[Alt-photo] the alt family tree

Jalo Porkkala jporkkala at gmail.com
Tue Aug 1 18:05:36 UTC 2017


I did not see this post of mine appear on the list, so am re-posting it...
sorry if there is double posting. And I forgot to mention this List, which
obviously has been one of the most valuable sources! When I found it in
1994 (I think) I immediately signed in! :)

-jalo

2017-07-28 21:03 GMT+03:00 Jalo Porkkala <jporkkala at gmail.com>:

> Wet plate collodion seems to be in fashion, I doubt modern daguerreotypes
> will ever get that popular, simply because it takes a lot of concentration
> and patience to make them. There are so many variables in the process and
> so many steps in the workflow. Making dags can be a nightmare for a
> perfectionist; I think not so many "perfect" plates even exist. But that is
> part of the process and the challenges make it interesting. Another thing
> is, after quitting teaching I don't have a darkroom as great as we had at
> the school, so I am doing small work, with no particular hurry, trying to
> learn more about the process. Daguerreotypists do have their forums on the
> net which is great!
>
> -Jalo
>
>
>
> 2017-07-28 18:29 GMT+03:00 Christina Z. Anderson via
> Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org>:
>
>> I’ve got your book, Jalo, on my shelf!
>> I have always felt you must be an important part of the foundation in
>> Finland.
>> Would you say the daguerreotype is a more rarely-practiced alt process
>> today (lately it seems wet plate collodion is the most!)? Of course, now
>> there is probably a FB page with hundreds of practitioners that I’m unaware
>> of, but I can think of only a handful of daguerreotypists.
>> Jacques, what a bummer about bromoil. I’m going to talk to Freestyle
>> about if there is a potential to bring back a bromoil paper. They’ve
>> brought back the Holga and are now stocking lots of different Bergger
>> papers so you never know and it can’t hurt to ask. There has been a
>> resurgence in analog after a very long downward trend. I agree with you
>> that casein is a not yet thoroughly tapped process that needs lots of
>> study/testing/practice.
>> Chris
>>
>>
>> > On Jul 27, 2017, at 7:04 PM, Jalo Porkkala <jporkkala at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi Christina et al.
>> >
>> > A short history of my involving in alt processes.
>> >
>> > The first time I heard about alternative photographic processes was
>> sometime in late 1970's... there was the wonderful Swiss Camera magazine
>> showing palladium and albumen prints, and in 1980 I mail ordered my copy of
>> the Keepers of Light. One of my fellow photography students made gum prints
>> as his graduation work in 1979... a brave and beautiful thing that we all
>> admired as none of these processes were taught in photographers' education
>> at that time, and not largely since.
>> >
>> > I started my work as a museum photographer, and in early 1980's taught
>> myself some processes to print glass negatives from 1880's-1920's,
>> including printing-out paper and others. I learned cyanotype and
>> platinum/palladium from the Keepers of Light. Another great source of
>> information for me was Nancy Rexroth's The Platinotype 1977. There was also
>> George Tice's workshop on Pt/Pd in Finland in early 1980's, this process
>> was the next thing I wanted to do.
>> >
>> > Since I am in Finland it was next to impossible to buy chemicals for
>> platinum printing. I managed to order some from Photographers' Formulary
>> and Bostick & Sullivan... there was no internet and I especially remember
>> some late night phone calls (best business hours in the US) to Dick
>> Sullivan to order chemicals. :)
>> >
>> > In 1990's I started working as a photography teacher at an art school.
>> I did some classes of basic photography, but also wanted to familiarize the
>> students with alternative processes. They were accepted with enthusiasm,
>> and we gradually did them more and more. There were alt-photo classes of
>> several weeks at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences in 1995 and 2008,
>> and a few weeks slot of alt processes each year remained in the curriculum.
>> >
>> > In 2006 at the Satakunta University we started Project Vedos, studying
>> numerous alt-processes and visiting collections at museums in Europe and
>> USA, and also participating in the APIS symposium in 2007 and 2009 in Santa
>> Fe. The Vedos ended in 2015 which also was the year of my retirement from
>> the teaching work. The project actually made it possible to produce the
>> first book of alt processes in Finland.
>> >
>> > In 2011 I participated in Mike Robinson's Daguerreotype workshop in
>> Lacock, England, and have been totally hooked since. Regarding alt
>> processes, I'm only doing daguerreotypes for now, and giving occasional
>> workshops on other processes.
>> >
>> > -Jalo
>> >
>> > 2017-07-16 19:43 GMT+03:00 Christina Z. Anderson via
>> Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org
>> <mailto:alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org>>:
>> > Dear All,
>> >
>> > A few years ago SPE (Society of Photographic Education) was working out
>> this photography family tree thing, where members would write in who taught
>> them photography. I thought it was an interesting proposition, even though
>> most of us have several moms and dads so to speak so the final tree trunk
>> might not be just one set of “parents.”
>> >
>> > An MFA in photography is a comparatively new field as compared to other
>> arts, but even other arts had schools of training and thought (e.g.
>> Bauhaus).
>> >
>> > So that got me thinking about the key texts (and mentors, teachers,
>> people) who influenced me in alt over the years. And it also got me to
>> thinking about alt list members over the years, who’s still on, who still
>> posts, that kind of thing.
>> >
>> > And then I’ve noticed lately “pockets” of alt in different countries
>> and wondered who was at the foundations of those movements. It had to start
>> somewhere. Where did Mrhar come from?
>> >
>> > Whatever the case, alt seems to be a burgeoning movement, unlike in the
>> 60s or 70s where it was decidedly not mainstream.
>> >
>> > Anyway, it is an interesting conversation to think about, our
>> forefathers and foremothers.
>> >
>> > Perhaps all contemporary collodion, for instance, leads back to
>> Osterman or Coffer? Salt leads back to Reilly (1980)? Gum to Scopick?
>> >
>> > William Crawford’s text and then Scopick’s were at my foundation, but
>> then Airey, House, Arnow, Blacklow, Hahn (who was influenced by Henry
>> Holmes Smith), Nettles, Van Keuren…and then later Enfield, James, Farber,
>> Barnier.
>> >
>> > I’d love to hear input from others as to their influences, perhaps too
>> long a conversation for the summer vacation months! I decided to make a
>> list of which I will share when I feel it is comprehensive. Wouldn’t want
>> to miss someone because they weren’t on my personal radar.
>> >
>> > Chris
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Alt-photo-process-list | altphotolist.org <http://altphotolist.org/>
>> >
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>>
>
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