Antonio and Ward speak with North Dakotan photographer/ambrotypist Shane Balkowitsch. In 2012, Shane started his photographic journey using the almost forgotten technique known as the “Wet Plate Collodion” process. This 1851 process which applies pure silver onto glass or tin, wet plate collodion photography is an arduous technique requiring patience and skill resulting in a unique, one-of-a-kind archival image. Because exposures often exceed ten seconds, Shane describes the images he captures as “moving stills.” The Street Shots guys talk to Shane not so much about the “how” of the wet plate process but more of the “why” of wet plates. They also dive into his many projects and his cultivation of a creative community surrounding his purpose-built daylight studio on the plains of North Dakota. This is surely a conversation for the ages.
In Ancient Greek, the word Ambrotype is translated as “Immortal Impression.”
Shane’s Website, documentary on Amazon Prime and latest book, “Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective”
The Penumbra Foundation, an alternate photographic process institution in NYC
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All images courtesy of Shane Balkowitsch.