The collodion – or wet plate – process was developed in the 1850s and was a popular yet somewhat inconvenient way for photographers to produce portraits. This form of photography required the photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes and this inconvenience was probably one of the reasons that the process was largely replaced by dry gelatine emulsion in the 1880’s. Nowadays the look originally achieved by this process can be replicated by skilled photographers using a digital darkroom.
At the end of August we shot a number of performers over the course of one afternoon. The photos were lit to help create the wet plate ‘look’ that would be further enhanced in the digital darkroom. Circus is an age old form of entertainment and the performers that we shot are some of the best in the world… they are the type that, in a different century, might’ve made their living travelling the world entertaining people young and old.
This is the way that we envisioned their ‘promo’ posters might’ve looked back then, developed using the collodion process.