Gary Briechle :
The rocky coast of Maine is where Gary Briechle found himself driven to make pictures, using the wet-plate collodion process, of the individuals who constitute his stand-in family. “I've been in Maine close to eight years now and there are some people I've photographed for the entire time. A few have died and I've shot their likenesses tattooed on the chests of those they've left behind.”
“The last time I photographed Arizona (an eight year-old girl that I've been photographing since she was one) I did what I always do: I taped a black Walmart sheet to the house, set the camera up on the tripod and got her to lean back with shoulders touching to steady herself. I usually put a little flower by the lens, so she can fix her eyes on something during the fifteen-second exposure. This time, the end of October, it was a small, bright, red leaf.
A minute later, as I poured fixer over the glass, an image appeared out of a swirl of watery blue-green. Even though I had done this countless times before, what I saw was an image I never saw before.”
With great patience and care, Briechle photographs the details that make us unique, celebrating the beauty and imperfections of the human form. Briechle works with large format cameras and the wet-plate collodion process, which forces an intimacy between the photographer and subject. He says of his work: "the tension between the demands of the process and the demands of moment make each successful image more of a gift given, not so much a photograph taken."
Photographs - Gary Briechle
Sixty-six duotone plates
96 pages, $60