S.Gayle was making plans for an upcoming trip to Pass Christian, on the Mississippi coast, and New Orleans for White Linen Night. Fifty-seven pieces from her series Pass were to be shown at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, opening that same night.
I have a friend who has a little bungalow in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, just across the bridge from Pass Christian. So I made plans to go to the coast, to the opening, and to see what kind of trouble the two of us could conjure up.
I’d been shooting my 16×20 inch pinhole cameras for about six months and in mid-July asked Gayle if she thought we could use them for wet-plate collodion.
She didn’t say “no.” She said she didn’t have a silver bath that large. But she did have one for 11×14, and we decided to give it a try.
I think Gayle agonized over getting the collodion properly poured on a plate that size and I for sure worried about my 11×14 pinhole camera and whether it was up to the task.
We needn’t have worried. It took a couple of tries to get the exposure down right, but once we nailed that part we knew we were on to something good.
It didn’t take long before we decided that we would next try 20x20s, and found no evidence that it’s ever been done before – not with a pinhole camera. In fact, the experts insisted it couldn’t be done.
That didn’t keep us from trying. Two old women…
And that is where this blog begins.