Richard Barnes, as Alexander Gardner

Photographer Richard Barnes brings our lab all manner of intriguing photography to print. His newest project is an exploration of antique processes and their historical and contemporary context.

Barnes has been photographing Civil War re-enactors using wet plate photography. What happens when you merge this antique process with civil war re-enactors? A number of his images include modern dress, and signifiers like pickup trucks and camera equipment. Barnes calls these interactions, “the slippage of time.”

In his own words, from his recent article on PetaPixel, Barnes explains,

“My particular interest in photographing reenactments is not to cover them as a contemporary photojournalist might, with a digital camera and a motor drive, but rather to put myself in the shoes of Alexander Gardner and attempt to make images that have the look and feel of what it would have been like to actually be in the field at the time of battle. To achieve this, I am using a large format camera and the same wet plate process employed by Matthew Brady and his associates.

Ultimately I seek to go beyond the nostalgia of recreating the look of images from another era, but rather my aim is to explore a creative tension that addresses the artifice of the reenactment in juxtaposition to the evidence of contemporary life, occurring within and at the periphery of the photographic frame.”

Take a look at the article on PetaPixel.