Already dubbed the Master of Wet Plate Photography by us, Ian Ruhter needs no introduction. Recently he embarked on a journey to Slab City, to create the world’s largest wet plate collodion. He tells an inspirational tale enveloped in philosophical queries.
I’ve spent a lot of time and energy making pictures that appease everyone else, but leave me questioning if they represent what is truly in my heart. My images of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and pristine landscaped photos appear to be what everyone is typically interested in. It is great to receive praise and recognition, even being compared to Ansel Adams – which is one of the highest compliments you can receive. The problem is it’s not who I am. When I chose to make the world’s largest wet plate collodion direct positives (ambrotypes) I didn’t quite know what I was getting my self into. It’s been incredibly difficult and extremely expensive. I thought by going along with all this attention and praise there would be some kind of pay off, ironically enough it left me feeling empty and still searching to find myself.