Bassenge in Belgium have a couple of quarries where they mine silex. These are areas of rather large proportions. We have been wandering around them last week for location scouting purposes. Yesterday we sort of went the same direction; the area is so fascinating to wander through, by bike, as well as by car. I wanted to shoot collodion outdoors again and this diverse scenery seemed great for this purpose (and to try that Eskimo Quickfish tent I bought a couple of months back). Finally we found this really perfect spot, on top of Rue du Garage. However, the weather gods decided on a little rain. So, we first went for a coffee in Lanaye, had a chat with some of the locals inside, and went back when the sun came out again.
I bought the tent last February. I tried to set it up on my own which, according to the tutorial-vid on youtube, I should be able to accomplish in a single heartbeat. It turned out to be a good test in anger management…I failed… A few days later I tried setting it up with the help of Paul…we both failed…there seemed to be something off with the tent. Last week we took another look at it, with the help of his sister and brother-in-law and found out it had been put away the wrong way. After having taken out some poles and putting them back correctly, it indeed was no more than a single heartbeat.
It was a glorious Sunday! The company was great! The tent also! It is so easy and fast to set up, a lot different than the tent I used before; the Secret Jardin grow tent. It’s light-tight enough. I might adjust the windows a little, but it’s convenient to be able to get some daylight in there as well, when pouring collodion for example, so I just might leave it at that. Used my regular LED darkroom light, no fogging. Very convenient to be able to close the zipper from the inside. It comes with a double zipper; one on the inside and one on the out. The Quickfish 2 tent is just high enough for me being able to stand up straight (I’m 1.73 m). It would have been nicer if it were more like 1.80 but hey; if it’s convenience you’re after, shoot digital 🙂 A lot more floor space than the Secret Jardin, so you can keep more items inside. I bought a camping table as a working space; also much more practical than the heavy wooden one I used before. Lightweight and fast to set up, and a larger top to work on. All in all; wish I had done this before!
Looking forward going out again, knowing I can also easily do this on my own. I love getting in my car, driving around, finding spots, being amazed by the beauty and bizarreness you come across wandering. It’s a flee from the world, a flee from people, from trivial matters. No-one bothers you, it’s quiet, and you’re free to go where and when you please. And when you make these plates, in the moment, every step is a step that takes time, and asks for care and devotion. TLC, baby! I’m in my element. I feel perfectly happy. Me and my camera. And my car. It’s freedom.
Ow.. and you can shoot clouds on collodion apparently!
All images are shot on black glass, 4×10″. Exposure times vary between 4 and 8 seconds, lens stopped down to about f/8.