Master Photographer Quinn Jacobson Talks About His Craft

Photography takes an immense amount of creativity

It takes a keen eye, and unbreakable perseverance to truly enjoy develop it as an art. As intricate of a process as it may be, it really is about painting with light!

Read our exclusive interview with master of photography, Quinn Jacobson, host of this 3 day workshop on a 19th century photographic process called the Wet Collodion process.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in America in 1964. The war in Vietnam was raging at the time. The Civil Rights Act was signed into law, abolishing racial segregation in America. Pete Townshend of The Who destroyed his first guitar in the name of auto-destructive art at the Railway Hotel, in London. Roald Dahl wrote, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.

Those were very interesting times.

Photography was a part of my life from an early age. My parents were avid photographers and were very much accomplished in their own right. 35mm still film, Polaroid film, and 8mm movie film were common in our house. Every event was documented. Photography was very important to my family. I began my career as a photographer in the United States military in 1982.

I served in the U.S. Army as an Infantryman for three years and then as a Combat Photographer  for three years from 1982-1988. In 1993, I received a Bachelor of Integrated Studies degree in Photography, Visual Art and Communication from Weber State University, in Utah. In 2007, I received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography from Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont USA.

The turn of the century brought changes to my photographic career. After searching several years for a way to connect to my work and have a deeper understanding of it, I discovered the Wet Plate Collodion process. There are two Collodion images responsible for my entry into the Collodion world. The first was by an anonymous photographer from the 19th century, and the second by one of Frederick Scott Archer’s protégé, Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond.

For the past 16 years, I have devoted my career to 19th Century photographic processes.

What is the vision behind Studio Q Photography?

To evangelize 19th century photographic processes, especially the Wet Collodion process.

Tell us about your wet plate class.

There are two types of courses: Introduction to the wet plate collodion process; making positives, Ambrotypes and Tintypes – for beginners and an advanced course in the wet plate collodion process; making negatives and prints – Albumen prints, Salt prints, and Collodion Chloride prints. This course is for people already working in wet collodion (positive process) who already have a good understanding of the chemistry and process.

You travel all around the world lecturing and putting on workshops. What is your favourite part about all this?

It has to be helping artists and photographers find a new way to express their ideas, ask their questions, and address their concerns. The old processes are slow, ceremonial and require your full attention; something that seems to be absent in the digital world of “pixelography”.

What are you inspired by?

Passion, creativity, and critical thinking.


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