Pre Sura Medura

The Journey Before THE Journey

 

There was a lot of activity that took place even before the aeroplane touched down in Sri Lanka. A month before I had been furiously learning chemistry and ordering all of the extra equipment that I would need... such as a camera!

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After this post the people I was messaging become more and more spread and desperate, no one seemed to be able to send chemicals to Sri Lanka, or have any contacts with people over there. I was messaging random people on facebook that popped up when i typed in photography and sri lanka, messaging them and asking for help.

 

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After this post the people I was messaging become more and more spread and desperate, no one seemed to be able to send chemicals to Sri Lanka, or have any contacts with people over there. I was messaging random people on facebook that popped up when i typed in photography and sri lanka, messaging them and asking for help. I even contacted everyone from an article I read about Collodion in India, goggling them and finding their emails somehow. I wasn’t expecting anything from these efforts as the people I was contacting were the head of photography in India etc, and I was sending questions through forms on peoples commercial web sites. 

 

However I had the most amazing response from those I contacted, I wont post them all here as some of the replies were extensive, but what an amazing community and how privileged I feel to be part of it. This experience was mirrored by my very first endeavour into wet plate in Scotland. From first deciding that I wanted to take my own wet plate images it took me three months to actually take my firs picture, not something you usually experience in today’s era of camera phones as Quinn Jacobson puts in his instructional book ‘Chemical Pictures’ “ …this process isn’t for prople who desire something quick, easy and painless.” 

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As the emails and messages bounced back and forward I began to realist that I probably wouldn’t be able to ship the chemicals over there , or get contact who makes the chemicals ready to use, I realised that I would probably have to make them from scratch… using base elements, I had to educate my self in this. The more I read the more complicated it got

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  Here is a list of the chemicals I derived from watching youtube

Here is a list of the chemicals I derived from watching youtube

Althought I started to feel a little in over my head the arrival of my camera and other items was heartening. I started to see the physicality of making rather than just paper, emails and books. and also to see if it would all fit in my luggage!  

 Boxes of equipment

Boxes of equipment

I was able to make one wet plate image, one which I feared would be the last before I returned to the UK, before the madness of going to Liverpool and then straight up to Glasgow for the flight. I had factored this in earlier making sure that I had also ordered the means to do large format black and white photography. All these extra pieces of equipment meaning that i almost went over the 40kg limit! a couple of books were sacrificed.

 In my new portable dark room (looking a little crazy)

In my new portable dark room (looking a little crazy)

 The vintage large format camera, with modified lens board as the one I ordered didn't arrive! Made from a DVD box.

The vintage large format camera, with modified lens board as the one I ordered didn't arrive! Made from a DVD box.