Modern wet plate pictures of the Afghan conflict

We’re always keen to explore new ways of capturing images and one of the reasons we use the large format 5″ x 4″ camera is that it slows us down, it makes us contemplate what we’re photographing (an hour of having your head under the black cloth in the summer heat can do that to you!). Of course, it also helps to connect us to the past, to understand what photographers 100 years ago were thinking and what they had to contend with. All of this is particularly important when we’re doing rephotography which we feel gives us a truer feel to our images.

So it was especially exciting when we found this article on the Guardian blog about a photographer who’s based with the US Army in Afghanistan. Ed Drew is taking pictures of soldiers using a wet plate 5″ x 4″ camera, reminiscent of the Civil War images taken by the likes of Mathew Brady. Anyway, it’s given us food for thought, maybe it’s the next stage in our City Revisited project!

Enjoy the article:

Andy & Paul

Okay, so after doing some reading around the large format cameras in the last post, I stumbled on what looks like a fascinating project to document the use of box cameras in Afghanistan. Completely manual, with no shutter (the lens cap is used instead), the film is ‘developed’ inside the box. The camera’s use is now dwindling and the project’s aim is to record it’s use before it disappears completely. It’s well worth a read:


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