Since 2008, I have been working on a series of photographs in the Everglades. As a native of South Florida, the Everglades is an ecosystem that has shaped my own history. Located in South Florida, the Everglades is a series of ecosystems that thrive on freshwater flowing south from Lake Okeechobee. Agriculture, urban development, and a complex series of canals have redirected and polluted the fresh water flowing into the Everglades. "Freshwater flowing into the park is engineered,” reads the brochure given to all visitors of Everglades National Park. “With the help of pumps, floodgates, and retention ponds along the park's boundary, the Everglades is presently on life support, alive but diminished." To date, more than half of the Everglades have been repurposed for urban and agricultural use. It should also be noted that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill threatens the coast of the Everglades.
I have, and will continue to be photographing the landscape of the Everglades using the collodion on glass process, a glass negative process that was developed in the mid 1800s, around the same time canals were initially dug to drain the Everglades. The collodion process requires an on-site darkroom. The darkroom I use is in the trunk of my car. This allows me to be mobile while I am making photographs. The glass is coated in salted collodion, sensitized in a bath of silver nitrate, and exposed immediately in camera. Each photograph has to be made before the emulsion dries, and must be developed immediately after exposure, yielding an 8 inch by 10 inch glass plate negative. I then print these glass plate negatives on gelatin silver paper in a traditional black and white darkroom.
During the month of November, I will be returning to the Everglades as an artist in residence at Everglades National Park. The money I raise from Kickstarter will help fund my glass, safety materials, and photographic chemicals needed for one month, travel expenses to and from the Everglades, and gelatin silver printing materials to print the negatives when I return. My goal is to make 200 new glass plate negatives in the Everglades.
By making these photographs, I hope to preserve an essence of the Everglades, a land we are rapidly losing without knowing the extent of our loss.
Project Location: the Everglades, FL
This project is generously funded in part by Gotham Imaging.
All postcards are printed by Gotham Imaging.
- (72 days)