Friday, 5 October 2012

The Travel Photographer's Vietnam Daguerreotypes

Here's the second of my Vietnam-related projects following my recent photo expedition-workshop....Vietnam In Daguerreotypes. This one is a gallery of stills, modified with Alien Skin Software to look like daguerreotypes. I recently installed the software and I'm amazed at its versatility and range of options.

I expect processing photographs with this software comes with some destructive element to it, but according to my very brief research, there are web tutorials that show you how to process photographs and keep their integrity intact.

The photographs were made with a Canon 5D Mark II (mostly with a 17-40mm), a Leica M9 (with a 40mm Voigtlander f1.4) and the Fuji X Pro-1 (18mm f2.8 XF Fujinon).

Very labor-intensive, the (real) daguerreotype is a direct-positive process, creating a highly detailed image on a sheet of copper plated with a thin coat of silver without the use of a negative. Exposure times for the earliest daguerreotypes ranged from three to fifteen minutes, making the process nearly impractical for portraiture. Modifications to the sensitization process coupled with the improvement of photographic lenses soon reduced the exposure time to less than a minute. 

In comparison, the processing of a still photograph using the Alien Skin Software takes less than a minute, if that.

My first Vietnam project is an audio-slideshow titled Hill Tribes In The Mist, which is on my Vimeo Channel.