I am filled with admiration for people like Joni Sternbach, who not only take a large format camera into the field but because she is using a wet-plate collodion process the photographic plates must be prepared and developed on location too.
The project that I’m most familiar with is – Surfland. It’s a project that was started ten years ago and has taken her to local surf spots on both coasts of the US, to Hawaii, Uruguay, Australia, France and England. It is a fascinating exploration of surf culture across the globe and well worth a deeper look.
Check out the Surfland project on Sternbach’s website here. There are also a couple of books associated with the project that can be found on her website here or from amazon.
When I first came across Joni Sternbach‘s photographs over on Chris Orwig’s site I was amazed that the photographs were ‘modern’ because they look like they were from a century ago. While I listened to the interview that Joni did with Chris Orwig it didn’t really resonate with me how much effort goes into making these images. The tintype photographs that Joni is producing really were the ‘instant photographs’ of the day back in 1850. These images are developed on site in a portable darkroom. It really is quite remarkable when you consider the hostile environment that Joni is working in. Check out the video for more.