Execution: Francesca

Shot some more mammoth ambrotypes for our Execution project!

Execution Project: Francesca from Linked Ring Photography on Vimeo.

 Execution: Sheut - 20x24 inch wet plate collodion Ambrotype - 2013 Final image of Francesca for the Execution Project

When asked “Is there anything specific you can think of, a particular struggle, sacrifice you’ve made, or obstacle you’ve had to overcome to pursue your passion?” Francesca said:

“I gave up my passion that is dance and creating art for a number of years due to “expectations of society” and the role I thought I had to play, the box I thought I had to fit in, in order to “make money” and to “be a success”. I got my degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, which took a total of 6 years, and a lot of student loan debt. Which certainly won’t go to waste… however, not even a year after graduating, mid way through my job as an adolescent therapist, I realized I didn’t want the life I thought I wanted of sitting behind a desk seeing clients every day. I love navigating people towards their own inner empowerment, but I know there are so many more ways to do that then through the traditional ways I have been taught. That there has got to be more to life than this. I would say my biggest struggle has been breaking away from the traditional expectations of society. “How are you going to support yourself as just a dancer?” is a question I often get. It’s like the same questions the Hartt students would get: “You’re getting a degree in music? What are you going to do, play music in the NYC subway?” It burns my heart a bit. To have the confidence to pursue your heart’s desire and creativity is something that takes a lot of self awareness– a really solid relationship with yourself, I think.”

For this image we decided symbolize the expectations of Francesca being stuck inside a particular lifestyle, one dictated by society, as opposed to a way of life coming from within. The actual glass of the Ambrotype represent a sort of window, a view of another world, the world Francesca is trapped in. She appears floating to the surface, in an effort to finally break through. She appears slightly out of focus, because she’s not quite to the surface yet, more on the brink. Only time will tell if she makes it through.

You can see our interview with Francesca here, along with behinds the scenes footage of us making the 20×24 mammoth black glass ambrotype:

These are the other two plates from the shoot:

 Medium format tintype of Francesca a tribal fusion belly dancer.

 Ghaziya - 20x24 inch wet plate collodion Ambrotype - 2013

Nicole and Francesca looking at the Mammoth Plate in the fix bath

The Setup

Learn more about Francesca at

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“Muse” and “Beckoning”

Published on July 26, 2013 by in Tiny Tintypes

Two modern 2.5 inch wet plate collodion tintypes mounted on 19th century darkroom and camera equipment.

Muse – Wet Plate Collodion Tintype – 2013

Beckoning – wet plate collodion tintype – 2013



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Gas Mask Series

2.5 inch wet plate collodion tintype

“Hannya” – 2.5 inch wet plate collodion tintype

“The Mask Series” from Linked Ring Photography on Vimeo.

This is behind the scenes footage of Dan Kennedy and Nicole Truax’s contribution to “The Mask Series”; a worldwide collaboration of over 100 wet plate artists who are given the same prop, a Czech M10 Gas Mask, and choose to photograph the piece in their own unique way.

Filmed by Joshua Kelley
Edited by Linked Ring Photography
Music: “Jesse” by The Morning on Fire

Blog post written about the video/shoot from Melanie Garrett

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Mounting out tintypes in a new way.

Locust – 2.5 inch tintype mounted on Cocobolo.[/caption]

Plague Doctor – 2.5 inch tintype mounted on a slab of 147 year old wood that was reclaimed from a demolished house originally constructed during the last year of the Civil War. There are pieces of the original nails still embedded.

Two 2.5 inch tintype multiple exposures of Nicole Truax mounted on 5×5 slabs of Padauk wood.

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Multiple Exposures of Nicole Truax

Wanted to shoot a few experimental medium format tintypes. Really excited with how they came out. Three 380ws strobes with 40 bursts at full power. Can’t wait to try out some of these with the mammoth plates!

These are mounted on 6×6 slabs of Padauk Wood.

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Memento Mori: Insects

For this project we are creating small abstract tintypes of insect specimens by creating an extremely shallow depth of field by shooting through an 8x magnifying loupe. This project is a psychological one; rather than being documentary or scientific, we endeavor to create surreal and alien images that touch upon humans’ subconscious fears and curiosities. Through evolution an innate emotional response to insects, snakes, reptiles lies in all of us. Through this process we create images that almost appear as new creatures, displaying these insects in ways we aren’t used to seeing them, yet still engaging upon these inherently human emotions.

The following 3 images show the process. We are shooting with a Twin Lens Reflex Yashica-D with a fixed 50mm lens. The way we create distorted macro images with a soft focus is by shooting through a 8x magnifying loupe. We can shoot in either direction, depending upon what we want the outcome to be.

The next 3 images show the tintypes along side their models:

The remaining images portray are further attempts at abstractions using grasshoppers, dragonflies, butterflies, etc as models:

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Execution Project: The Journey Begins

Execution Project: The journey Begins from Linked Ring Photography on Vimeo.

