OUR FORMER BUSINESS NAME, “F-22 Collective” (A Photography Group)
I was asked the other day by a former student where we came up with the name F22 Collective for our wedding business? The student again questioned if it was because all our photography was in focus? This was suggested as people familiar with photography understand that the setting f-stop 22 on a camera lens renders most objects and scenes in sharp focus. But this was not our intention. How we got our name, or why we have not named our business something like “Sacramento's Best Wedding Photographers” or “Sacramento Creative Wedding Photography” will become clear should you choose to read on.
First and foremost we at Labrot Studios are passionate photographers. We come from a photographic background. That of once growing up with photographers, being photography students ourselves, then educators of student and professional photographers. We have explored photography in-depth in our journey. We began with film cameras as so many before and then switched to digital cameras and Photoshop. This of course sounds so familiar as it’s the route many have taken. The difference is that we chose to never give up film photography and instead began to explore photography as a whole subject in much greater detail. Collaborating, exchanging ideas with others, mixing traditional photography with digital photography. Our collective group of event photographers rapidly began to try all sorts of alternative photographic processes to share with each other, clients, and our students.
When we decided to open our Sacramento-based wedding photography business we naturally fell back on our roots as creatives and chose the name “F22 Collective” as it emulated a more notable group of photographers from the early nineteen hundreds. “Group F64” was the name of this group which included Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and Edward Weston among other well-known photographers. This group, like ours, was passionate about photography and the sharing of ideas.
This passion extends into our Sacramento based wedding photography as we are continually striving to improve our photographic techniques. To us, this means not necessarily following the latest fades in photography (of which there are many) but instead striving to create timeless photography that can be appreciated for years to come. To stay creative and enthused we fall back on our ever-expanding knowledge of alternative photography. Below is just a small sampling of work and does not represent all of the many possibilities there are to explore in photography.
As mentioned this is just a small sampling of the many possibilities there are when exploring alternative photography. It should be mentioned that some of these techniques involve chemicals that can be dangerous and each person should do their own due diligence when learning about the different processes.
A cyanotype type print is a process that uses two chemicals, ferric ammonium citrate, and potassium ferricyanide to create a blue image. These chemicals create a solution that is sensitive to UV light. The solution can be brushed or rolled onto paper and allowed to dry before printing. Objects can be laid on top of the paper to create a shadow of that object or a film or digital negative can be placed directly onto the photographic paper held in place by a contact printer to create a sharp positive image. Many people have had experience creating Cyanotypes through their schooling and the use of a “Sun Print Kit”. Sunprint kits are readily available on Amazon and through stores such as Imaginarium. Cyanotype is an easy and fun process that is perfect for launching someone into the world of alternative process photography.
Another type of alternative process which uses UV light is Lumen printing. Lumen printing is one of the earliest types of photographic experimentation developed in the early 19th century. Botanists used this technique as a way to record different types of plant life. In this technique, plant life would be placed on photographic paper and exposed to light for an extended period of time. Once exposed the photographic paper would be placed directly into a fixer where different colors would appear leading to a permanent image on paper. The results created with lumen prints can be somewhat unpredictable but are often very beautiful.
Pinhole photography is perhaps one of the simplest types of photography in that it uses a light-tight container with a small aperture that allows light into it as its camera. The light which enters the camera is projected onto photographic paper which then records the image. Pinhole cameras can be created from any object which can be made light-tight. Cameras have been made from objects as simple as an aluminum soda can to as large as a box truck. The possibilities for a unique pinhole camera are endless. One of the most unique characteristics of pinhole photography is that an entire image recorded remains in focus. The following image was created by using a soda can and exposing an image twice to make a double exposure.
A Holga toy camera is one of the least expensive cameras still available for purchase on the market. Typically Holga cameras use film which is in 120 formats. However, because photography is about experimenting the following images have been created with expired 35 mm color film. The simplicity of Holga cameras makes photography somewhat unpredictable and exciting. Another brand of toy camera is the Diana Camera which has a number of different models and even has an instant square model that uses Fuji Film Instax square film.
First invented in the 1830s by Henry Fox Talbot salt prints were used as a means of capturing images well into the 1860s. Salt prints are created by applying a weak solution of sodium chloride [table salt] to paper allowing the paper to dry and then applying a layer of silver nitrate again to the same piece of paper. The paper would then be exposed to UV light either in a camera to make a negative or in a contact printer with a negative on top of the paper. After exposing, the paper would be fixed in a solution of sodium thiosulfate. The following images were created with the use of a digital negative placed on salt print paper and then exposed under UV light.
COLLODION PHOTOGRAPHY [Wet Plate]
The collodion process invented by Frederick Scott Archer in 1851 was for the first time capable of producing very sharp and detailed photographic prints. Created on either black metal or glass wet plate photography was used extensively during the era of the Civil War. The trouble with wet plate photography was the entire process needed to be completed while the photographic plate was still wet with its chemicals. Additionally, these chemicals were quite toxic. Along with slow exposure times, photographers were burdened with a tremendous amount of equipment that they needed to carry in order to produce their photography. Wet plate photography has become quite popular recently and has seen a resurgence in use due to its fascinating characteristics.
DRY PLATE PHOTOGRAPHY
Gelatin dry plates were first invented in the 1870s. Dry plates were a big improvement with photography as they allowed the photographer to move more freely in pursuit of their photography. Early drawbacks with dry plate photography were the slow speed at which images were recorded. Images were recorded on either black metal or glass. Recording images on glass created negatives which then allowed for multiple copies of images to be produced. Kodak was an early manufacturer of dry plates and this process launched Kodak’s business.
As mentioned earlier, experimenting with different types of photography has inspired us to continually look for something new anytime we pick up our cameras. While at a wedding we are constantly exploring the possibilities of what we can capture often looking for reflections, different angles, or for those perspectives that give our wedding photography a unique and creative style. We enjoy sharing what we discover about photography with other photographers and hope we can inspire others. For those wishing for more information about alternative photography or wanting to try some of the methods mentioned to great resources are Bostick & Sullivan and Freestyle Photo
AMBROTYPE and INKODYE