A friend of mine, artist Phil Nesmith, is undertaking a journey to the Gulf Coast to capture images of the effects of the oil spill. Phil uses an all-but-dead form of photography called ambrotype to capture beautiful and sometimes haunting images. Ambrotypes are very hands-on and each one is unique.
It is fitting to use a photographic method from the time when our lust for oil was just beginning in order to capture the spirit of this disaster. Working slowly with vintage large format cameras and with the slow wet collodion process will bound certain aspects of what images can be made, but the focus of this project is not simply to document events as they unfold. Instead, this unique approach will result in images that will tap into the elegiac qualities possible with the medium, as Mathew Brady, and others like him once did in capturing the disastrous realities of the American Civil War.
I wouldn't post this here if I didn't think that it really fit in with the Maker philosophy; embracing antique photographic media is very much an arduous pursuit of great passion. If you'd like to read more about the project and/or donate, visit Phil Nesmith's Kickstarter site.