As a frequent Bleaq reader you might have noticed my crush on analog work. Photographing on film isn’t dead as some people might think, it is a tool many photographers use (and love!) to give their work that mysterious, classic charisma. I recently came across Stephanie Slate’s portfolio and was immediately drawn to her photos, created with multiple analog techniques. I asked Stephanie to tell me a bit more about her technique and this is what she answered:
“I mix my own chemicals and make my own solutions. Everything is done in my basement. I shoot 120 Ilford film, usually in a pinhole camera that I made. The other two cameras I use are a twin lens mamiya and a 4″x5″. I use the 4″x5″ for wetplate. A lot of people ask me why I use pinhole so much, or why I use the pinhole camera and sometimes the mamiya- it’s not really my personal choice. My extremely low budget for equipment & my subject dictates which camera I use. For example, a lot of my images involve self portraits (mostly from series The Inevitable). For these images I would be alone, mostly in the woods, and so in order to take a photo involving my self I would have to set the pinhole camera up and then run into the frame. Pin hole is pretty forgiving, and my exposures were minutes long, so many times the shot would be fairly crisp, other times you can see the ghost image (of me moving).”
And for the photographers among you, Stephanie also told me a bit about her process on Platinum/Palladium printing:
“Platinum/Palladium is an entirely handmade process in which the image is formed by actual platinum metal. I love this process because I have complete control over everything. I make the solution that will be coated onto my paper of choice. My ‘recipe’ for the solution can control different things like contrast and the depth to my shadows. The paper you chose has extreme effects on how the image (contrasts, warmth, etc.) will turn out. The temperature of your developer will give you either warm or cool toned print. My developer has to be at 120 °F (49 °C) to give my desired tone. The temperature and humidity of the room your printing in is also very important. I can’t even print unless it’s at least 60 °F (15 °C) and 50% or over in humidity.”
As I mentioned earlier: I’m intrigued by Stephanie’s work, I really love how these interesting, analog techniques enhance the gloomy atmosphere her work has. Enjoy!
If you want to see more of Stephanie’s work be sure to check out her website.
Thanks to Stephanie for sharing some insight on her process, it makes these photographs even more fascinating. And thank you for reading! What do you think of Stephanie’s work?