Now that my early week barrage of exams is over, and I am recovering from an all night write-a-thon thanks to my uncanny knack for procrastination, I decided to give myself the afternoon off. For me this means putting off class readings while I read through my usual list of music blogs instead.
As I was perusing Stereogum I chanced upon a photo caption contest they posted for the first publicity photo Radiohead released for their forthcoming album. Now, Stereogum tends to be on the snarky side at times and they were obviously poking fun at the image’s old-timey look and feel. Here is the contest and the image. As I looked more closely, though, I was astonished to discover it was a wet plate image. The plateholder marks in the corners and the underdeveloped but over fixed edge of collodion at the bottom of the image are the dead give-aways.
I needed to find out who the photographer, Sebastian Edge, was. It turns out he is indeed a wet plate photographer in the U.K. who operates out of what he terms “The Darkvan,” basically a large van that’s been turned into a mobile studio. He has a website and a blog and, from what I’ve gathered, seems to be an interesting fellow. It’s always nice to happen upon a fellow collodion artist, and kudos to Radiohead for becoming patrons of the wet plate process.
One day I would like to have my own (stationary) studio where I can make images of rock stars. Think Annie Leibovitz meets Matthew Brady. Ah, a girl can dream…