Must Show Here

Part of the Storefronts Seattle program, this closing reception features Daniel Carrillo

Jim Demetre, Mandy Greer, Amanda Manitach, and Ian Toms. There's a curious, anachronistic, almost instantaneous quality to the large-format portrait photography of Carrillo, who employs wet-plate collodion photography with a huge 1939 view camera. It's one of the earliest photographic technologies, devised circa 1850, in which the light-sensitive emulsion chemicals are still damp when inserted into a view camera. All those stiffly-posed Mathew Brady prints from the Civil War? They were made via collodion process. “People readily accept the limitations,” says Carrillo. “It's far from perfect. It's real finicky. Things go wrong all the time.” Each plate, after Carrillo delicately applies the liquid emulsion, has a built-in deadline; it's only light-sensitive when wet. Thus, from chemical mixing to exposure to processing, he explains, “It's pretty forgiving, but it all has to be done within about ten minutes.” Each portrait session is an experiment as Carrillo varies the amount of silver nitrate in the emulsion, the duration of the exposure, and the arrangement of the studio lights. He's currently shooting portraits of his friends among the Seattle art scene. “They understand if they have to sit for a while,” Carrillo notes, since indoor exposures require being absolutely still for six to eight seconds, measured by stopwatch. Aiding them is a metal head-brace that might belong to a Victorian-era dentist's office. BRIAN MILLER

Thu., Sept. 29, 6-9 p.m., 2011

 
comments powered by Disqus