Magnum photographer Alec Soth has become known as the chronicler of life at the American margins of the United States. Foam presents his most recent series, I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating (more…)
A few years ago studying at the Art Institute of Boston I became aware of wet plate collodion and how it was being used by contemporary photographers such as Mark Osterman and France Scully Osterman and Sally Mann. I had no idea what it involved or where to begin. All I had heard was “it is difficult and dangerous.” Both sounded right up my ally, but still illusive. Soon after my initial interest, and by great luck, I was introduced to the process by a friend traveling through Denver, Mark Katzman. He made a few portraits of my partner Mark Sink and me. I was thereafter memorized and completely determined to make them myself. It was now real and possible. I went back to school in Boston and spent those two semesters collecting chemicals, knowledge and equipment. After graduation, Mark and I started off the summer with a huge crash course in wet plate collodion, spending all our free time shooting. Gathering chemicals, equipment, beautiful faces, bodies, flowers, and ideas. We became a team; each being the others inspiration, muse, assistant, plate coater, chemical mixer, costume designer, and lunch maker. Our hands, feet, cloths and often face were marked with silver nitrate stains. It has been my great obsession ever since.