Video from our trip out west and our most recent Execution Project photoshoots.

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Yashica D: Medium format tintypes

Published on August 27, 2012 by in Tiny Tintypes

Nicole and I shot a wedding in Bar Harbor Maine and spent the rest of the week adventuring, climbing mountains, camping, cooking lobsters, and making photos. We made a few tintypes one day at Ship Harbor, near the Seawall Campground in Acadia national park. We had just enough chemicals left to make a few small tin types, so we jumped on the opportunity to use a new camera and explore the ease of small format vs Mammoth format.

Yashica_D and 2.5×2.5 black aluminum:

Dan with portable darkroom backpack:

Nicole in the ground glass:

First location field darkroom set up:

Subbing station:

Everything neatly packed up:

Nicole in the ground glass:

Second location darkroom set up:

Nicole and the darkroom:


All of the above images were documented with an IPhone.

Below are the 3 2.5×2.5 Tintypes we came away with:




All in all it was a fun side project, and we’re going to pursue a few other projects using this format.

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Julia Forrest: Ucchista-Matangini

We shot this quite a few weeks back, but needed some time away to digest. This was the last bit of chemicals we had for the large ambrotypes and need to put in another order to continue the project.

Julia drove up from Brooklyn with her boyfriend Paul and spent the night here, we awoke early at 6am to head to Pomerance Park in Greenwich CT to shoot.

I had appropriated 3 empty 55 gallon drums for the photoshoot, and nervously drove them home fearing my suspiciously barrel filled Nissan Versa might attract the attention of the U.S government and the full force of homeland security would descend upon me in the form of Blackhawk choppers armed with artist seeking missiles. Yet, somehow I made it across the Tappan Zee without incident.

After 3 car trips to Pomerance, and one more stop at a Starbucks we were ready. We had Julia immerse herself in the water among the barrels and hold a strip of medium format film. Julia sleeps in her darkroom/bedroom in Brooklyn, among her chemicals. She fears for the repurcussions this may have on her and Paul’s health, but could not embrace the possibility of a world where she was unable to create her art. Ucchista-Matangini is the name of a Hindu goddess, whose worship is linked to the mastery of the arts and is often associated with pollution. We found this to be a fitting name for the piece illustrating Julia’s particular struggle and story.

We shot 5 plates, the 1st and 2nd being the best. This, like the John Flynn shoot, was a battle against an overcast day. The day was extremely cloudy, allowing little UV light to penetrate. No matter what our exposures were we couldn’t get shadow detail in the dark areas. In the future we are going to have to be more strict about shoot days, and call them if the day is too overcast.

This is the final wet plate taken with an IPhone:

And this was taken with the 5d Mk II:

The image was almost what we wanted, but the overcast skies prevented it from being the exact image we were going for. This project about featuring artists and their struggles, is another struggle in itself. Tackling a new and difficult medium, and holding the final images to our contemporary standards. Quite the learning experience!

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Execution Project: Francesco Fragomeni

We finally got to meet and photograph Francesco. Francesco is the talented alternative process artist who loaned us the 24×20 camera that made our large format in camera ambrotypes possible.

The three of us immediately hit it off, and spent about 10 hours together prepping, shooting, varnishing, cleaning up, and grabbing a long needed meal after forgetting/not having enough time to eat for about… 27 hours.. well that is if you don’t count drinks from the night before and several cups of coffee as food.

Instagram photo of Nicole setting up:

Francesco expressed his feelings about being featured in the project as well as loaning us the camera:

Execution Project Interview: Francesco Fragomeni from Linked Ring Photography on Vimeo.

Nicole snapped this image of Francesco and I holding the unvarnished ambrotype.

Francesco’s particular struggle had to do with his overcoming time restrictions in his life, as he put it, “trying to add more hours into the day”. For a long period of time he was juggling a full time job, unwilling to sacrifice time from his relationship, and his personal photography. Francesco adapted a Spartan lifestyle of working in his darkroom from 4am until 9am, pulling a full work day at his full time job, and then making the evening time after work for his relationship. He needed all three aspects of his life to feel balanced an fulfilled, and the only solution was to add more hours into his day.

We came to Francesco at an interesting time, where he has been living for 2 months in an 8×8 trailer on the property of two world renowned large format photographers, Michael and Paula. His obstacles now reflect not only his past struggle of adding more time into the day, but now one of isolation and distance. This is something he has done in order to make the jump to understanding how to live a life where you are sustained mentally, physically, and financially by your art.

We had Francesco hold an hourglass and a bucket of sand. He sits in isolation in a field, appearing as if he’s in an almost dreamlike environment created by the shallow depth of field and nuances of the wet plate process. He is attempting to force more time into his day through the symbolism of pouring additional sand through his fingers into an already full hourglass.

This is the final image we came away with:

Music: Leaving Behind a Whaling Economy – Wess Meets West

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