It started off as an average day. I woke up, had my coffee, then phone rang. It was my good friend Lauren Graham. She asked me if I want to shoot the band Metric with the wet plate collodion process. I didn’t even have to think about it; I just answered when and where. She said they were in town shooting for the Jay Leno show and they had a pretty busy schedule but she would check. She let me know they would be done at 5 pm or so and want to do it. My first thought was about the amount of daylight left in the day after 5pm. Lauren suggested we do it close to the Leno studio which is in Burbank. She works at the Jackass office around the corner. I hesitated and said yes, but I could not think of a worse location than a parking lot in the valley. This was an opportunity that I didn’t want to let slip by, so I called my right hand man James about doing a test that night. I stayed up late in to the am shooting photos, mixing extra chemicals and prepping everything. We felt good. This was the most prepared we had been for any wet plate shoot.
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The next day rolled around quick, we grabbed a coffee a loaded up the car and started driving out to the valley. Lauren and Kate Power met us at the Jackass location. It was every thing I imagined it would be; hot, boring, and flat, with nothing interesting around. There were just some off white walls like you would find in the back of a Walmart. But I was ok with it because I knew it wasn’t about the location; it was about the band.
We set up the portable dark room as I wanted to shoot another test before they arrived. Keep in mind, I have not been working with this process very long and it has a mind of it own. I cooked up a plate and loaded in to the camera. I shot a photo thinking I would have to do some minor adjustments to the exposure time. I started developing it and noticed something was very wrong. My heart sank. There was barley an image on the plate. I started to panic I had never seen anything like this before. I changed up the silver nitrate; that is usually where the problems are with this process. I took another photo. It was worse. Now I was tripping. I just keep thinking Metric was on the way they were probably tired from filming all day and I was about to waste their time. I asked everyone if I should call them and cancel the shoot. They told me to shoot one more test. I change up the last possible thing. I shoot one more, and as we watched it develop I could tell it was even worse. This time there was nothing at all on the plate. Now I started really freaking out. My friend James said "It will work, I know it will." In my head I was like "Ya, and it's going to start raining hundred dollar bills." Right then a black van with tinted windows rolled up. James said "It's time to ride or die!"
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Then the switch went off; that’s when I got in to photo mode.
They got out in true rock star fashion. Emily Haines walked over to us with a bottle of champagne in hand. I just played it cool, because the last thing you want to do is let the subject feel any tension or stress for you. People feel that energy and it translates through the photos. The show must go on and I was about to put on the performance of my life. I switched the fixer just to entertain myself but I knew it wasn’t going to do anything The problems were in the developing. We were ready to shoot. I turned around said "Hi, how are you?" I walked them across this parking lot explaining how amazing the images were going to be. I never doubted myself from that point. I set it up and shot it like nothing was wrong but I knew there was. I walked back to the dark room with everyone following, stepped in to the darkness and said fuck it, pouring the developer onto the plate. I could see it was working. I emerged form the darkness and there were 9 people waiting to see what had happened. I had a beautiful image in my hands. I dropped it into the fix. Everyone was in awe of what we created. We shoot 3 more plates and the day was over.
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This was my all-time favorite photo shoot. It amazed me how stoked everyone was on the 1800s photography process. When I shoot digital no one is ever that stoked or involved in the process. This is what photography was created for; experimenting, pushing yourself and pushing the art from. These are one of a kind images that cannot be duplicated. This was an amazing day, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to share it with my good friends. I even made some new friends along the way. Thank you for helping me make this happen.
I walked in to my friend Cary’s loft and I could not believe my eyes. I asked Cary what’s going on here?There was a girl putting special FX make up on Cary’s brother Andre. I was blown away by how talented she is a make up. I said who are you and what is this for? She answered hi im Miranda and Im just doing this for fun. I love make up its my life. She had been working on this for 6 hrs. I love seeing people doing art for fun not because they are trying to get compensation for it.
I ordered some new film from Polaroid’s impossible project. The package came in the mail I felt like it was my birthday. I went out and started shooting photos immediately. The impossible project is a very important part of photography that was all most lost when the digital revolution started.
This is the blue tone film I was not sure if i would like it at first. I'm very pleased with.
What is the Impossible project?
In October 2008 The Impossible Project saved the last Polaroid production plant for Integral Instant film in Enschede (NL) and started to re-invent and re-produce a new instant film for traditional Polaroid Cameras.
The Impossible factory is located in building Noord (North) of the former Polaroid plant in Enschede. Since the opening of the factory, this impressive black and white striped building has been the heart of the film production, housing the giant production machines. All other machinery needed for starting the re-production of Instant Film have been moved to building Noord by the impossible team. With this new and modern setup the production was downscaled from 3-4 buildings in Polaroid times to just one building.
Upon entering the building you can immediately inhale this very special mixture of oil, chemicals, age and passion. Old furniture, diplomas from the last decades mixed with pictures of the new setup. On the ground level the huge warehouse gives room to hundreds of shelves that are partly filled with packaging, pallets and chemicals, left over from past years, and partly deserted, waiting for new film
This is a negative for the back of the peal apart film.
I was not sure if i liked this film after I shoot a couple of photos. Then I figured it out and I think its my favorite
I hope this inspires you to try this film you can buy it here.
I went up town the other day to shoot some photos of the buildings that make up the Los Angles skyline. It was one of those days where I just kept finding the perfect pictures around every corner. I started walking down this steep hill and I was staring up at the light on one of these buildings. All of a sudden I hear a pop, it is from my ankle. I stepped into a hole. The next thing I know im rolling down this hill with camera in hand. As I was falling down the street I was cussing. I look up and there is a beautiful girl asking if I was ok. I did the typical guy thing and just acted cool and said in a calm voice, "ya im fine". I’m such a dork haha. As soon as she turned the corner I started cussing again holding my foot lying in the middle of the sidewalk. I had to limp 9 blocks home. For the most part it is not about shooting the photos for me it’s the adventure, the camera is just an excuse to explore.
I recently did a shoot with my good friends Lauren Graham and Kate powers for their jewelry line Fleef. Lauren has been a good friend of mine for many years so I was stoked to work with them on this project. It also helps when you like the product; Kate makes all the jewelry by hand. The new pieces in their line are out of control I don’t know how she doses it but i’m very inspired by the works she created.
Jenny Sirney getting her make up did up. The only think missing is Kandee J. Haha
Jenny waiting to be shoot at our first location.
Lauren Graham with all kinds of people working on her.
Jordan Thomas and Violet with the sun blasting in the eyes
My right hand man Mark McClanahan helping me with another shoot on his day off. Thanks homie.
Kate power off to the right giving direction for the next shot
Walking the tracks
These are so random photos from the shoot that I captured with my Polaroid camera. Thanks every one that was fun.
Photos shoot while walking around Broadway Street. Today im going to mix up some a fresh batch of collodion chemicals I hope this works the way I want it to . I have a dope location to shoot at I will keep you posted.