Advertising, Editorial & Commercial Photographer in Melbourne, Australia

Wet Plate Collodion Wins Silver Award in the PX3 Paris Photography Prize

We’re thrilled to announce that Image Workshop photographer Brence Coghill has been awarded Silver in the Advertising category of the 2019 PX3 Paris Photography Prize for his wet plate collodion image of eclectic Americana and alt-country singer-songwriter Rich Webb. The image was selected by a jury panel from over 5,700 entries from 98 countries around the world.

The PX3 awards are one of the biggest photography awards in Europe with thousands of entrants from all over the world, and it’s an incredible honour to be recognised in this competition.

This portrait image featured as the cover art of Rich Webbs latest single ‘Me and My Horse Trigger’, a song about nostalgia and people wanting to revisit an imagined simpler time in the past. Rich just won 2 independent music awards in New York for the album Le Rayon Vert; it’s a cracker – we highly recommend it.

The wet plate collodion process

The image was shot using a wooden Svedovsky large format field camera on an 8×10” aluminium plate using the mid-1850s wet plate collodion process – often also referred to as a ‘tintype’. The plate is hand-coated with liquid collodion and submerged in silver nitrate to make the plate light sensitive. The sensitized plate is loaded into the camera to create a single exposure which must be immediately developed while it’s still wet. Each shot takes about 15 minutes to execute and produces a one-off image.

Like any analog process there’s an element of ‘chaos’ where you never really know exactly how the final image will turn out; as random swirls of chemistry and pour lines interact with the exposed silver particles. Brence is particularly drawn to this unpredictable nature of the process. There’s a sense of alchemy that brings an element of surprise and the unexpected, which is a welcome relief from the pixel polished perfection that is so prevalent in digital photography.

Paris Exhibition

Brence’s Silver award winning image will be included in the PX3 winners’ exhibition in Paris at the Espace Beaurepaire gallery in Paris from 9 – 13 July, and will be published in the PX3 Annual Book.

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