KTOO will be hosting a photography exhibition this Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. featuring the work of Ron Klein.
The exhibition of photography is presented using two unique styles. Both were created with antique cameras. Images of the Oregon Pendleton Roundup, Alaskan Native people, and local characters are only the tip of the iceberg to this show.
Known for years as the “long skinny picture guy” Ron is featuring four panoramic images that offer a marked difference to the collodion wet plate photography that is his current interest. The 1920 “Cirkut” panoramic camera is not dead yet, and can still out perform digital cameras in many ways. Totally opposite the panoramic views, Klein is presenting a series of portraits made with the wet plate process.
Invented in 1851 by Frederick Scott Archer, wet plate camera work rapidly replaced the Daguerreotype as the mainstay of photography because of lower costs and the ability to make multiple copies from a glass plate negative.
The drawback to this method is that the photographer must prepare, expose, and develop the plates while the coating remains wet or the chemical reaction will not work. In the field, this means a portable darkroom must be constructed with careful attention to the collection of waste chemistry for proper disposal.
The final product is an image that cannot compare to today’s modern digital photography perfection. The charm of the ancient process is perhaps the slowness of film speed and tonal ranges that are unlike what we are accustomed to seeing in new imagery.
“My photos are by no means perfect, not because of the process, but the fact that I haven’t mastered the craft yet. In one sense it proves perfection is not needed. On the other hand there is still more work to do.”
It will be interesting to see if viewers find the link between the long panoramas and the collodion images.