Collodion Decanting Rig

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A collodion decanting rig facilitates removing collodion from a bottle without removing the sediment which settles to the bottom as the collodion clears.

In my seven months practicing wet plate collodion photography, I’ve continually struggled with a way to remove the collodion from the bottle I prepare it in without including any of the sediment which settles to the bottom as it clears. Of course, it’s critical that none of this sediment ends up in the collodion you plan on using on your plates, because it causes all sorts of contamination issues with your images and chemistry.

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Posted in Experimental, Photography, Tips And Tricks, Wet Plate Collodion on June 11th, 2014. Comments Off.

Hungry Jack Frost

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Dick Reillo and Stella Jimenez during an outdoor winter portrait shoot, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Special effects were used to create the snow for the shoot, which was done on a clear night.

My good friends Dick Reillo and Stella Jimenez have been asking me to do a portrait of them in the snow for months. While there’s been no shortage of the real thing here in the Chicago area as of late, brutal cold and winds have accompanied almost all of our snow storms this season. With a successful portrait under the real thing looking doubtful, I assured the couple that I’d give them a snow picture one way or another.

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Posted in Experimental, Lighting Design, Photography, Portraits, Tips And Tricks on March 14th, 2014. Comments Off.

Vapor Chill


A short film created by throwing cups of boiling water into the outdoor air with an ambient temperature of -12°F. The resulting vapor was lit from either side with 2 fresnels with different color gels.

With record low temperatures in Chicagoland dipping to more than -15°F, a fun science trick suddenly became possible (and quickly took over social media). Quite simply, a cup of boiling water is taken into the frigid outdoor air and tossed skyward. The boiling water instantly vaporizes into a cloud of steam and ice crystals. Not one to shy away from a party, I had to give this a go.

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Posted in Experimental, Lighting Design, Video Production on January 7th, 2014. Comments Off.

Pushing Fronts: 2013 Retrospective

The sun sets over the Riggin Barn on E. Riggin Road in Muncie, Ind., after severe thunderstorms inundated the area, Sunday, November 17, 2013. The outbreak of unseasonable thunderstorms spawned several tornados throughout the state of Indiana, including one in nearby Kokomo.

On the eve of my birthday (or “Guy Eve” as the day has become colloquially known in my inner circles), my mother was kind enough to bake me a birthday cake (a day early, since I’ll be spending my actual birthday jetting across the country for lighting work). The finished cake, sitting proudly on the kitchen table, was topped with two candles in the shape of a three and two. 3-2. Thirty-two.

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