Administration Building, University of Notre Dame (faux wet plate collodion)


Regulars might know I’ve been watching Notre Dame football since I was about 8 years old. Needless to say, Monday was a rough day for me (not the best ending to an incredible undefeated season). If any Bama fans are looking-in, congratulations on a very well deserved win. Crimson is predicted to be a popular color again next fall… I can see why… but no matter what happens I’ll be sticking with gold.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

About this image: digital photograph (Canon 300D T.T.V. of Kodak Duaflex II) heavily modified to replicate wet plate collodion


68 thoughts on “Administration Building, University of Notre Dame (faux wet plate collodion)

  1. Holy smokes, every time I think I have a favorite among your works, you come out with another one. You know my fondness for the 19th-century images, this is STUNNING. It looks like it should be a dag.

    • Absolutely, S.E! To think of all the history… all the people whose paths passed through them at some point… incredible, really.
      Thank you so much! It’s kind of fun… it’s very nice to hear these things are somewhat convincing… because I love the real things!

  2. You have done it again SIG and what an amazing piece this
    one is my great friend 🙂 🙂 Your style shines through on all of
    your projects but this one, I like a lot 🙂 Thank you for sharing
    your artistic flair with us all and do enjoy your Thursday 🙂


    • This also reminds me of some of the
      shows that I have seen on Ghost Hunters 🙂
      Yes a piece of useless information there
      but I thought that I would share it with you
      nonetheless 🙂 lol Have fun today and of
      course over your weekend of wickedness 🙂


      • Not at all! Very cool, Andro… and very much appreciated! If I remember correctly (it’s been a while now), but they have some pretty cool graphics on that show, so I appreciate that very much, sir! And thank you! I hope you have an excellent weekend as well, sir!

    • Many thanks, Andro! There’s just something magical to me about old wet-plate images… I really hope to do the real thing at some point… but in the meantime I guess I’ll keep trying to improve upon my fakery!
      Thank you again, sir! I hope you have a great one, too!

  3. Oooh, I love the frame. And that game was so sad – my dad had me teach him how to use his DVR so he could record it when he went to bed but then was like, nah, don’t bother!

  4. What a really cool picture!! I wish I could sincerely express my sorrow about the loss … not a fan of Bama or of ND. I do feel for YOU though – I hate it when my team loses. (and as a Hokie fan, after our season this year, I am already very worried about playing the Tide in August – Yikes!). Keep taking great pics like this!!

    • Hahaha… wait… you mean… not EVERYONE’S a fan?! I don’t know if I can believe this! 😉
      But seriously, thank you very much! I did have a lot of fun with this!
      And best to luck to both of us this fall!
      *P.S. I like to say ‘us’ like we’re actually on the team(s). Because I’m planning on starting, I guess.*

    • Thanks so much Mr. H! I was hoping it would be approprite… kind of funny… I take a building known for its golden dome and turn it black & white… I’ll have to try do something about that some day! 🙂

  5. Beautiful, SIG! What exactly is a wet plate image? I’ve seen this term before, but don’t really know what it is. So, you’re a loyal Notre Dame fan? That’s where my dad wanted me to go to school. Sad to say, I didn’t. It’s a lovely building. I’m sure it’s a beautiful campus.

    • Thanks so much B.F!
      Basically it referers to old photographic processes where light sensitive material was poured by hand onto a glass plate (ambrotype) or metal (tintype) then immediatly loaded into a camera and exposed before the chemistry hardened.
      Indeed! The campus is very beautiful… seems like it would be quite the place to work on an MFA, doesn’t it?

      • Are you going to do that?! Work on a MFA?!!

        Thanks for the explanation. You always do such a fine job with that sort of thing, SIG. It sounds very complicated. I don’t understand quite how it’s loaded into the camera. I think I’m mostly a visual learner. But, it sounds cool!

        • I’d really like to do that… but in order to justify it I’d need to really, really luck out… hmm. 🙂
          I really glossed over that, didn’t I? In a darkroom the chemistry is applied and that plate is put into a plate holder (it’s kind of like a picture frame – only with a not-transparent, removable front instead of a clear front). The plate holder slides into a slot in the camera body. Then, the removable front of the plate holder is then pulled out (and once the lens cap is removed) the camera’s lens projects an image onto the front of the plate (being held inside the camera by the now front-less plate holder). The process is basically reversed to get the now exposed plate back into darkness and processed.
          I totally understand… I’m both a visual learner (and communicator), too! In fact, this whole reply might have actually made sense had I been able to make a sketch or two to show you! 🙂

          • I hope you can get your MFA if this is something you’re striving for. I almost got a MFA in Dance, but by the time I decided to do it my life was too complicated. So, I’d say if there’s a window, go for it!

