I started my experimentation in alternative processes with Collodion in 2010 soon after I moved to Portugal for 4 years. Initially I concentrated on still life compositions. Like most people starting with collodion, I didn’t move too far from the darkroom. In particular I took to recording my fascination with the food items with which I was culturally unfamiliar, such as cow’s feet, pig’s heads and a variety of superb fish I’d not seen before.
As I gained competence with the process I was drawn to venture further and started making landscapes in the field using a portable darkbox I built from plywood. It was pretty rough and is documented somewhere deep in the blog. I’d be ashamed to turn out joinery like that these days but it did the job back then.
Whilst photographing the Miradouros (viewpoints) in Lisbon I ran into the logistical difficulties involved - the large amounts of water and kit you need to cart about to make wet collodion plates. This is when I started looking for a more convenient dry process. I started with dry collodion and even tried Crookes “Beer & Albumen” technique. But I soon discovered the Calotype Society group on flickr and found a very welcoming and supportive community. It is thanks to them that I ended up switching to dry-paper calotype processes.
I do, however, like collodion and plan to practise it some more when the circumstances allow.