The subject matter of Francesco's work is the farmers and chefs of the Hudson Valley, farmers who are determined to continue to grow food using sustainable methods, and the chefs who support these beliefs by cooking using food grown by these farmers.
Francesco logged over 17,000 miles driving throughout the Hudson Valley photographing and interviewing over 136 of its farmers and chefs. For his photographs, he used a technique called wet-plate collodion (originally termed "The Black Art"), a process that requires a few steps in order to create an image and also, a bit of patience because the subject needs to remain still for at least 15 seconds.
Francesco was kind in sharing with me the story of "ORGANIC" and his love for wet-plate collodion.
Why use wet-plate collodion as your form of artistic expression?
"I started working with the wet-plate collodion process a number of years ago when digital photography started taking over. There was a real disconnect for me working in a digital format. I always loved working in the darkroom, and felt the magic of photography took place there. Now I get to bring a portable darkroom whenever I am photographing.
The collodion process is a photographic process dating back to 1851. It was a time when all our food was organic. It is a beautiful, mysterious process to work with; and it too is an organic process. The Civil War was documented using the wet collodion process, and the photo of Lincoln on the five-dollar bill is also a wet plate photograph. The process dominated photography for a thirty-year period into the 1880’s."
|A large format wooden camera -- used for wet-plate collodion.|