            You explained it very well, SIG. I almost don’t need sketches with your explanation, although I’m sure it would help me. It sounds complex, but I’m sure you do it quite easily! 🙂

          • Oh… I didn’t know that, B.F… that sounds like it must have been very difficult…
            You are too kind… I’m afraid I typically have a tendency to do the opposite, though!

    • Thank you so much! I just noticed a fairly impressive mistake in that department, though (I forgot to mirror the image as the lens would have done)… OOPS… I’ll have to fix that when I get a chance.

  6. Game?? What game?? LOL wish it had been more competitive for sure, nothing fun about watching a blow out in the big game. Hopefully the playoff system coming soon will take care of this silliness.

    And oh yeah, cool retro action!

    • Ugh. Perfect storm of awful. I feel like if everyone on that team is at 100 percent the whole game they could play with anyone… but… ouch. Kind of difficult to analyze properly (not that I’d really want to) as I was listening to it (no ESPN.) That was brutal as there’s way too much happening at one time for audio only… but, on the other hand, had I actually seen that game I’m pretty sure my major organs would have started shutting down.

    • Looking at this now I can see that, too – I was so busy trying to replicate a look I probably put a bit too much atmosphere into it all… it really is a very cheerful place!

  7. Bob, your artistry never stops amazing me. This reminds me of my school ;Bethany College, outside of Pittsburgh. Notre Dame obviously has the more illustrious history but both were built in the same style and during the same time.
    There is so much to be said about wonderful architecture in the East and northern Michigan.
    Besides your west coast friends calling you at freaking midnight thinking you’re at central time.

    The way you have worked with this photo makes it both spooky and familiar.
    What can I say? I love it!
    You amaze me again.

    p.s. what is this foot ball you speak of?
    There is no god but hockey and gretsky is his messenger
    …except this year -facepalm-

    • You know… I think I’ve heard of it… but now I’m definitely tempted to do a little bit more research, Ms. B! Sounds pretty cool!
      Hahaha… this doesn’t happen to me too often, Ms. B… my phone is usually pretty quiet (of course this might also be a technical problem… hmm…). Anyway, I suspect it’s just one of the hazards of your international popularity!
      You are always far, far too kind to me, Ms. B! Thank you so much! I’m totally kind-comment spoiled at this point. 🙂
      Hahaha… hockey?! Yeah… I guess I’ve probably heard of that, too. 😉

  8. Love the processing. Wonderful evocative shot – very M. R James.
    Have you done a tutorial/explanation on the method ? I have some melted plastic textures that could possibly be used to create a similar look. I will have to see I can come up with a suitable subject. Not too many “Notre Damish” buildings in my neck of the woods. 😀

    • Hmmm… I guess the closest thing would be from my ‘Statue to Painting‘ post… although every time I reread my description it seems even more confusing than the time before (about as clear as mud, really)! Explaining myself without visual aids is not really my strong suit, I guess.

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog! You can’t imagine my delighted surprise when I was scrolling through yours in return and came across this image – I went to Notre Dame and this is nostalgic and beautiful. I might be biased though 🙂

    • Not at all! When I have a few minutes I like to scroll posts with Photo and/or Art tags… and your work definitely caught my eye, so it was my pleasure!
      Awesome! I hadn’t met anyone who went there before… SO cool! I’d love to hound you with questions, but I’ll do my best not to do that. Did you study photography there, W.G?!

        • That is very, very kind of you to say, thank you!
          I guess most of the questions I have would be difficult to even ask (or answer)… intangible things about the atmosphere there, etc… ‘What was it like, W.G?! What was it like?!)! Well, that and how difficult it is to get accepted into the MFA program. 😉 Although it’s probably better I don’t know the answer to that.
          Engineering you say?! VERY impressive! I couldn’t engineer my way out of a paper bag! I get confused just trying to turn on a calculator!

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