Nocturnes is a hauntingly beautiful landscape series of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The work is a collaboration between wet plate photographer S. Gayle Stevens and pinhole camera maker Judy Sherrod. The project began as an experiment in large format wet plates from a pinhole camera. Both Stevens and Sherrod work with pinhole cameras, but for this project they each played to their strengths; Sherrod as a camera builder, and Stevens as a collodion photographer. After their initial trial of an 11x14 tintype proved successful, the duo wanted to go even larger, finally settling on 20x20 inch plates. At the time of this experiment there were few women working with mammoth plates. To our knowledge, working with mammoth wet plate pinholes is a process unique to Sherrod and Stevens.
I pour a 20" wet plate tintype and sensitize it in a large silver bath. After 3 minutes, I place the now sensitized plate in the 20 x 20 x 10 inch camera that Judy built, we place it in this immense SUV with B (Judy's brown eyed bird dog and constant companion) as our guide and take off down I 90 for a place to park. I carry the camera to the beach and we decide what we want to say that day. We watch the tides, preferring low tide when we can capture the script left by the waves. The camera is placed on the sand, no tripod.
Portfolio Showcase 2014 is on view at The Kiernan Gallery through July 30, 2014.