Sunday, December 13, 2009


I had to be in New Orleans for work, so I managed to squeeze in a visit to Matthew White's exhibit at the Port of New Orleans office, then the Photonola party at the City Park museum.
At the party, I won a gorillapod light in the raffle, and I got to meet another wet plate photographer that I've only talked with via internet.
The official opening for the alt photo exhibit at Homespace in New Orleans was yesterday, but I was unable to make it. My wife is undergoing rehab for Guillian-Barre Syndrome, so I've got to stay close to home. My 4 tintypes are hanging with images by Sally Mann, Jerry Spagnoli, Deborah Luster and Josephine Sacabo, and several others.
Click here to see more on the exhibit.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Demo at PhotoNola

Saturday, I went to New Orleans to demonstrate the "black art" of wet plate photography as part of the photography event Photonola. The demo was at the Homespace Gallery on St. Roch St. where Richard McCabe of the Ogden Museum has curated a show of the work from practitioners of alternative photography.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Claude Levet, one of the best wet plate photographers who ever donned a darkcloth, was in attendance.

Below are some pictures I made at the demo. The sitters were positioned in the same location, but the photos at the bottom had a black cloth covering the window. I prefer the ones at the top. The solarization of the bright exterior light is a nice unusual touch. I used 2 continuous light banks with 5500K bulbs to get the required amount of UV.

Chris Williams of New Orleans sent me these images from the demo. I really like the one of the image on the ground glass.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Can you give the fiddler a dram, please?

My wife Loretta made a pastel portrait of me from a photograph made between takes on a movie set earlier this year in the production of "Jonah Hex." This is one of her finest, even though it's of me.
Loretta is going through a tough time right now from the effects of chemotherapy, but hopefully she will be back at the easel soon.
In the movie scene, Cookie, a banjo player and me are serenading a Union officer just before Jonah (Josh Brolin) surrenders. Whether we're in the final cut remains to be seen, but if I am you will hear me in the theater. The movie is supposed to be out in June 2010. The heavy metal group "Mastodon" is doing the musical score.

Dream of the Marionettes

I recently photographed a theater group that will be performing a musical at Cites des Arts in Lafayette. It was a wonderful afternoon and what really made it enjoyable was the collaboration and ideas that originated from the group.

Christy Leichy and Johanna Divine (in the 2nd image below) wrote "Dream of the Marionettes" and it promises to be a real romp of the burlesque genre. Go to this site to see more about the production:

Here are the tintypes I made of them.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Latest work

I'm back on the circuit. Here's a 5x7 tintype I made at the Rural Life Museum on Sept. 26 during Harvest Days and the reenactment. The building is an old jail from North Louisiana. The scalawags in the picture were resting on the steps during a foraging expedition.
Last Sunday, I was at the Sugar Fest in Port Allen but I only got to make 2 images before the rain shut things down.
Saturday, I photographed the beautiful cast members of "Dream of the Marionettes," a musical being produced in Lafayette. I've never had so many attractive women cavorting in their skivvies in my backyard. I'll post those images soon. The production has a facebook site:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another wet plate blog

Indra, a northern European photographer, has started a blog on her wet plate adventure. It's interesting to see a perspective from across the pond.
Here's the site:

I'll post the link permanently too.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Respite and recuperation

I have developed sensitivity to ether, one of the main components of the wet-plate process. It causes me to have a condition similar to bronchitis. Because I've always had asthma, I suppose I should have been more cautious with the chemicals, but they didn't cause any problems until this spring.
I've developed some safeguards to deal with the problem, but right now I need to stay away from the chemicals and get back to life without making images. That means I've had to back out of an event in Ohio this weekend.
I don't know if I will be able to resume this method of photography, although there are other processes I could learn.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Visitors from Florida

We had visitors recently from Florida, my wife's father, Rudy, and his companion, Linda.
While they were here, I got them to sit still for a few seconds to make their portraits. Rudy was determined to prove he could maintain a smile for the 6-second exposure under the UV lights. He did a good job, and Linda made one of the best portraits I've done with artificial lighting.
I used the lights again the night of July 10 at the Baton Rouge Art Melt. Unfortunately, I didn't get any copies of the pictures before they were placed in the hands of the subjects.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fleur des Tease, finally

I finally got caught up on P-shop work, so here are my efforts from the shoot with Fleur des Tease from New Orleans. These charming young ladies were a true joy to work with.

The image above is my take on the Japanese woodblock print "Man's Fantasy."

Bicycle getaway.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back from storm country

We finally got home after a stormy week and a half on the road. No matter where we were (Missouri, Texas and Mississippi) we got hit by bad weather. Below is a pic from the storm Sunday morning at Brice's Crossroads in Mississippi. The roof on one sutler's tent was knocked down. Tornado warnings were constant.

Shortly after this, we packed up and headed home. I made some nice pictures at Brice's but it was too late in the day to make digital copies.

While in Missouri, where we also had tornado warnings in the Kansas City area, I made some good images that are posted below. I have more, but I haven't had time to finish working on them. I also have images from my session with the girls from Fleur de Tease but again, I've not had time to get to them. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My next gig

OK, so I'm over the movie thing now. It was fun, and I'd like to do it again but now I gotta get back to work. I tentatively have a shoot next weekend with some young ladies who will be in Lafayette for a performance Saturday downtown at Sadie's nightclub as a part of the Geronimo Festival. Here's their website:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My cinematic debut

I got a part in a movie being filmed in New Orleans. It's based on the Civil War comic book character "Jonah Hex" and it stars John Malkovich and Josh Brolin. In the scene, I played fiddle and Cookie Reaux played banjo and our tune was "Rosin the Bow." We provided music while a Union officer is eating supper and his meal is interrupted by Jonah.

The makeup artist told me she wouldn't remove the silver nitrate stains on my hands because they added to my down and dirty look, but I quickly told her the stains are the result of my wet-plate photography and takes several days to wear off.
Above are a couple of fotos of Cookie and me between takes outside the tent where the scene was filmed.
I've been on movie sets before but never at a soundstage. The amount of personnel and equipment was amazing, and the investment being made in this Warner Bros. picture will be in the tens of millions, most spent in New Orleans.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Whilst driving through Zachary, La., on my way home I got stopped by 2 police cruisers. I had no tail lights on my camper and utility trailer because a fuse had burned out. Many thanks to them for stopping me to alert me about this, AND for just giving me a warning. I bought a new fuse at a truck stop and proceeded home, arriving at 10:30, the end of a long day.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Liberty, Miss., Bicentennial Soiree

Folks in Liberty, Miss., know how to throw a bicentennial birthday bash. Saturday was my first visit to this charming little town, and it won't be my last. Many thanks to the Amite County Historical Society for being so hospitable.
Many of the people were decked out for the 200th birthday, and they stopped by to have their images struck. Here are some of them:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jackson fotos

Here are are few images I struck during last weekend's reenactment at Jackson, La. The weather was perfect, a little warm but windy, and cool at night.
This Saturday, I'll be at the bicentennial celebration in Liberty, Miss., making more tintypes and ambrotypes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This weekend: Jackson, La., reenactment

This weekend, I'll be at the Jackson Crossroads reenactment, Friday through Sunday, at Jackson, La., near St. Francisville.
Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the Balfa camp at Chicot State Park this past weekend. Blame it on the weather.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nudes in New Orleans

One of my favorite photographers was E.J. Belloqc, who photographed the women in the brothels of Storyville in New Orleans. His persona was depicted in the movie "Pretty Baby" made in the early 1970s. In that spirit, I made the following images recently with the help of a talented model, Zoya.