Die Nassplatten-Technik ist eine sinnliche Erfahrung, der nichts in der Digitalfotografie gleichkommt. Sie verbindet handwerkliche und chemische Fertigkeiten mit Fantasie, um etwas Einzigartiges hervorzubringen.
Der 1962 geborene Niederländer Alex Timmermans brachte sich die Technik der Kollodium-Nassplatten selbstständig bei. Jede Kollodium-Nassplatte muss man in Handarbeit anfertigen. Mittlerweile ist er mit seinen Werken international erfolgreich. Er stellte sie bereits auf der „Paris Photo“ in Los Angeles und der „Photo Shanghai“ aus. Darüber hinaus werden seine Werke in vier Galerien in den USA und Europa verkauft.
Photography has progressed into a myriad of processes and genres but there are still some people who passionately create imagery using the traditional tools that started it all. The Dutch photographer Alex Timmermans is one of them.
Alex Timmermans has been working with wet plate photography for the last 7 years. His work has received international attention with shows and publications in many venues. His storytelling series is especially noteworthy for both its humor and its painstaking composition.
During the summer of 2008 he started his search for more information about a mysterious photographic process. At that time it was practiced by only a handful of photographers all over the world. He went back in time - about a hundred and sixty years - to one of the most magic forms of photography: 'Wet plate photography'. Timmermans began experimenting with collodion photography in 2009, developing a style that synthesized his interests in old school photography.
His most recent series Storytelling combines fine art photographs filled with strange and surreal elements that suggest a variety of interesting narratives as if they were pulled out of some long-lost storybook. He wanted to create something nobody else had done using collodion. The images from Storytelling (still ongoing) are imbued with a mysterious ambience: A movie in one shot. A lot of 'stories' play on the idea of the nineteenth century but add a fantastical dimension, a kind of 'conversation' with images from the past. The look of the process automatically draws you back to the world of old-fashioned photography.
Timmermans’ work is a visual treat and that exhibits an imaginative take on contemporary photography. With the various advancements in technology, photography gear and processes, seeing Timmerman’s 'fresh' take on modern-day photography is soothing to the eyes. Each wet plate photograph also gives a proud salute to the dedicated photographers of the past. His work has been exhibited internationally at Paris Photo Los Angeles (solo exhibition) Fotofever Brussels and Paris, Photo Shanghai, Pan Amsterdam and recognized by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA), among others like fine Art Photo, Vogue, Photo Klassik, SHUTR, Silvershotz, Black+white photography, LXRY, Blur magazine and many others.
Alex Timmermans never imagined that a photographic process, which have been invented by Frederick Scott Archer more than 160 years ago, was going to have such an influence on his passion for photography. In 1851 Archer experimented with collodion hoping to produce a photographic positive on ordinary glass plates. The same process of 1851 is still used by Alex Timmermans today using 19th century lenses and camera's.
Timmermans: "To work according to an ancient craft is so beautiful for me, from the very first moment I saw a plate coming up in the fixer bath, I lost my soul to this beautiful process. You can’t get any closer to a photographic process itself while working on wet plate photography and without the use of Photoshop. Collodion photography is not only a kind of photography. It is a passion as well"!
Timmermans uses antique camera's and brass lenses with a glorious history like Dallmeyer, Hermagis and Darlot. He does everything from scratch, like mixing his own chemicals. Varying amounts of chemicals and even the slightest change in lighting due to shifting weather conditions, can affect the outcome of wet plate photography. Timmermans understands all of these things and still pursues the labor-intensive photography process with passion and commitment without using any Photoshop. Preparations from start to finish can take several month. The idea of the image, finding or making the right props and locations, waiting for excellent weather conditions. The photographer spends hours creating images by mixing the right amount of chemicals, developing plate after plate to create the final image. All of these are done to produce one single image.