Anna No. 2 (faux wet plate collodion)

More digital smoke and mirrors… because that Petzval hasn’t shown up on my doorstep yet.

Sally Sitwell: “Still doing your little tricks?”

Gob Bluth: “Do you consider this to be a little trick?”
[Gob tries to create a fireball, but sprays Sally with lighter fluid instead]

Sally Sitwell: “Did you just… squirt me with something?”

Gob Bluth: “It’s lighter fluid. Didn’t put in a new flint… but still… where did the lighter fluid come from?”

– Christine Taylor & Will Arnett – Arrested Development

About this image: digital photograph heavily modified to replicate wet plate collodion


86 thoughts on “Anna No. 2 (faux wet plate collodion)

  1. I just love Arrested Development. Too bad it hadn’t caught on more. My favorite character was George Michael working at that banana shack.

    What a beautiful portrait!

  2. Ah. Arrested Development. I put on a skin-colored tank top and jorts a few years ago and trick-or-treated as a Never Nude. Sadly, no one in my neighborhood got the joke.

    • That is HILARIOUS, Ms. N! Sounds to me like you never-nailed best costume!
      I’ve considered dressing up as a giant bottle of Teamocil before, but that’s nowhere near as funny!

    • Annabelle’s freckles aren’t nearly this pronounced, but I REALLY pushed the reds to bring them out as much as I possibly could (because I think so too)!
      Thank you very much, Dishy!

      • This is what my freckles would look like after about 8 hours of sun exposure without sunscreen. Because I’m so fair/ginger I have to wear at least SPF 30 every day or I burn to a crisp! But even with the sunscreen I can see my freckles starting to show up a little more each day. Here comes summer!

  3. It looks amazing. I can even see reflection of the window in one eye. πŸ™‚
    I couldn’t stop my self, like your other friend, before checking my screen are there cats hair or no? πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much, Ms. B! I wish the lighting would have been a bit different, but I was pretty happy with the result. Hahaha… If it was my screen the answer would probably be yes (I really need to clean this thing already)!

        • Actually, I’d say this was one of our more difficult photo shoots. It was hot and super close up and the light was really bright! But the resulting image is cool so it all was worth it!

          • It was kind of funny… bright in all the right spots, dark everywhere else… no room for the camera by any kind of light source… we were trying not to trip over random furniture… definitely a challenge!

    • Oh, man – that is incredibly kind of you, S.E. Thank you!
      I had been wanting to try this one for a while, but I just got this shot last weekend (and we were both tired, and the lighting/set-up wasn’t really working, etc.) After a considerable amount of dodging/burning to compensate my poor lighting job I have to admit I was pretty happy with it (although I’m quite biased here, obviously).

  4. Excellent piece. Very eye-catching effect. πŸ™‚
    You should describe the modification process in a tutorial post.
    When you get your Petzval will it come with beer?

    • Thank you very much, sir! A few people seemed interested in this so I tried to explain it a bit more in my Statue to Painting post (linked under title even thought the underline isn’t showing up). The way I ramble, though… I’m afraid I made it seem WAY more complicated a process than it really is!
      HA! If a Petzval was to show up I would be happy to provide the beer!

    • Thank you so much, Deb!
      It’s always great taking shots like this because it starts out looking good! (Well, other than all the technical stuff I mess-up a bit…)!

  5. That’s a fantastic image Bob! Makes me think of a Lioness peering through the grass at her intended prey – eyes focussed in concentration. The detail of the retina and eyelashes is excellent. The result justifies the effort you have put into this piece of art πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much, Martin! I was trying to replicate the extremely shallow depth of field you often see in old wet plate photography… the subjects eyes will be in sharp focus, but their ears (and sometimes even nose) have already fallen off into bokeh. Not sure how successful with that, but I’m still fairly happy with the results!

  6. This muse is rather intense, but with
    your retro styling it oozes quality πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Brilliant as always SIG πŸ™‚


  7. She is quite the actress, isn’t she, A.G.! AND she can even translate my cryptic attempts at communicate a ‘look’ I’m trying to find… now THAT is impressive!
    Thank you so very much, Andro!
    I hope you are having a wonderful day, sir!

  8. As a freckled ginger, I love your pulling hers to the surface. What struck me most in this one is the light in her left eye. Since your lovely subject is willing, this would be a great project to create a collage.

    • Thank you so much, Red! I think they are so visually interesting I just couldn’t resist!
      An excellent idea! Hopefully over time I will be able to do that very thing!

  9. MY GOD! How did you her eyes that white?
    I thought the only way you could get that stare and those white eyes was only doing real wetplate.
    Yet you managed without it.
    I’ve been looking for freakin years on how to try to do that. Care to share? PLEASE!!!!!!!

    • Here it wasn’t too bad to do, Delta… because she has very blue eyes naturally. So, in Photoshop, when I used a black & white adjustment layer I went in and made all the blue tones very light / bright. Another way to do this would be to set up a levels or curves adjustment layer, mask off everything but the toned parts of the eyes and then lighten them there. Or, you could also set-up a dodge/burn layer where you use Photoshops Dodge Tool to lighten the eyes (while perhaps keeping the pupils etc. a bit darker).
      Hope this helps a bit! Please let me know if you have any additional questions – I’ll do my best to answer them for you!

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