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This is an expedition to the Gulf Coast to use an 1850's photographic method to record the people and environment impacted by a massive oil disaster.
67 backers pledged $3,505 to help bring this project to life.

About

$3,505

67

By contributing to this project you are helping me to make an expedition to the Gulf Coast with my wet colldoion photography equipment, chemicals, and dark box (portable "darkroom") to create unique glass plate positives of the people and environment that are currently under attack by the life blood of our modern existence: oil. A minimum of $2000.00 is needed to depart for Louisiana to begin work. Of course more will be needed so in the lucky event the initial $2000 goal has been met, please know you can continue to give and receive rewards until the project is closed. Because of the fast pace of unfolding events, I am planning for the departure to occur in about 7 to 9 days.

It is fitting to use a photographic method from the time when our lust for oil was just beginning in order to capture the spirit of this disaster. Working slowly with vintage large format cameras and with the slow wet collodion process will bound certain aspects of what images can be made, but the focus of this project is not simply to document events as they unfold. Instead, this unique approach will result in images that will tap into the elegiac qualities possible with the medium, as Mathew Brady, and others like him once did in capturing the disastrous realities of the American Civil War.

In 1859 Edwin L. Drake, working for the Seneca Oil Company in Pennsylvania drilled the first modern oil well ushering in the beginning of America's oil boom and our worldwide dependence on this resource. At the same time, the wet collodion photographic process that I will be using for this project was revolutionizing what photography could capture; ultimately changing the way people saw the world. The use of wet colldoion photography would eventually become obsolete as photographic technology evolved and improved; yet the use of oil would expand until modern life could not exist, as we know it without a continual supply of it.

Our dependence on oil is not without its dangers. For over a month oil has rushed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, impacting ecosystems and all the life forms contained within them, including the humans who live in and derive their livings from the natural environment. Just as time is important in stopping the flow of oil from the sea floor, and trying to limit the impact of the released oil on the ecosystem, time is important to the success of this project and funds are needed quickly.

Your support will be used to facilitate the outfitting of the expedition with glass and photographic chemicals needed for two weeks of image making, transportation, fuel, and to offset living costs during the expedition. Without your help, this time sensitive opportunity to create important, powerful, one-of-a-kind images will pass without a single plate being exposed. By pledging a small amount you become a very important part of this expedition.

Thank you for taking the time to read about this project.

Videos of the wet collodion process can be seen here.

You can find out more about my work or connect with me at the links below:

My Site

My Blog

FACEBOOK

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    As a $5 supporter you will receive my thanks, be acknowledged as a supporter of the expedition on my website, blog, etc., you will also have access to backer only updates and receive notification of shows and publications resulting from the project.

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    5 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    As a $25 supporter, in addition to the recognition provided with the $5 level, you will receive a finely printed 5x7 (the most common plate size I will be making) version of an ambrotype (glass positive) made during the expedition. This is special as I normally do not allow prints from my plate images to be produced.

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    23 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    As a $40 supporter, in addition to the rewards provided with the $5 level, you will RECEIVE A POSTCARD mailed from Louisiana and a finely printed 5x7 (the most common plate size I will be making) version of an ambrotype (glass positive) that you choose from a SELECTION OF TWO made during the expedition. This is special as I normally do not allow prints from my plate images to be produced.

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    18 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    As a $65 supporter, in addition to the rewards provided with the $5 level, you will RECEIVE A POSTCARD mailed from Louisiana and a finely printed 5x7 (the most common plate size I will be making) version of an ambrotype (glass positive) that you choose from a SELECTION OF THREE made during the expedition. This is special as I normally do not allow prints from my plate images to be produced.

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    7 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    As a $125 expedition member, in addition to the recognition provided with the $5 level, something special happens! You will RECEIVE A POSTCARD (with small silver nitrate stain fingerprint) mailed from Louisiana and a finely printed, numbered (edition of 20) and signed 5x7 (the most common plate size I will be making) version of an ambrotype (glass positive) made during the expedition. By now you know why this is special right?

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    As a $250 expedition member, in addition to the recognition provided with the $5 level, something special happens! You will RECEIVE A POSTCARD (with small silver nitrate stain fingerprint) mailed from Louisiana and a finely printed, numbered (edition of 15) and signed 5x7 (the most common plate size I will be making) version of an ambrotype (glass positive) that you choose from a SELECTION OF TWO made during the expedition.

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    Limited 2 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    As a $350 expedition member things get sweet. In addition to the recognition provided with the $5 level, and the fingerprinted postcard mailed from Louisiana you haul in ONE OF EACH of the numbered and signed 5x7 prints from the $125 and $250 levels! That is a total of THREE limited edition reproductions of ambrotypes presented in life size.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    This is heavy stuff here. Pledge here and you become not only a serious facilitator of this expedition (and post-production requirements), but you become the owner of a unique art object- unlike digital and modern film based photography, ambrotypes are a one-of-a-kind image/object. You will receive an authentic 5x7 wet collodion ambrotype finished in the historic fashion with handmade gum sandarac and lavender varnish. Along with the ambrotype, you will receive a written account of the situation surrounding the creation of the plate and details about the subject of the image. The back of the glass plate will be marked with a personal thank you and the location and date of creation. You will of course receive the fingerprinted postcard from Louisiana and the rewards found at the $5 support level, but you will also receive special recognition during talks, lectures, shows, etc. that make use of the material created during the expedition.

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Funding period

- (9 days)