Wet-heads, Masterplaters and good times

A great time with a great group of people

I spent this last weekend Asheville, North Carolina conducting a quick-as-lightning one day workshop on making digital negatives with the QTR RIP. The workshop had the usual challenges and ups-and-downs, which seem to be the only constant anytime you do your show “on the road”.

But what was great was the group of people taking the class. This group of photographers are all part of that hard-core subgroup of photographers whose primary means of photographic expression involves the use of the wet-plate collodion process. As in tintypes or ambrotypes. This is a daunting process that is at once both easy and terribly difficult - but it was the primary means of photographic expression from the 1860s until the invention of the gelatin dry-plate in the 1890s. Chances are that any photograph you have ever seen from the American Civil War was made using this process.

This group of photographers met when they all took a class at the Scully-Osterman studio in Rochester, New York several years ago. They got along so famously at that class that they now have an annual gathering where they get together for a week in the summer and spend it making photographs, talking, drinking good scotch, making fun of one another and generally having a good time. Naturally, they immediately dubbed their group “The Masterplaters”. Which appeals immensely to my arrested-development sense of humor.

It is energizing and refreshing to be around a group of funny, smart, and creative people who all support one another. What a privilege to just hang out with the group and absorb all the great energy that they generate.

The picture above is one I snapped of two of the members of this group. They bicker and argue like brothers. And no one believes it for a moment. Monty and Prifti, carrying on.