Student Experience Blog

Wet Plate Skulls and trespassed Landscapes

So I have been in a slightly rough time with my campus blog. You see, normally, I would post about something cool I did the last couple of weeks, and that would be it. So come the start of September, I was all like, let's do this. But then I realised I actually did not have anything to blog about. Sure, I could talk about how my flight was, or some of that boring stuff, but I am a firm believer in the fact that if something is worth doing, it's worth doing well. So I waited. And then suddenly I was doing cool stuff. It's just that I was doing such a sheer amount of cool stuff, I didn’t have time for anything else. Stop me before I get too cryptic.

I am a senior this year. That means I have to run around wrapping everything up. So I have started working on my art final show already. The first thing I needed for that was the ability to do wet plate photography. It is a Civil War era technique that is going through a resurgence right now. 

Five years ago, there were probably less then a thousand people who could do this technique, now there are probably 5,000 or so. I am pretty sure there are only a couple of people in Idaho besides me doing this technique, which is pretty cool. So I have been running around from my garage/darkroom, to the chemistry labs, to my house, schlepping chemicals, mixing them, and lugging plates of metal and a camera that is easily 70 years old.

And on top of that, I have also been taking landscape photos of the Owyhees, so that is keeping me busy too. It ain't an excuse for me to not blog, but I guess I can make it up with photographs.

The photo above is a view of the Owyhee reservoir. I kinda had to tresspass to get this view, but I imagine that the U.S. government would not mind a photographer using its dam as a source of photographic imagery.


This is a view of Idaho farmlands, which you might see everyday, but you know, coming from the mountins in India, this is very picturesque.


Finally, this is a wet plate photograph. I call the skull Yorick. Extra credit: Find out who Yorick was. This is a style of Rennaisance art, where you basically show the flightiness of life, hence the skull. The beer can is a holdover from ye olde days where they would have wine and other assorted drinks, to show that even the good stuff don't last forever. Til all, y'all.

From the Darkroom-Garage,

- Rahul Sharma

Rahul is a senior art major from Jammu, India.