Wet Plate: A Potted History

On Mark Tucker‘s blog, I’ve just stumbled across a potted history of the wet plate collodion process by George Eastman House.

The original work of the 1850s is often so beautiful. Some of it is shown in their short video, not least a stunning glass negative of an American steam locomotive.

During the commentary, the narrator mentions one of the aspects that I love about wet plate — that each one has a narrative derived from the very hand of the photographer. Every part of a wet plate tells a story in some way, whether it’s to do with the content or the process.

Lovely to see the famous image of Roger Fenton’s Photographic Van featured too.

Anyway, enjoy a few moments with this…

Canine Collection

Following on from the popularity of “I will not chase the cat” last week, it’s my pleasure to make this canine Print Collection available to you…

…as ever, made with the finest materials modern science can muster to make sumptuous prints that will last more than a lifetime.

Chocolate Labrador, Photography by Jack Lowe

The Draw of the Sea

There’s something about the sea, isn’t there? Something stirring and primordial; to gaze out to the distant horizon is so many things to so many people.

Solace, hope, comfort, adventure and inspiration all spring to mind.

How many times have you driven along a coastline and seen people of all ages taking a stroll or simply sitting on a bench, looking so relaxed in a trance-like state as they stare wistfully towards the horizon?

How many times have you done just that yourself?

Tynemouth 1, Photography by Jack Lowe

Tynemouth No.1

The draw of the sea is strong within my soul. At the moment, it’s not fully nurtured. I miss being among the waves and long to return to my love of sea kayaking some time soon.

Way back when, my father enjoyed a spell in the Merchant Navy and was also a deep sea diver in the North Sea.

Indeed, we spent the first few years of my life living on a beautiful old boat, so I’m sure these are just some of the clues that point to why I love the watery stuff so much.

A while back, I was invited to make a photograph on the theme of emotion for an NSPCC charity auction being held at the The Old Truman Brewery in London.

My choice of subject? To return to my birth town, Aberdeen, and photograph the sea…

Aberdeen, Photography by Jack Lowe

Aberdeen

— My First Photo Book

On seeing his beautiful show at The Zelda Cheatle Gallery, the first photo book I ever bought was The Shipping Forecast by Mark Power.

The cover image still holds the same attraction to me now as it did then…

On the institution of the BBC’s Shipping Forecast, David Chandler writes in the foreword:

“The forecast stirs our residual contact with the sublime, our fading sense of epic scenarios, places where great, life-threatening forces are continually unleashed and where nature’s vengeful power always hovers over the horizon.”

Stirring words that certainly tap into my psyche, capturing the essence of what I still love about Power’s body of work.

— The Sea Collection

Sunrise at Llanbedrog, Lleyn Peninsula, Wales, Photography by Jack Lowe

Llanbedrog Sunrise

The Cobb, Photography by Jack Lowe

The Cobb

As you might imagine, I’ve made many nautical photographs over the years.

You can browse and purchase my Archival Pigment Prints of the sea by clicking here.

Each print is made, signed and embossed by me, shipped to your door to provide a new window through which to wistfully gaze…

Digital Archival Pigment Print of Llanbedrog on the Lleyn Peninsula by Jack Lowe

‘Llanbedrog Sunrise’ from The Sea Collection

— Further Inspiration

Here’s a short film that I’ve always loved, Dark Side of the Lens, and one I’m sure you’ll enjoy too:

“Subtle glimpses of magic others might pass by…something worth remembering with a photograph or a scar.” — Dark Side of the Lens

 

— The RNLI, Saving Lives at Sea

A final word…

You might well have guessed by now that my favourite charity is the RNLI.

As an island nation, the dedicated volunteers around our coastline are vital to ensuring the safety of those at sea for whatever reason.

I’ve been a fan of them since I was a boy. I loved this clip they posted of the Plymouth Lifeboat heading out on a shout in a Storm Force 10 gale at the back end of last year.

Hold tight…!

Portraits 1997~2005

Kath (2004), Photography by Jack Lowe

Kath, 2004

I always think of myself as a landscape photographer.

Why I think that, I don’t know; I photograph all sorts of subjects all of the time.

Like many of you, I guess, I often make portraits — usually of my nearest and dearest.

I love making them but, moreover, I love that I only ever make them for pleasure with no commercial angle involved.

Photography is intrinsic to my makeup and it feels wholesome somehow to keep a part of it set to ‘hobby status’.

You can see more of my favourite portraits in this Behance Collection

Ethel and Peter (2001), Photography by Jack Lowe

Ethel and Peter, 2001

A Perfect Sunday on the River Tyne

The River Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Six bridges over The River Tyne, Newcastle

A perfectly cold and crisp Sunday on the River Tyne in Newcastle.

I’ve now lived here for twelve years and remain constantly in awe of the beautiful views in around the city I now call home.

I thought you might like to see this photograph I posted on Instagram this afternoon, depicting six of the seven bridges that cross the river.

So, where’s the seventh bridge? I’m standing on it — the Millennium Bridge.

For those who like to know, this scene was captured on my iPhone 4S and processed using Snapseed.

Cornerstones 1996~2004

Finn, Photography by Jack Lowe

‘Finn’ by Jack Lowe, available in the Cornerstone Collection

As my about me page describes, I’ve been re-embracing my own photography recently (the whole raison d’être for this site, of course) and it’s amazing to see what can happen when one makes certain mental shifts.

Indeed, print No.1 of Bardsey Island sold within an hour of being released!

No sooner had I collated this Behance Project, which I entitled Cornerstones, then enquiries gently came my way asking about the availability of those images too.

So, I thought you might like to know that I’ve now created the Cornerstone Collection, right here on these pages.

It is comprised of photographs made between 1996 and 2004, all of which have been pivotal to me in some way during what I consider to be the first chapter of my photographic career.

If you are already familiar with my work, you’ll find some old favourites nestling in there…

Tree Space 4, Photography by Jack Lowe

‘Tree Space 4’ by Jack Lowe, available in the Cornerstone Collection