SCENE | Surfland

I had to re-post this from the brilliant blog Miss Moss, because this is one of the coolest things I've seen all year. In the age of Instagram and digital photography, I've heard a few photographers with big careers under their belts say they're sadly ready to throw in the towel. The filters that one simple button produces on an iPhone is what some photographers have spent years honing and practicing. On the other hand, New York-based photographer Joni Sternbach, has found her specialty in a photographic process that's over 150 years old: early wet plate collodion photographic technique. The collodion process was introduced in 1850 and reigned as the format of choice for decades. Surfland is Sternbach's ongoing project of surfer portraits around the world. The aesthetic and aura of these portraits are stunning, it looks as if The Civil War is happening just outside the photo borders. But what's even more incredible is that the entire photographic process, from coating to developing, has to be done before the plates dry. This means Sternbach has no more than 10 minutes to complete everything. I'll be thinking about that next time I take a photo of my feet at the beach.

16 comments:

Reba said...

Oh wow. These are gorgeous...almost other-worldly.

Stone Fox said...

This is amazing.. I study photography arts and i often feel the same. These photographs are amazing

That's Not My Age said...

Fantastic photos - I have several photographer trends who have had to adjust to the digital shift so it's good to see old techniques aren't completely dying out.

That's Not My Age said...

oops that was supposed to say photographer friends - it's early, my brain's still half asleep!

Christin said...

Stunning images--thank you so much for sharing!

Matt said...

I love alternative photo processes. these are amazing. All the photos are great, but the top one is totally riveting to me for some reason. great post!

mamavalveeta03 said...

These photographs are stunning! I want them on my wall. Of course, I'm especially partial to the Montauk shots, but the one of Jimmy Buffet is priceless!! Thanks for sharing a true artist with us, Lizzie.

mamavalveeta03 said...

I don't want to monopolize your comments section, but I was looking over more of Joni's blog and find myself mesmerized by her photographs. I would highly recommend that you all check it out! And "Promise Land" is a reminder that not everyone that lives in the Hamptons languishes in luxury. The people that live off the land and the sea have seen their way of life die, and thus, their income. Thanks to Joni Sternbach for showing us without words!

monica mulhern said...

beyond great photos

Anonymous said...

Breathless...fantastic photography.

Nomadic D. said...

Gorgeous! The processing is awesome and the effect is super cool, but what makes them even eerier is the weird contrast between the aesthetic and the content. Super super cool.

www.nomadicd.com

Amy said...

Tintype Studios out of Toronto is doing this as well. The shots are amazing: http://www.tintypestudio.net/

fasasha.com said...

Nice to see some tomboys of color on your site! 1st pic is everything!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful inspiring work, Also worth a look is the work of Sally Mann she also uses this process to mesmerising effect.

Vanessa Uttaro said...

Someone has GOT to help me source that swimsuit in the fourth pictures... I'm going crazy trying to find it, to no avail. Help!

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