One of the other highlights of last year, apart from photographing my book, was being able to work with Robin Brown of Magnolia Pearl. It was an amazing few weeks. It truly is an incredible place, a visual feast for the eyes. Its not just the clothes which are divine, its everything. Robin really has the magical touch and a true artist. Here is some of the work that came out of my time there , featured in the magazine Where Women Create.
WET PLATE PHOTOGRAPHY
Wet plate photography was thought to be invented in 1851 by Frederick Scott Archer. The Wet Plate Collodion photographic process followed and all but replaced the Daguerrotype. Unlike the earlier process, Wet Plate was portable, less expensive and less toxic, allowing itinerant photographers the ability to travel around making portraits.
I rediscovered wet plate a couple of years ago at a village fete in Pernes la Fontaine, and realised that this was what had first attracted me to photography as a teenager, after seeing an exhibition on Julia Margaret Cameron. This recently led me to buy the camera below.
I posted this on Instagram which led me to meeting the very talented and inspiring Mark Luscombe Whyte who has been teaching me the process. We have already been involved in some interesting portrait sessions.
We started working together last year and will once again be offering wet plate portraits from April 2019 until around October 2019. If you are interested please contact myself or Mark directly. More information below.
Words by Marianne Vigtel Holland
one. two, three, four, five, six ...... click. Joanna is quietly counting as I, while enjoying the soothing sound of the soft clicks from the camera, try to stay still in order not to create movements outside the lens which in turn can affect the light and shadows in the pictures.
Joanna Maclennan is an English photographer, now living in southern France together with her artist husband and daughter. Her photos are published in countless magazines and books. She is mainly into interior photography but her portraits are also something really special.
Joanna is faithful to her old Hasselblad camera. The camera needs time, long shutter in order to expose to pictures to the right amount of light (therefore the counting). Originally the old Hasselblad captured images on 6X4 films, but a back was created to deliver photos digitally as well. Nevertheless, the process is slow compared to more modern cameras. She is dependent on getting that "one shot right" as opposed to the tendance of our time to snap thousands of mobile photos hoping that at least one will be ok. In return, she gets this wonderful feeling of depth and sense of texture in her photography.
LES OBJETS QUI PARLENT
"I love photographing places with history, a story to tell, ‘les objets qui parlent, qui portent un histoire’.
The more dust, patina the better. "
Looking at her instagram and website galleries it is obvious that Joannas has a "thing" for vintage and antiques. Furniture and textiles that have lived a long life. She shoots the most beautiful still life photos and holds a sort of subtle sense of something I cannot describe other than "passed time».
REAL REAL SLOW PHOTOGRAPHY
As if this way of working would not be slow enough, Joanna is also learning to do wet plate photographs (also called collodion). This is a very early photography technique using different chemicals on glass negatives allowing the light to engrave visual memories onto wet plates. You will need a darkroom to develop the photos and the process is both difficult and somewhat dangerous, but the result is breathtakingly beautiful. It is an extreme opposition to today's rapid "mobile snapshots". The wet plate photos will be full of imperfections and marks and give a strong notion of calm presence.
The article is also published at Slow Design Studio