I was delighted to be invited to be a featured maker in theJanuary/February 2015 issue of Rochester’s Post Magazine. I was a bit nervous about being photographed, but John Myers was affable and the shoot was fun. My conversation with writer Matt Smythe was a delight as well. Post is available in Rochester at Hart’s Local Grocers, Lori’s Natural Foods, Abundance Co-op, Wegmans and Barnes & Noble.
Ambrotypes: Photographs on Glass, 2-Day Hands-On Workshop
Frederick Scott Archer introduced the wet-plate collodion photographic process in 1851. Collodion was used to produce fine-grain, archival glass negatives, lantern slides, ambrotypes, and tintypes. This class will teach you the basics of the wet-plate collodion process to produce direct positive images on glass, which are know as ambrotypes.
Instruction will include how to properly prepare a glass plate, pour collodion, sensitize and process plates, burnish and hand-color final images, apply a protective varnish, and house the photographs to complete the process.
Cameras will be provided for use during the class. Class size is limited to 5 participants. $275 includes supplies fee. Advance registration required. To register contact us.
Genesee Libby loves one-of-a-kind analog photographic technologies. This includes daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, Polaroids, Instax, and photobooths. I love collecting found photos, and these are particularly special because each one is unique—the only one in the world. At the studio we offer Instax instant portraits to create one of these artifacts for you. We provide supplies if you'd like to include a message and use your photograph as a Valentine to profess your love. We have many props and hats for use, if desired. Stop by on February 6th for First Friday (6p-9p) or on Valentine’s Day for Second Saturday (10a-3p) and get your analog fix.
On Sunday I had the pleasure of photographing Rochester's well-known photographer, Gerry Szymanski. I got to know Gerry when he took a tintype workshop with me at the Community Darkroom. I have photographed him before and knew he would arrive dressed in 19th century style. In fact, he brought two vintage top hats of different heights and we used them both.
Exposure times in the studio have been 20 seconds this winter (as opposed to 10 in the summer) and after getting a plate with some movement we decided to use the head rest to stabilize him. It worked great! We were both really happy with the results.
Gerry has a large collection of photographs, with a focus on tintypes. After the shoot we went to Starry Nights and looked at the ones he acquired in 2014. It was a delight! Gerry did a TedxFlourCity talk about his collection and you can watch it here.
Hyperallergic posted an article about the historic process videos that George Eastman House produced:
"George Eastman House released a 12-part video series last month that examines the history of photography from the perspective of its technology. Photographic Processes Series, available on YouTube, starts with the silhouette and traces photography’s development through daguerreotypes, cyanotypes, Kodachrome, and right up to digital."
See entire article here.
In November, I had my first portrait clients at the new studio and it was challenging and fun! University of Rochester professor, Claudia Schaefer, heard about Genesee Libby through a mutual friend. As she was covering 19th-century photography in her class, she wanted to give her students the opportunity to experience a wet-plate collodion portrait session first hand. I was a bit nervous to be photographing such a large group for the first time ever, but it went quite well.
Since winter has arrived, the exposure times in the studio are about 20 seconds when using available light in conjunction with my two fluorescent lights stands. This is a long time for someone to hold still but everyone did a really good job. People standing were able to brace themselves against the chairs.
I love to see people's reactions when they see themselves photographed with this process. Most of the time it is positive—people are excited to watch the image emerge in the fix and are usually pleased with the results.
On Saturday January 24 at 1pm, Genesee Libby will be hosting a two-hour workshop to introduce people to the wet-plate collodion process. There will be a lecture and slide presentation, hands-on process samples, and a live demonstration of the process. This class is being offered through Rochester Brainery and tickets can be purchased for $15 at their website.
What is wet-plate collodion photography? Invented in 1851, it is one of the oldest photographic processes, and it is experiencing a revival in the 21st century. In this class you will learn how a wet-plate image is made, why it became the dominant form of photography during much of the Victorian Era, and why it is gaining in popularity today. You will be able to examine samples of modern and antique plates on metal and glass and learn the difference between tintypes, ambrotypes, and daguerreotypes. The instructor will also demonstrate the process using her 1920s-era 8x10 Kodak field camera to make a ruby ambrotype.
If you are looking for a unique gift consider a gift certificate from Genesee Libby Studio. This $80 gift certificate is good for either a 3"x4" wet-plate collodion portrait (a 20% discount) or it can be used at face value towards any studio purchase. We offer portraits in a variety of sizes, fine art photographs, and wet-plate collodion workshops starting in January 2015.
This year Home Movie Day will be held at Genesee Libby Studio in the Hungerford Building at 1115 E. Main Street (Door 2, Suite #225). Home Movie Day, an annual event hosted in cities around the world, invites people to bring in their home movies (8mm, Super-8, 16mm, and VHS formats) to be inspected and projected by trained professionals for your viewing pleasure. Share your favorite home movie with your community or just show up to watch the show! Home movies do not just capture the important private moments of our family’s lives, but they are historical and cultural documents as well. Home Movie Day is free and open to the public.
My exhibition Record is on view in the Loomis Gallery at Mansfield University until October 3. Another version of this exhibit was installed in the Kuhn Fine Arts Gallery, Marion Campus, Ohio State University in early 2014—installation shots and an interview about the work can be found on the gallery's blog.
My exhibition Record is on view in Mansfield, Pennsylvania from September 2 through October 3 in the Loomis Gallery. There will be a reception on September 24 from 4-6pm.
... at the Genesee Libby Studio Grand Opening Celebration! We will have contemporary and historic ambrotypes and tintypes on display as well as an assortment of vintage cameras. You can have your color portrait taken in front of the painted backdrop of the Genesee River in our instant photobooth. There will be yummy eats and refreshments, and live musical entertainment by Rochester's The Younger Gang! We hope you can come help us celebrate the opening of Rochester's only wet-plate portrait studio! Friday, May 2, 6pm-10pm The Hungerford Building Genesee Libby, Studio #225 1115 East Main Street Rochester, NY 14609
Graphics Atlas is an excellent website from the Image Permanence Institute at RIT. It features great examples of all types of photographic processes, how they are made, their characteristics, and how to care for and preserve them. I am quite fond of the new "Picture of the Week". Tintype (Studio Portrait, Bon Ton) via Graphics Atlas
I can finally bring my dog to work! On April 5 I made this ruby ambrotype of Maia in front of my new studio backdrop which my friend Antoni Eckmair painted for me. It was a 10 second exposure! Anything for a treat. I wonder if treats will work with toddlers?
Here is the painting that Antoni based the backdrop on. A view of Lower Falls from around 1766.
A View of the Casconchiagon or Great Seneca Falls, Lake Ontario by Thomas Davies, 1766