, 4x5in Daguerreotype (SOLD)

'65 Mustang, 4x5in Daguerreotype

No More Turning Away, 4x5in Daguerreotype

Tree in Sun, 4x5in Daguerreotype (SOLD)

  Not far from my darkroom is San Diego North Park water tower, a local iconic landmark.  When about 5 years ago, I for the first time felt confident enough to take a daguerreotype plate outdoors, it was this tower that drew me in. I still have that plate.  Later I made a small distant view, and traded that one with a daguerreotype artist from Germany for one of his plates featuring a water tower in his hometown. 
  On one of the above-mentioned walkabouts, I was once again drawn to this looming structure, but this time the tower demanded to be pictured differently.  Standing in front of it, I saw the layers of history over which the tower reined, and to tides of which it will eventually succumb, a host to its own ghosts.  It took a concerted effort to make this plate come about.  Day after day, I kept going back, chasing this delineated transparency within complexity of a triple exposure.  Vision is paramount in art.  Once conjured, it can’t be compromised. 

North Park Water Tower, 4x5in Daguerreotype (SOLD)

  Perfection can often be found within simplicity, one just has to be observant and trust their intuition.
  While passing a local flower shop on the way for morning coffee, I saw a bundle of gerberas near a window, and their colors snuck a smile under my mask.  Upon getting closer, one flower in particular called my attention, and I thought how interesting it is that space seems to change depth and texture in moments like that. Depth perception is a product of our minds after all, so I wondered how I could capture that feeling of multidimensional effect. 
  Sometimes, when I want something very precise, I shoot some tintypes of a scene before going to daguerreotype.  Doing this is very much like making Polaroid tests for final exposure onto slide film, they have about the same ISO and nearly identical spectral response.  I did 8-9 test plates, moving lights and adjusting background, but nothing seemed just right, and it always seemed like my vision escaped me by just a little bit, with image, in order to be perfect, needing to have attributes of several plates combined.  I then stopped my testing, buffed and fumed a daguerreotype plate, and for this first attempt, seen below, moved lights mid-exposure based on what I saw them yield during various tests.  I was thrilled to see the plate come up just as I wanted.  
  As last step, I added color via hand tinting to bring life and depth to the image.  It’s nearly impossible to capture the look of this piece, but I believe this angle represents it as well as a still image can. 

Gerbera, 4x5in Hand Tinted Daguerreotype

  I’ve been visiting this tree in Balboa Park for over twenty years.  It was as magnificent then as it stands now, and one day I got a hankering to immortalize it in daguerreotype form.  This pursuit ended up requiring a lot more effort than initially bargained for.  
  This tree is enormous, with crown circumference of well over 20m, has very dense leaves that are fully opaque, and has a boardwalk wrapping around with branches reaching down to just above head level.  This combination meant that almost no UV light is available by the trunk even midday, and I wanted to avoid splotchy sunlight, so had to wait until just prior to sunset.  Another problem was in representing something this overwhelmingly large and somehow making sense of it, while fitting most of it in frame.  This was one of the few times I knew nothing short of 65mm would suffice.  Luckily, a couple years ago I came into possession of an Orbitar camera, a dedicated wide-angle 4x5 by Burke and James, with a 65mm Schneider Super-Angulon.   That version of the lens being f8 at it’s most open didn’t make composing any easier, but after crouching between the roots a few times, and finally figuring out that my exposure at desired f16 should in fact be a whopping one hour, I did come away with image below, with which I was very happy. 

Banyan Tree, 4x5in Daguerreotype (SOLD)

  Sometimes images appear from ideas, and those ideas are not exactly rooted in physical world. They call to be expressed through empirical experiments, guided by no more than a hunch or faint mirage, as of an owl seen through fog.  Where does the owl start and fog ends?  Tips of its wings, brushed against the circle of the moon.  How do they interact?

Cicles and Lines, 4x5in Daguerreotypes
  Modern architecture rarely inspires me.  Sterile and lifeless in its core, yet trying so hard to be different, with its brash colors, angles, and finish, it makes me wish I could do something about it.
  A new condominium building went up right in the middle of what used to be a street with a solid pre-WWII feel.  It is finished in shiny metal of fire engine red color, and stands there like a fractured clowns nose.  It looks so comically out of place that it often reminds me of going to Moscow circus, and so on this plate I decided to treat it a similarly chaotically colorful manner. 
There Must Have Been a Door, 4x5in Daguerreotype

  Just after the end of strict phase of quarantine (which I will mention was nowhere near as strict as it should have been), I took the larger of my dark boxes, and headed out to a local canyon park, and with Jozlynn, my favorite model.  
  Purity calmed by simplicity is effervescent and engaging, and in these plates we worked to portray this primordial spirit. 
  A small technical note of sorrow is in order.  After making one of the below plates I learned that the purple glass it is made on is no longer produced.  The last company that made colored glass for ambrotypes moved production a few years ago, and since then has discontinued some colors in smooth finish.  This beautifully deep purple color is exceptionally close to 1850s, so it was sad to learn of its demise.  I still have a little bit left, so I’ll treat it with special care for pieces like this.  The image can be lit from back to reveal its negative form, when backed with any surface and lit from front, it will yield a perfectly black and white look, but if light is balanced to come from both front and back (maybe 80/20 split), the piece will appear split-toned. A true delight to view and behold. 

Respite, 8x10in Tintype
Ghost of Old Normal, 8x10in Black Glass Ambrotype
Quest, 8x10in Purple Glass Ambrotype (negative view)
Quest, 8x10in Purple Glass Ambrotype (positive view)
Quest, 8x10in Purple Glass Ambrotype (split tone view)
1850 Purple Glass Ambrotype Example, backlit

  Another quick collaboration resulted in this 8x10 studio tintype.   Jozlynn works in the medical field, and we wanted to pay tribute to those who risk their lives and serve society during a pandemic. I didn’t want to make prop covid molecules like I’ve seen many resort to, and I think these thistles are perfect; they are both reminiscent of the shape we have been shown by scientists, and they also stick to you if you aren’t careful, just like the virus does.  This image was made in-camera with 4 exposures and I couldn’t be happier with the way it carries initial concept. 
Fighter, 8x10in Tintype

  A debt of gratitude is owed to individuals around the globe who have purchased plates marked as sold.  I truly appreciate it, and wouldn’t be able to continue making work if it wasn’t for that support.
  Should You wish to add any of above daguerreotypes or wet plate collodion works to Your art collection, please do feel free to send a message.