Joni Sternbach: SurfLand


Brooklyn-based photographer Joni Sternbach has captured the culture in different surf spots across the United States. She does this with the use of a large format camera and the collodion process. Learn more about her project after the jump.

Photo © Joni Sternbach via Joni Sternbach's website

The collodion process that Joni Sternbach uses to process that photos that she takes dates back to the 1850’s. This old photography processing technique is inexpensive and also require only a few seconds for exposure. One of the things to consider when dealing with this photographic process is time since the entire process of coating and developing must be completed before the plate dries. Joni Sternbach develops her photos on the location, sometimes even arousing curiosity among locals.

Her project entitled SurfLand is an ongoing venture to shoot portraits of surfers. She has returned to the same locations year after year to explore and capture and transitions that happened during her absence. So far, she has shot in the East Coast, California and Byron Bay in Australia. Joni Sternbach explains that although her method is outdated, it gives her the chance to communicate and interact with her subjects. Most of the time, her subjects watch as she processes the plates on location using a portable darkroom.

Joni Sternbach’s photos capture the relationship of the subject with the surfboard and the sea. In a way, each photo tells a story but a part of it is still shrouded in mystery.

Watch the video to learn more about the SurfLand project:

Here are some of Joni Sternbach’s photos:

Photos © Joni Sternbach via Joni Sternbach's website

The information for this article was taken from Joni Sternbach's website, Wikipedia - Collodion, Soul Catcher Studio and Joseph Bellows' website.

written by jeanmendoza on 2011-12-10 #videos #lifestyle #surfing #large-format #beach #collodion #wet-collodion #joni-sternbach


  1. emperornorton
    emperornorton ·

    Hey! I know some of those beaches!

  2. co
    co ·

    So beautiful!

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