Printed photographs have always been, customarily, flat and it’s been that way since the beginning. But a Bay Area-based artist is changing that norm by creating three-dimensional printed photographs!
Emma Jaubert Howell of San Francisco, CA is a both a photographer and a glass-artist by trade. For years now, she has been trying to find a balance between her two passions, an endeavor she has most recently succeeded in doing – by capturing real images and printing them unto glass. And no, we don’t mean printing an image on paper and inserting it inside a blown glass. If the concept of Howell’s project is a little vague to you, that’s because it’s never been done before.
Taking advantage of the wet plate collodion process, a technique for making photographs from the 1850s, she basically records her images on her own custom irregular glass plates. To achieve this, she actually built her own camera and her own portable darkroom from scratch.
The process itself is almost as complicated as it sounds. Not only does Howell hike to her shooting locations carrying a camera that’s almost big enough to be a Bat-Signal, she also mixes (the chemicals), exposes, and develops all in one go in wherever remote area she finds herself in. And while her newly-invented technique sounds very technical, it also involves a good deal of creative process as she examines her glass plates and finds inspiration in their own individual waves, swirls, and folds to decide on her photographic subject and composition.
Howell’s the first to admit that her technique is far from being perfect and that there’s been a lot of trial and error but the results she’s gotten so far are mind-blowing and truly creative! See a gallery of her finished products after the jump.