Alex Timmermans never imagined that a photographic process, which has been invented by Archer more than 160 years ago, was going to have such an influence on his passion for photography.
Alex Timmermans, born in 1962, is a self-taught photographer with a strong liking for ancient photographic techniques.
He practiced photography throughout his whole life, starting with a Nikormat ftn. The change from analog to digital seemed to be a logical step. However, the excitement and magic of films got lost during this change; “everything became more predictable… too predictable”.
Working on the wet plate process made photography inspiring again. Being able to use antique camera’s and brass lenses with a glorious photographic history like Dallmeyer, Hermagis and Darlot. It is pure because of the possibility to use ‘simple’ chemicals to reproduce amazingly detailed pictures. In this photographic process, coincidences will greatly influence the result. Apart from working with chemicals, these coincidences can be caused by the many different weather conditions as well. In general, shooting a single plate takes about one hour or sometimes even longer. Most of this time is consumed by setting up the lighting, pose and the positioning of the camera. Apart from this, there is no possibility to prepare plates in advance. So – to make just one single picture – you will have to go through the whole process: cleaning the glass, pouring the plate with collodion, sensitize, exposure, developing, washing, fixing, washing it again and finally varnishing. However, seeing the picture changing in the fixer bath – from a negative into a positive – is a magic spectacle which makes it worthwhile to spend so much time and energy on it. Doing this outdoors means you will have to take everything with you, including a mobile darkroom, home-made chemicals etc. A fully loaded wagon.
Collodium photography is not only a kind of photography. It is a passion as well!
Alex has succeeded throughout the years to collect a few original studio cameras with a formats up to 60×60cm. Last year a camera to personal specifications with a plate size of max 24×24inch was made for him. Moreover, throughout the years, he has collected a priceless collection of antique lenses. Mainly Petzval type lenses are the lenses he prefers to use. The characteristics of a Petzval lens is that it produces extremely sharp images in the centre and becomes softer going outwards. More information about this fascinating process can be found on Alex’s collodion weblog : www.collodion-art.blogspot.com.
You can’t get any closer to a photographic process itself while working on wet plate photography.
Alex Timmermans, born in 1962, living in Veldhoven, The Netherlands
2017 – 2018NF Art Gallery Knokke
2017Pan Art fair Amsterdam
2017Art Gallery Hans Persoon
2017Continuum Gallery Königswinter
2017Biennale Fotografica Museo Bogota
2017BlinplusBlin Gallery Paris
2017Macadam Gallery Brussels
2017For Real Amsterdam
2016Köln Art Fair
2016Art Gallery Hans Persoon
2016La Galerie Blin plus Blin, Montfort L'Amaury
2016Continuum Gallery Königswinter
2016Rotterdam contemporary art fair
2016Realisme Art fair Amsterdam
2016Art Palm beach
2015Pan Amsterdam Art fair
2015Galerie Beeld en aambeeld Enschede
2015Galerie Hans Persoon Eersel
2015Eduard Planting Gallery Amsterdam
2015Leopold22 gallery Knokke Belgium
2015Paris Photo Los Angeles
2015Art Breda The Netherlands
2015Rotterdam contemporary art fair
2015Realisme Art fair Amsterdam
2015Art Gallery Hans Persoon
2014PAN international art fair Amsterdam
2014Voila gallery Los Angeles USA
2014Stroeks Academy Domein Oogenlust
2014Art Gallery Hans Persoon
2013Society Shop Netherlands
2012Gallery La Mani
2012Merge photo gallery
2012Art Gallery Hans Persoon
2012Photo gallery Objectief