The Bride

Two days from my Birthday and I am still waiting for winter to arrive. In the mean time efforts to complete the January 12th “My Iraq” exhibition at Irvine Contemporary continues. All of the plates have now been completed, and 90% of the scanning has also been finished. Last week I approved the strip test for the 20×36″ prints of two of the plates, and I have to say that I was impressed by the results. I look forward to seeing the full prints. After four years of working on this project, I am looking forward to seeing it finally leave the nest for good.

The presentation/framing details have been worked with Main Art Supply of Richmond after seeing the prototype that they worked up for me. After a few modifications to the original idea they are set for the arrival of the plates next weekend. With supply on hand and an order for follow-on supplies already in the works, Main Art is set to deliver the goods about seven days prior to the opening. Everything is running like some type of machine at the moment and it feels very good after months of technical struggle. Now the task is to keep the momentum.


I found time to play a bit this weekend. Above is The Bride. She is a clear glass dry-plate ambrotype that I made with a 5×7 Kodak dry-plate view camera that I picked up last year. This weekend is the first that I have made an image with it, and I must say after spending so many months working in the darkroom making the “My Iraq” plates, it was a treat to make a plate “in camera”.

I modified one of the dry-plate holders for wet-plate use as you can tell from the corners of the plate above. The scratches on the image are in the glass that I used. I dug around the basement and found an old busted piece of window glass. From the ragged, broken window I was able to cut seven 5×7 plates to test the Kodak with. Although the image is just a bit over exposed, I was very happy to see that there were no light leaks. Not bad for a camera built sometime between 1888 and 1905 with the original bellows. I am looking forward to using this camera more, and letting it loose in the field this coming year. 2008 promises to be just as grand as 2007 for my image work so I hope that you will keep an eye on the Exhibition page!


~ by Phil Nesmith on December 17, 2007.

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