Portraits

I have always admired portraiture, whether it is in the form of painting, drawing, sculpture and photography, the ability for an artist to capture a glimpse of someone’s personality or mood. Some portraits are simply captivating.  As long as I remember, I have always enjoyed taking photographs of loved ones, but formal portraiture came later. It began not with a person but with an 18th century Japanese sculpture of a Buddha, which I own. Such sculptures were made for temples and I wanted to capture the essence of the subject rather than making a photograph of the object. I started experimenting with various historical photographic processes and fell head over heels with wet plate collodion, a photographic process invented in the 1850’s for making positive and negative images on glass and tin with a large format camera. I quickly started making portraits of people and loved how the images produced reflected a strong emotion. The process is rather complex and the exposures are rather long, and I believe it helps create a dialogue between the sitter and the photographer. In a way, each portrait is a collaborative work, where the subject has the time to silently communicate with the large wooden camera.