Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Ian Ruhter: The American Dream Project



If I'm to believe my blog's statistics, posts dealing with photographic alternative processes are hugely popular...as popular as comparisons between the Leica M9 and the Fuji X Pro-1.

So here's one about photographer Ian Ruhter (whose website's front page describes him as an "alchemist"...I think a well deserved self accolade). He processes his large format photographs using the collodion wet plate process, a photographic process used in the 19th century. He also authors the Silver & Light Tumblr blog that has some of his images. By the way, the above video on Vimeo registered some 104,000 plays.

Ian Rihter is traveling across the United States photographing the people and places with a delivery van that he converted into a giant camera. This collodion wet plate process was the fashion during the Civil War era and creates unique images on metal plates. Each plate is hand-coated, exposed and then hand-developed. The plate becomes both the positive and the negative, so each image can only be produced once; creating a singular photograph that can't be replicated.

Photo © Ian Ruhter. All Rights Reserved