This past weekend, the Peg and Awl team traveled back in time with @gilesclement and his partner Kendra, witnessing and partaking in many tintype and ambrotype sessions at the Peg and Awl workshop. The smell of collodion was intoxicating, as Giles expertly poured it onto the plates and gently tilted each one until fully coated, finally tipping one corner into the well-used bottle to collect the excess. The tiny makeshift darkroom housing developer was like a time machine. In the age of digital photography, we snap-snap-snap, hoping 1 in million will be good enough for a quick digital edit and a push to Instagram. For me, seeing Giles set up each portrait with care and shoot at the precise right moment, yanked me back into my olden days, where I had 12 shots per roll of film and a week to wait for the results. Patience, time, care, seem nearly lost to me now, but I suppose our new way is just a different path to the same point. We don’t have to head into a studio, wash behind our ears, and make sure our Sunday best is spotless. We get to snap-snap-snapping in the midst of the action, dirt and all.
Here is to the old and the new, and how lucky we are to be at the crossroads.