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Thursday, 24 January 2013


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Thanks for the intro Jim, love this guy's vision. I just squeezed in that book order with only 2 left through the Amazon link.

For those interested in seeing more of Gary's work or buying prints, Cathy Edelman Gallery represents his work here in Chicago.

There is also a video artist talk from Gary's December 2011 show at Edelman gallery.

Bon appetit!

Didn't Ctein say in the last year or so that nobody cares how hard you worked?

This book strikes me as contradicting that statement. It appears -- to this viewer at any rate -- that the fact that these photographs were very hard to make is giving them extra credit.

This is a general theme in Art with a capital A, complex and difficult processes tend to imbue the final result with More Goodness in the eyes of many.


I just placed my order using the UK link above and was quoted the equivalent of over 90 euros including postage to Germany.. Luckily enough I was informed they could not ship (Cameron Speech Effect?).. So I ordered using the US link, and they are now shipping for 52.88 euros, including P&P.. Will probably take longer, but will be worth the wait..

So Wabi-Sabi. I just ordered the book. Thanks.

Exquisite photographs-- a breath of fresh air in an age of indiscriminate imaging. Thanks for the post.

Collodion is sensitive to blue light. So, like a blue filter for B&W film, it shows alot of the sitter's imperfections (eg. red blemishes will appear dark). Collodion on metal - tintype - is a 19th century version of Polaroids. On glass, they can be used for producing enlarged prints of great detail.

That last shot...WOW!

Another photographer teaching himself wet plate collodion is Mark Tucker [http://marktucker.wordpress.com/].

>> "Photography is seeing. Light is beautiful. Pure."

Agreed, but is digital not able to capture the same vision and the same light?

I feel there is quite a bit of nostalgia here. If digital was to go away and film to come back, many people will pine for "that digital look".

Here is a Photoeye video featuring Gary's book


It becomes absurd when you just throw yourself in and say how wonderful images are every time you see something cute. It becomes meaningless. Which is why I said I can't see in Camus Wyatt's good pictures what everybody else seemed to see as exceptional.

But I see in these photographs by Gary Briechle something exceptional, something that walks the extra mile, something where the next photograph fits with the last, a true 'work' and not just a connecting style.

What a nice story, and beautiful pictures...probably another addition to my library ...

"Didn't Ctein say in the last year or so that nobody cares how hard you worked?"

That depends.

In a marathon , taking a taxi is frowned upon for instance. Some people frown on wildlife photography in zoos or staging news photos. The same goes for faking wet plate photography.

Zafar- Digital can capture the same light alright, but hardly the same vision. Most people are nostalgic for something they can relate to in their personal past. This is not only a different (and very foreign) way of doing things for most of us, it is also very much a different way of seeing. This welcomes, embraces and celebrates the imperfections of a process, each exposure uniquely rendered in its own individual physicality. Digital revels in its repetition of sanitized near perfection.

These photos to me seem to be about a fascination with the grotesque which I find rather grotesque itself. And not attractive. Takes all kinds, and so forth.

Interesting point Steve, but I feel the exact opposite as you concerning these photos and Camus Wyatt's. To me, Wyatt's are something extra. Not something new and unseen before, but something very well done and interesting, and consistently very well done and interesting. Not that I don't like Briechle's, but to me, they (the ones I see, here. To see the real photos would be an entirely different thing) do not reach the level of "exceptional." No matter the process.

It really is all about the IMAGES! T-max to silicon wafer, collodion plate to medical x-ray (radiographic film), photography rewards our fleeting consciousness with a brilliantly durable image. Images are the stuff that make us laugh, cry, and dream(imagine)! Thank you Mike for the deluge of inspiration as of late. So very refreshing to have charge coupled devices "in the bokeh" so to speak.

If we go to the space and we don´t have much room for a collodion camera we need an iphone with Tintype app and the Hipstamatic Tintype SnapPak a way to make fast portraits and landscapes on the alliens land.

What a beautiful story, and an amazing photographer. Thanks Jim!

Hugh Crawford, that is an interesting point.

Suppose -- purely hypothetically, let us be QUITE clear -- that this book was found eventually to contain 20 wet plate photos, and 46 digital images edited to look like wet plate images. How would we judge the work then? How should we judge it?

"Agreed, but is digital not able to capture the same vision and the same light?" From what I've seen? No.

Andrew wrote: "It appears -- to this viewer at any rate -- that the fact that these photographs were very hard to make is giving them extra credit."

I disagree. The images stand on their own. The backstory adds interest but isn't the reason to love the images or the book. From what I can see online, the images are gorgeous -- beautifully composed, shot, and hopefully printed.

I like all of these, probably in ascending order, even though i don't particularly care for the distressed look most of the time.

But that forth one... That is something extraordinary.


If I may offer some thoughts...

Reactions to work such as Gary's, when presented in an online photography context, tends to run as it has here. Some think it's lovely. Some think it's pretentious old-timer junk.

This is not work that can be judged from behind your keyboard in your browser window. This is not typical snap-and-show online stuff.

Gary's work is deliberate, premeditated, and produced through an archaic technical process which he feels best represents his intentions. (It seems not dissimilar to the practice and motivations of Sally Mann's work.*) The end product is crafted for a material presentation. Its virtual representation is nothing more than a memo.

So I invite you to at least take time to sit through his 30+ min. artist talk video, which I linked in an earlier comment. Gary's strong suit is not public speaking but at the end I guarantee that you will have a much deeper understanding of, and feeling for, what he's trying to express with this work. You may still not like it but at least you will be able to more ably testify on behalf of your opinion.

There's plenty of photographic art work that I just don't believe in today. But I do make an effort to learn as much as I can about it before putting it in my pay-no-mind bin. Yes, I'm fortunate to be able to frequently meet artists, hear their stories, and see their works in person. But museum sites, gallery sites, You Tube, and Vimeo are very nice stand-ins for such opportunities.

Thanks, again, Jim for taking time to present us with a memorable anecdote packaging thought/discussion-provocative photographic art works.


* Video: "What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann"

I'll second that, Ken...despite the fact that we've just been talking about a large oil painting most of us have just seen as a tiny JPEG (gak).


Interesting work and somehow reminiscent of Roger Ballen in it's dark semi-constructed nature. Thanks to TOP for bringing this to my notice.

Being a hobby photographer, I like photographer that have passion about photography. Of course, we have. But how to show it? Doing what he did strike a chord. Cannot afford the limited Ed., but will try the cheaper one. Well, have to do email order and would see how it end up.

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