Shane Balkowitsch Featured Image

Wet Plate Photographer Shane Balkowitsch Part One (Podcast 710)

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Today I’m thrilled to be talking with Wet Plate Collodion Photographer, Shane Balkowitsch. Shane contacted me about his work a few weeks ago, and asked if I’d like to chat. It took me about 30 seconds on his website to realize that the work he is doing, is both beautiful and historically important, so we arranged a time to talk, and talk we did. The resulting conversation was almost two hours long, so I’m going to split this into two parts with part two coming up next week.

Here is the framework that I prepared before the conversation, which I’ll include to give you an idea of what we talked about.

  • I’m really looking forward to talking about your wet plate collodion Ambrotype photography, but first, please tell us a little about yourself.
  • I find it amazing that you jumped straight into photography with your wet plate camera and process. How difficult was it for you to get up to speed on the key techniques and calculations involved?
  • The video that you have on your website “Unabashedly Myself” is amazing. I love how you opened that guy up and even just in the 90 seconds of the video we can see how great you made him look even though, as he says, he was very vulnerable during the shoot. Tell us more about that shoot and the musician?
  • I was deeply moved by your Celebrating Native America Heritage Month video, and last night also had a chance to watch your full documentary on Vimeo. The work you are doing is beautiful and culturally rich and, of course, historically important. Tell us how you came to start your Native American portrait project and what that means to you?
  • I have selected 10 images from those that you sent me, including two self-portraits. Let’s walk through the images one by one. Please tell us a little about each image.

Shane’s Wet Plate Photographs

Here are the ten images that Shane kindly allowed me to share with you. Click on any of the images to open them up in the Lightbox. In part one of our conversation we only get to talk about the first two of these images. See episode 711 next week for Shane’s comments on the remaining eight images.

You can catch up with Shane and view much of his beautiful work on his website here:

And here is the IMDB page for his recent documentary:

Balkowitsch – Documentary

Show Notes

View Shane’s work and links to his videos here:

Music by Martin Bailey


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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, Capture One Brand Ambassador, and X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Shane Balkowitsch
    Posted at 02:57h, 07 July Reply

    Thank you Martin, it was a pleasure to talk with you. I very much appreciated our conversation.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 18:46h, 13 July Reply

      Thank you Shane! It was a pleasure and an honor. And thank you so much for the book! It’s absolutely spectacular, like the man behind it.

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