The year that I finally set forth and start building up my landscape portfolio using the Wet Plate Collodion process. Last year (2017) I attended the Photographers Rendezvous group up in King City, CA and while on this trip we took time aside to travel to Monterey. All growing up I heard a small story of how my parents met, which was at the Post Naval Graduate School located in Monterey. We drove around to the different spots they knew and I even got to see the apartments the both lived at while attending school. I also fell in love with the beauty of the area there and especially the weather! Over cast in the morning and also at the end of the day! Perfect for wet plate collodion.
I was really bummed that we didn't have the time to do some plates, so we all came up with a plan to return next year prepared and with a new portable darkroom, one that would fit in back of the car.
Fast forward to July 2018.
My family and I built a pop up darkroom that fits in the back of the car, with the idea in mind that it was a light weight and that it was one where I could set it up on my own and more space in the car. The inspiration came from an old pop up style playhouse I had as a child.
My mother is an excellent sewer! From quilts, to costumes to now even a darkroom. I found a pop up playhouse from Ikea and tore the fabric off the steel boning and kept it, while using the fabric pieces as a pattern for the yellow interior and black exterior.
I feel like I have to speak for my mother for this part, as was sewing the fabric together was easy, but putting it back onto the steel boning was the hardest part. We all struggled a bit...
Next came the shroud that went over us, my friend Daniel came up with the idea of using zippers on the outside of the darkroom going around the whole top. Kind of like in the shape of an upside down horseshoe.
In the photo to the right, you can see my red LED lanterns glowing. They are being held up by little loops that were sewn in.
And below is a photo of the "mock" darkroom set up for when on the road!