Ian Ruhter had been working as a successful commercial and sports photographer when he first discovered the wet plate collodion process.The nineteenth century photographic process involves pouring a liquid mixture of iodides, bromides, and a solution called collodion over a glass or aluminum plate. The plate is then bathed in silver nitrate, making it light-sensitive. The plate must then be quickly exposed and developed in just a few minutes, before the collodion dries and loses sensitivity. The process is expensive, laborious, and extremely unpredictable. Temperature and moisture affect the chemicals greatly and can entirely alter the developing process, ruining a wet plate. But the results of this labor intensive process are undeniable– a completely unique and incredibly detailed image, with rich layers of silver suspended in emulsion producing a three dimensional effect. Because the process is produced and controlled entirely by hand, each plate is inherently unique, with the chemicals’ process leaving irregular and impossible to reproduce beautiful ghostly shadows, halos, and ripples in each plate.
Thought of as ‘Paradise,’ Palm Springs is a vacation spot for much of southern California. It is located about 100 miles from Los Angeles. Palm Springs has this resort reputation, which has spread nation-wide, because of its attractions amidst the desert sun. Nancy Baron, on the contrary, highlights the community aspects of locals there, sharing the small town quality that exists. Baron does not glamorize Palm Springs; she is a part-time resident, and is able to rejoice in the everyday life of this place. As she states, “I aim to capture and celebrate the majesty in worlds that could easily be overlooked, seen as mundane, or otherwise misunderstood.” Her photographs, illuminating the use of saturated colors and a specific style of decoration, emphasizes her observations and the possibility of a path to ‘The Good Life.’
This is Nancy Baron’s first solo show with dnj Gallery. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally, with an emphasis here, in southern California. She lives and works in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. The Good Life > Palm Springs is now a monograph published by Kehrer Verlag. It is currently available in Europe and will be available in the U.S. and Canada this fall, 2014.
This show runs through November 1, 2014
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 am to 5 pm
By Jim McKinniss