on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

A Look at the Resurgence of Wet Plate

The Hiking Collodionist

Alex Boyd

Alex Boyd is a Scottish Photographer, writer and curator whose work explores remote and Northern landscapes.


Whilst putting together this issue, including Joe Cornish's article on Sally Mann and my own article on the second life of wet plate, I asked Alex Boyd, a well-practised collodionist himself, about what it was about the medium that attracted so many people - Tim Parkin.

I was one of the many photographers who visited Sally Mann's exhibition at The Photographer's Gallery in London in 2010, and while an admirer of her Immediate Family work, was more drawn to What Remains, her quiet meditation on landscape, death and the process of decay. The prints were reproductions of glass plates she had produced while working in the field, and along with their compelling subject matter they revealed the signs of their creation - of unpredictable chemical processes, of tired hands, a concentrating eye, and of the landscape around her which stuck to the plates in the form of dirt and dust. To my mind they recalled the records of Tom Waits with all their scratches left in - everything compelling captured within the frame.

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