Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ambrotypes, Ferrotypes & the 150th Chickamauga

Dudeboy and I spent a good deal of this past week in the past.  Tuesday we visited local collodion photographer Wendell Decker.  It was a great experience as he took the time to explain the whole process to us in detail. 

The above image of Dudeboy is a ferrotype . . . which is a photograph created on a piece of metal (traditionally iron and not tin as the misnomer "tintype" would imply) which is then coated. I mentioned to Wendell that he had to be part photographer and chemist.  He added artist, historian, educator, etc. The man certainly knows his stuff.
For our joint portrait we chose an ambrotype, which is sorta like the ferrotype but the image is created on a sheet of glass using the same wet plate collodion process. After that, just silver remains on the glass. The result is a negative made positive when a black varnish is applied. So, in the above photo, everything that is black is actually plain glass . . . until that varnish is applied to the back. Wendell also praised the image quality. He said this process produced detail that was much better than film or digital can attain. In many instances often the old ways are the best ways.     

And then Friday through Sunday (we missed the activities on Thursday) we traveled to north Georgia for the 150th Anniversary Battle of Chickamauga put on by the Blue Gray Alliance.

And it rained.  And then it rained some more . . . as evidenced by our campfire. But the weather finally cleared and we participated in some long sustained battles. Unfortunately, I am not able to take the camera out on the field with me at reenactments (I wish I could at times, because I could get some great images), so most of what I capture at these events is of camp-life.

Downtime playing cards and waiting out the rain.

1 comment:

Aunt Pee & Uncle Charlie Dog said...

Totally awesome going to print those up Gail bought me an iPad can't believe it