If you’ve been keeping up with Ian Ruhter’s Silver & Light series, you’ll definitely want to check out James Weber. Like Ian, James is using Profoto’s powerful strobes as a way to rejuvenate the wet plate collodion process.
“Wet plate collodion is a chemical process as much as it is a photographic process,” writes James. “It’s getting back to the darkroom which adds a uniqueness to each image. It’s using large format cameras and lenses that are 100+ years old. It’s using crazy, huge aerial lenses from World War II to get amazing large plate portraits. It’s getting back to the roots of the first recorded images. It’s part Breaking Bad, mixing up the chemistry, and part Ansel Adams trekking up mountains with a large format camera to get the shot. The process slows you down so that you take in all of the minute details of your subject before you shoot. Because of this necessary attention to detail, it’s made me a better photographer. To me, it’s the most fun you can have with a camera.”
When you’re working with ISO 1, you’re going to need a lot of power. James uses 2 Profoto Pro-7a 2400 packs and an Acute/D4 Twin head, giving him 4800 watt seconds of power per shot. “You can actually feel the air off of the strobe when it fires. It’s pretty crazy the amount of light that it puts out,” he writes.
Below, some of the images that he’s shot so far. Some from a Josephine Baker inspired fashion editorial shoot and some from his “Faces” project.
If you’re interested in more detail about James’ process, he’s documenting his progress and results in photo, video, and writing on his blog. See more of his collodion work on Collodion Gallerie and his other photography on James Weber Studio. You can follow him on Facebook (James Weber), Facebook (Collodion Gallerie), Twitter, and Tumblr.
All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©James Weber, all rights reserved; story is ©Profoto. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or re-post elsewhere without written permission.
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