Photographer Uses 166-Year-Old Technique To Shoot Kids, And The Result Is Haunting
Spanish artist Jacqueline Roberts swims against the tide, reviving 19th-century photography techniques in the digital era. Jacqueline's photography art mostly revolves around the psychological and emotional transition from childhood to adolescence, and the technique she uses further intensifies the eerily change, making the haunting photos look like something you'd find in your darkest dreams.
Wet plate photography (also known as the collodion process), is said to have been invented in 1851, almost simultaneously, by Frederick Scott Archer and Gustave Le Gray. Although the process required a portable darkroom, it combined desirable qualities of the calotype process (enabling an unlimited number of prints from a single negative) and the daguerreotype (creating a sharpness and clarity that could not be achieved with paper negatives). The technique quickly became really popular and was used for portraiture, landscape work, architecture, and other types of photography.
"For me, wet-plate children photography is a fascinating process on so many levels," Roberts told Film's not Dead. "From preparing the chemistry, cutting the glass, flooding the plate, developing and fixing to finally holding in my hands the beautiful photos. I love the ceremonial aspect of it, as much as the craft involved."
The self-taught artist often chooses kids as the subjects for her black and white photos but for other photo ideas and reasons than the majority of photographers. "I disagree with the common perception that sees children as 'cute-innocent- creatures'. I find this notion condescending and manipulative. What I love about them is their rawness, their fresh unawareness, their uncompromising ability to be as they are."
Probably the best result of Jacqueline's work is her brilliant book called Nebula.