5″ x 7″ Ambrotype


Franklin Annink, The Netherlands

Franklin had this to say about Inspiratio:

I fell in love with collodion after seeing the Sally Mann documentary, What Remains. After reading a lot on internet I decided to give it a try and, without attending any workshops, I managed to create images.  I am just starting out, and so have, for the moment, made fewer than fifty images.  To begin with, I worked at 4×5, but love the bigger size of 5×7.

The images I made for the Mask Series are among the first 5x7s I have made.  I knew when accepting the Mask Series invitation that it would be hard for me to create an interesting image. In general I ask my kids or wife to model for me, but with this scary thing, this was a no-go.  So what you see here is a self-portrait, taken while holding the shutter release mechanism in one hand, and the remote flash trigger in the other, which allowed me to fire the flashes several times to create image.

I wanted to create a vulnerable image, in which the contrast between the technical hardness of the Mask and the frailty of the human being was reflected.  The naked, foetal position of an unborn child helped me in this (I hope).  In the end, I am satisfied with the result. The title of the image is Inspiratio.  It is the Latin word for not just ‘breathing’ but also for ‘inspiration’ – which I found very suitable.

And now the technical bits

I used an old Plaubel Universal III Technical Camera (5×7) and had to use a relatively wide-angle lens (Schneider Xenar 135mm).  The aperture was set at 8, focussed on the Mask. Exposure time was approximately 30 seconds and I fired the flash 5 times.  Next to the two flashes of 150 Ws also two 1000W daylight combis were used.  I used clear glass, ‘Old Workhorse’ collodion and common film fixer. I have covered the image directly with black acrylic paint, so you see the image through the glass. I know this is a little bit controversial, but I don’t mind.

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