When you are not a photographer and Dark forest, shining trees
Wet plate photography is often called "slow photography". It's true. And when you are walking with wet plates, you have a plenty of time to think about things. What you are going to do today, what should you do next week, and, damn, how to make a living as a photographer who creates dark pieces of landscape which are everything, but flashy.
My portable box for finished plates, the one I'm using when I'm walking country with Holga camera, can hold just six plates. Like six rounds in a revolver. I usually varnish all plates I bring home. But not all of them are the second day scanned and archived. I love this selection process, which is, again, very slow one. So different compared to marking hundreds of photos with X in Lightroom, sentence them to the digital death with one push of the button.
Dark forest, shining trees
When you are thinking about a photographers work, then you will soon realise, that you are doing photography in that or another way all the time of your life, with one small exception. It's the moment of exposure. This is the time when you are not a photographer. Everything, all of your work, has to be done before, or after that moment. When the shutter is open, you are not a photographer. You are just a guy who is pushing the button.
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It's not the act of taking photos that makes us special. It's the intent and self criticism. The will to burn negatives, the will to cut plates and the will to press X in lightroom. That will and intent is what set us apart from everyone walking around with cellphones and cameras. Skill plays a role, but in the world where one can take millions of photos, the skill is not the most important factor. It's the intent behind and the will to destroy those that don't show that intent.
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