The Photograph Considered number thirty nine  – Lee Lira

The Photograph Considered number thirty nine – Lee Lira

Carriage Bolt – Ziatype

I made this image using my DIY silver gelatin orthochromatic glass dry plate emulsion developed in HC-110. After saying that there was, “no way on earth I’d ever make dry plates,” I ended up cooking emulsions in my garage in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Two years on, I’m now completely hooked.

I then scanned the plate & printed a digital negative & applied a calibrated curve.

The sensitised paper & negative are placed in a contact printing frame & exposed in a DIY UV LED unit.

The print is called a Ziatype which is a palladium & ferric ammonium oxalate POP process.

I particularly like Ziatype for the drop-dead gorgeous blacks & the breathtaking tonal range that can be achieved. The paper I like for this process is the Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag & this print size is 7 x 14 inch.

My latest 4 x 5 camera that I’ve been using for the last six months is a Wisner Expedition.

After using the superb Wista DXII for many years, I decided with the type of close-up mundane subjects I like to capture, that double focus rails would be a real advantage.

I own a variety of large format lenses but for some reason I mainly use a Xenar 150mm f/5.6

Just something about the design simplicity & flavour that really appeals to me.

After having tried many different formats over the years, I’ve narrowed down to 4 x 5 with the view to making digital negatives & historical prints. 4 x 5 just fits that work flow brilliantly.  

What motivates me to make the images that I do? Well, I really like the small things that are constantly around us that we take for granted & feel the need to celebrate by way of capture.

I don’t really consider myself as a visionary & unique artist type of photographer per say, I enjoy getting bogged down in the technicalities of the processes I practice. The journey of tinkering & discovery excites me & if I happen to land an image that I & others enjoy, then that’s all together a huge bonus.

I don’t have a darkroom; I work in my garage that I’ve made as light tight as possible.

That’s fine for developing & historical printing and I wait for night time to make silver gelatin emulsions.

I’m a tradie by day, going around Melbourne supplying waterproofing membranes. In my past life I spent 20 odd years as a fine art picture framer & gold leaf guilder.

More of Lee’s work can been seen here, or on his Facebook page.

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This article was written by
Lee Lira

Lee Lira is Melbourne based hobbyist photographer.

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