Hurricane Isaac

December 16, 2012 § 11 Comments

On the 29th of August, 2005, Hurricane Katrina blew through Pass Christian and flattened most of its structures.  The home that sat on this lot on Barkley Street was destroyed.  Gayle has made two series of Holga wet-plate collodion tintypes documenting the aftermath of Katrina.  The “ghost piers” that have been the subjects of many of our large plates were stripped of their wooden walks.

This home, with our downstairs darkroom, was built in 2009.

On the 29th of August, 2012, Hurricane Isaac blew through town and left twenty inches of water in the darkroom.  The house, fortunately, was spared.

It took two full days, in early November, to re-install the darkroom so we could start making plates again.  Barney, the saint, had hauled safelights, cameras, and chemicals upstairs before he went to higher ground, and then hauled all that stuff back down so we could get back in business.

We were surprised to find a stash of unexposed 20×20 plates in the darkroom that had held their own during Hurricane Isaac.  They’d been soaked, baptized, and otherwise anointed in saltwater during the storm.  They were salty.  Crusty.  Stained. Inscribed.

We couldn’t wait to shoot them.

Nocturnes Nineteen and Twenty, made on November 5, are from the stash of Isaac plates.  We have laughed and called them hybrids, a cross between Katrina and Isaac.

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