Chapter Two: New Beginnings

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that this video clip had a new relevance for me.

I’ve been asking myself some pretty straight questions recently. As a result, my eyes and mind have been opened up to a photographic sub-culture that I always knew existed but only ever dreamed about — until now…

On Thursday, this culminated in making my first ever glass Wet Plate.

And here it is:

Paul Cordes, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Keys by Jack Lowe

From left to right, 5 minutes in the life of Paul Cordes, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Keys

It’s a portrait of the team who rallied round to share their wisdom with me — new folks in my life to whom I’m extremely appreciative.

You’ll see the plate’s a bit of a mess due to my novice-like pouring technique but it still has a certain something, don’t you think?

Paul Cordes, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Keys by Jack Lowe

Detail from my first Wet Plate (Alastair Cook)

Paul Cordes, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Keys by Jack Lowe

Edge detail from my first Wet Plate — this one’s for Paul Kenny!

Actually, I’m in there too. During the five minute exposure (it was pretty dark), I strolled slowly in front of the lens to make sure I wasn’t left out.

The plate also now features in Bastards’ First Plate Gallery at Collodion Bastards (Wet Plate Work of Questionable Parentage).

My sincere thanks to Alastair Cook, Jonathan Keys and Paul Cordes for their help, great company and for rounding off the year perfectly.

Afterwards, we decamped for cake and coffee at Heaton Perk to take away the taste of collodion in the back of our throats.

Bliss.

With best wishes to everyone for 2014, when there’ll be more to report on these new beginnings…

New Platinum Print: Hérault Mountains

In the depths of Southern France there’s a scene that’s kept me entranced for many a lazy afternoon over the years…

Hérault Mountains, France, 1999, photographed by Jack Lowe

Hérault Mountains, France, 1999

I’ve photographed the view many times, even made a time lapse once, but none of them encapsulate the feelings evoked as neatly as this one.

Now available as a Platinum/Palladium print, Hérault Mountains joins a growing collection of photographs using this very traditional printing method — read more about the process by clicking here.

Hérault Mountains, France, 1999, photographed by Jack Lowe

Print detail…

If you’re thinking of buying any of my prints as Christmas gifts, please allow as much time as possible — now is a good time to order.

I do hold a small amount in stock but Platinum/Palladium prints such as these can take a little while to make.

If you would like to buy Hérault Mountains as a signed, numbered and embossed print, you can find it nestled here in my Platinum Collection.

Hérault Mountains, France, 1999, photographed by Jack Lowe

Silver and Light Revisited

Back in December, I saw out the year with a short film showing the extraordinary working methods of Ian Ruhter.

I’ve enjoyed watching it again recently as it has a new relevance for me.

Whether or not you’ve seen it already, I really recommend making the time. It’s a cracker and a gentle reminder of what photography really is…

“There is a point in every person’s life when they must choose to follow their dreams or be stuck in the life they fear.” — Ian Ruhter

If, like me, you’re a fan of Tumblr, Ian Ruhter’s feed is a good’un too…

New Platinum Print: Paddington Station

If you’re a photographer, you might empathise with this — occasionally (or regularly) making a photograph that you know you like but you’re not quite sure how or what will be the right way to finish it off, to properly close the loop…

I must say, it doesn’t normally take as long as fourteen years to come to a decision.

However, back in 1999, I captured the layered platform rooves of Paddington Station, a mainline railway station in West London.

Although I loved the graphic simplicity of the scene, it was an image that went on the back-burner.

Finding the photograph a couple of weeks ago put me straight into the mindset of a vintage Paddington Station.

Some of the buildings are clearly more modern but nevertheless it reminds me of a time gone by.

I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the weightiness or the puff of white rising from one of the platforms; maybe it’s simply the fact that it was shot on nostalgic ol’ black and white film with my Nikon.

Whatever the reasons, I knew instantly that it would make a fine Platinum/Palladium print.

I set to work making the Digital Negative and sent it off to Richard (take a look at the process here).

When Prints No.1 and No.2 arrived back, I was over the moon — just what I’d hoped for:

Paddington Station, West London, UK, 1999, photographed by Jack Lowe

In hindsight, I think I was a little ahead of myself when I released the shutter on this scene.

Rather than the photographic tastes I had then, it was as if I was seeing ahead to the tastes I would have now with an older head on my shoulders.

Perhaps that’s why it’s taken so long for me to close this particular loop.

Anyway, I managed to find a clip of The Last Journey, a story about Bob Holt’s last journey as a railway engine driver before his retirement.

The clip depicts Paddington in the 1930s, a time when Platinum printing had already become scarce due to the war effort, and a good example of the station back in the day:

If you would like to buy one of these beautiful signed, numbered and embossed prints, you can find it nestled among others here in my Platinum Collection.

Paddington Station, West London, UK, 1999, photographed by Jack Lowe

Devon Cummings; Binx

My friend Julian Calverley pointed my in the direction of Mark Tucker’s blog at the back end of last year.

If you love the roots of photographic and analogue processes, such as these beautiful Wet Plates, then it’s certainly worth following Mark’s Journal & Notes

Silver & Light

Video

This is my last post for 2012, the year in which this site was born.

Thank you for your company, enthusiasm and support over the last few months…see you in 2013.

I’ll leave you with a short film showing the extraordinary working methods of Ian Ruhter.

“There is a point in every person’s life when they must choose to follow their dreams or be stuck in the life they fear.” — Ian Ruhter

My thanks to Ian Aitken for bringing Ruhter’s work to my attention.