Wet Plate Photography Collodion Process -part2 - Perfume Story

Wet Plate Photography Collodion Process -part2

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Wet Plate Photography Collodion Process -part2

image120220_07.pngThe 2012 workshop spots have already been completely filled. Four students are accepted at a time and the workshops are held from May through September. These workshops are his greatest source of income. The cost is $800 per person. There have been a lot of middle-aged eccentrics and Civil War buffs who have participated, but more recently half of the participants consist of aspiring artists and women. Long ago, women did not come, but it's human psychology, that the more expensive something is, the more it is valued by customers. One more reason that wet plate photography is becoming popular is because each image is unique and there is only one plate per image. It is not possible to copy it. That is a significant characteristic. The number of works up to this point is several thousand. In the past, they were often portraits, but now the photographs are often landscapes, too.
As he said this, he showed me the photograph studio tent. There was a darkroom and all the materials necessary for taking photographs stored in this tent.

On the left is one picture that he took of me. Is this a Native American? Or is it an aging samurai?

Now his afternoons are spent in farming and dairy work and his evenings are spent writing letters. He doesn't use e-mail, so all contact is through the postal service. Our appointment was also made through the mail. Japanese-made solar panels are the power source for the light and computer on the desk.
The interview ended just after 1 p.m. and we went to the gate, at which point he proffered his shoulder again when I had to remove the boots.

It was a relaxed gesture and we talked leisurely. He is not rushed in anything he does. He either buys his cameras at antique shops or uses ones that he finds thrown out by the side of the road.
Preparation for wet plate photography requires time and effort, and so does taking and processing each image, but he likes that.
With cameras these days, you can take good pictures without effort, but his lifestyle is the complete opposite of that principle and it is the people with whom that philosophy resonates that visit his land. He states that that is the reason that he is happy now.

When asked about his future, he responded, "I will be doing the same things as I do now," adding "I will continue to live according to my beliefs while continuing to farm and raise livestock." He laughingly said that the only other thing is that he will die when he gets old.

Thinking that it was the antithesis of the too-fast modern lifestyle, I asked him once again whether he was pioneering a move to return once again to an older lifestyle through the wet plate photography that he discovered from the past and he answered, "I am living a lifestyle that contrasts a 19th-Century lifestyle with a modern lifestyle."

I visited this inconvenient, remote location, viewed and heard about wet plate photographers, and confirmed that the number of wet plate photography enthusiasts is increasing and that a new demand is being created as those people are creating wet plate photography equipment in their home studios and workshops.

In a competitive global environment, being different from others is linked to an increase in demand for compensation paid, so the lifestyle that John pursues and which differs from others' lifestyles has created a demand not seen before and has been the start of a business, although the followers are small in number.

This is the strength of America. The U.S. 2011 venture capital investment was 21.9 billion dollars. It is low compared with the IT bubble days, but more than four times of that in Europe and 15 times of that in Japan, and of the adult U.S. population, the percentage of people involved in starting businesses is 7.6%, the highest of the major industrialized countries. There is no doubt that there is an underlying lack of fear, whether of failure or in accessing unusual technologies.
John's way of life is a display of the indestructible American entrepreneurial spirit and it seems to be the basis for the creation of a new art and a new business.


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This page contains a single entry by administer published on March 1, 2012 8:13 PM.

Wet Plate Photography Collodion Process -part 1 was the previous entry in this blog.

The charm of miniature perfume is the next entry in this blog.

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