Collodion photography: self-portrait in cyanide
The ancient collodion process produces images of eerie, mysterious beauty.
“Don’t be afraid of it. Art can be scary!” says Mark Osterman, as he instructs a group of students on the uses of cyanide. He offers further tips: have a fire extinguisher handy; put your ether in a different fridge from the one where you keep your food; don’t dip your hands in the silver nitrate… Read more
From the Daily Telegraph
On balance though, sod that. I think I’ll stick with digital! Just as well really cos knowing the extremes of the Nanny State in which we live I prob’ly couldn’t get hold of the required chemicals anyway. Not without filling in umpteen thousand forms and jumping through heaven knows how many hoops.
I once tried to secure a supply of pure alcohol and you wouldn’t believe how difficult that proved to be. It was only, finally, through the kindness of a pharmacist that happened to know me that I eventually succeeded (or as close as makes no difference).
And that was even before all the paranoia about so-called terrorists using chemicals to make bombs and stuff with. I think the paranoia then (or excuse more like) was all to do with drug-making.
And no, it wasn’t to indulge myself with… ’twas in the days when I used to be doing stuff like extracting essential oils from plants and things (cos I was into making incenses, perfumes, and aromatherapy), and alcohol’s a solvent for some of them.
Not that I’d want to drink pure alcohol anyway. The good old amber nectar will do me thankyou very much!