Swiss photographer Sébastien Kohler brings back the antique art of ambrotype by mastering the 19th-century photographic technology through contemporary eyes. Here are some portraits from the artist.
Kohler was self-taught in photography, and he was instantly fascinated with the wet collodion process, developed y calotypist and sculptor Frederick Scott Archer. The wet collodion process is branched several ways, and one of it was the ambrotype, which was developed by James Ambrose Cutting.
The ambrotype process is simple: using one negative in front of a black background, with lighting on the front; it will appear like a positive due to the light illuminating the metallic silver, which would contain the photo. As a contemporary photographer, Kohler approaches his subjects in a very delicate yet inquisitive way. The person in the portrait is aware and unrestrained, but there's something intrusive with how Kohler would focus so much on the eyes, as if challenging them. In turn, the subjects' eyes try to intimidate the viewer.
Catch the upcoming show Sébastien Kohler – Ambrotypes at the Swiss Camera Museum in Vevey, September 13. The show will end on March 14, 2018.
Images are from the press kit.