According to Alex, working on the wet plate process made photography inspiring again.
In 2012, Alex started with a new series called ‘Storytelling’. He produces fine art photographs filled with strange and surreal elements that suggest a variety of interesting narratives. A series of carefully composed images are delightfully whimsical and often provocative in their narrative style.
Alex spends hours designing and making the needed props, searching for the right locations, waiting for the best light; just to make that single image part of his series: Storytelling.
His goal is to create photographs the same way they were shot more than 150 years ago. No digital cameras, no Photoshop but pure photography. His series presents pictures as movies made up of a single image. All images were shot by using a simple wooden camera, antique brass petzval lenses, a huge amount of patience and with one of the most beautiful photographic processes called collodion photography, also known as wet plate photography.
Alex Timmermans never imagined that a photographic process, invented by Archer more than 160 years ago, would have such an influence on his passion for photography. Alex Timmermans, born in 1962, is a self-taught photographer with a strong interest in ancient photographic techniques.
He practiced photography throughout his whole life, starting with a Nikormat ftn. The change from analog to digital seemed to be a logical step, yet caused the excitement and magic of films to be lost; “Everything became more predictable… too predictable.” Over the course of his career, tons of digital equipment have become readily available. In a time, when digitalisation continues to increase with the number of megapixels, and the perfect image can only be accomplished with the aid of Photoshop, Timmermans prefers a process that is diametrically opposed to the current digital photography.
He started learning more about this mysterious photographic process in the summer of 2008. At that time, the technique was invented in 1851 by the British Scott Archer and was only used by a handful of people world-wide. Timmermans travelled back in time –over nearly 160 years– to one of the most magical forms of photography since Daguerre: wet plate photography. By 2009, he started experimenting with the collodion process, reflecting on the days gone past: Belle Époque, the first airplanes, the bicycle, the first cars, the rise of the film industry and the emergence of many new forms of art.