“I have a creative mind which is filled with crazy ideas.”
The breakthrough into the world of fine art photography came for the Dutch photographer Alex Timmermans through his successful marriage of a 160 year old technology with the reinterpretation of ideas that often have a much longer linage.
A self-taught photographer, Timmermans started out as a teenager playing with the camera his father used to catalogue the inventory of his antique shop. Timmermans graduated to digital photographer at the turn of the century and eight years later abandoned mega-pixels for the old fashion wet plate process of collodion photography.
“I bought my first digital camera around 2000, but never really liked the feeling. It was all too predictable and not challenging enough. However, the wet plate process caught my attention in 2008 and from that moment on, I knew I’d found what I had always been looking for. This process is so challenging — creating an image which begins by mixing your own chemicals, using antique cameras and rather simple, but beautiful, Petzval lenses. It may sound strange, but the amount of work it takes to make just a single picture returned the joy of photography to me,’ he explained to the Lomography Magazine.
Using what was essentially a large bulky studio portrait camera Timmermans dragged it outside to make his often tongue in cheek photographs of his quirky narrative series.
As he has said “I started with shooting portraits with wet plate, as most of the wet platers do. And I still love to make pictures of strong characters. But I wanted to raise the bar for myself and to use this process outdoors. Since shooting landscape isn’t my thing, I started my Storytelling series.”
About which he told the PH Magazine “At the moment I am working on a series where the titles have a double meaning. I love to bring a little humor in my photography. Like “Hat”lines and “Hat”hunter (see above) or Darwinian Mill (see below). My series never contain more than 4-5 plates and then I change to [a] different subject. I am challenged by new ideas.”
His exhibition “Storytelling” - Collodion photography by Alex Timmermans is currently on show at Amsterdam’s Eduard Planting Gallery until the 24th of October.