The Photo Palaces next journey – Pan American Wet Plate Survey

Anton Orlov © Anton Orlov

The Photo Palace is on its next journey! We have been following Anton Orvlov’s brilliant journeys on his trusty Gilli Bus since the beginning and it has grown into something truly special. The Photo Palace bus is an old school bus that has been converted into a living breathing darkroom where he has been travelling around America capturing people and the environment that he comes across, what could be better than that! Orlov has now taken a new turn and needs your help to complete his next photographic mission!

This is what he had to say on his Indiegogo pledge page about his venture:

“In the spirit of Timmothy O’Sullivan and all other traveling wet plate photographers of 19th century I am going to travel across America and document it as I find it today.  This will be a new comprehensive overview American cultural and physical landscape. I will be using the timeless wet plate collodion technique, producing tintypes and ambrotypes that will last for centuries to come. While using this method each created image is completely hand-made and is entirely unique, as no two plates will ever look the same. 

There is no negative in wet plate collodion – instead the light is captured directly upon a piece of aluminium or glass that just prior to exposure is prepped with collodion and bathed in silver nitrate and then developed before the emulsion has a chance to dry.  This requires having a darkroom within steps of the place where the photograph is captured and the darkroom inside The Photo Palace Bus is absolutely perfect for that purpose.

  You might ask – why use this seemingly forgotten form of photography today? 

For me the answer is simple: I chose it because of its easthetic beauty, level of concentration and skill required and distinctive quality of each photograph made. Collodion images are known for their longevity and projected life of a well-crafted plate exceeds 200 years. While changing owners they will delight many viewers who will experience them in exact same form as they left my hands.

The Photo Palace Bus © Anton Orlov

  While moving across the land I will also educate as many people as possible about history of photography and it’s evolution through time.  I will raise awareness about the importance of hand-made images and encourage those who want to pursue artistic photography to continue working with traditional methods and use film. To do this I will freely present the small, but comprehensive exhibit featuring over 25 different manual printing styles. I will offer workshops and demonstration in various photo techniques and I will also learn from the more knowledgeable photographic artist I meet, after all – what is life without learning?

  The journey starts on June 9th, so as you are reading this I am already on the road, heading north from San Diego to Seatlle before cutting east toward Maine and then, closer to fall, south to Florida.

  Help me complete this historic journey – I truly appreciate Your support”

Your pledged amount will be going towards the cost of diesel which Orlov said will take a least $7,000 (£4,500) dollars to complete this run. The other amount of money will go towards chemistry and plates in which he would like to produce at least 200 plates, shooting them on aluminium and glass and covering the chemistry needed for that is going to run about another $1000-2000. Anton Orlov only has 15 days left to make his pledged amount of $7,500 (£5,000), so click here to pledge your support to his fantastic photographic bus!

Information courtesy: Anton Orlov/ Indiegogo

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