It has been so gray and cold here in Chicago these past few days. I have been wishing for those days in late summer when it is just too hot in the afternoon. The sun is so bright you can barely lift your head without a shade to cover your eyes. Yes, today I wish was one of those days where I could stand in the sun and soak.
In December, Mosaic Science hired me to create a tintype portrait of biologist Dr. Craig Venter for an upcoming article. Dr. Venter was the first to sequence the human genome and currently heads Human Longevity where they are working on cracking the code to human aging. Here are the tintypes I created and the article that was written by Roger Highfield.
I was thrilled (but a little nervous) when I pulled up to Human Longevity. The building is daunting in size! I knew that my time with Dr. Venter was very limited, but I had hoped to create 3 tintypes during our shoot and was focused on that goal. I was staged with my studio lights and camera set up in a lounge area and the darkroom just outside, visible from the indoor space. I had asked Dr. Venter’s assistant for a call letting me know when the Dr was on his way, so when I got that call I quickly rushed outside to coat the first plate. I had just under 20 minutes in his schedule when he entered the lounge. I approached him with my mask and apron on, gloves in hand, ready to shoot. Dr. Venter made himself comfortable in the lounge and I rushed outside to gather the first plate. After exposing the first plate, I ran outside to develop. Dr. Venter was able to watch the fixing of the first plate. He let out a ‘wow’ when his tintype came to life in the fix. I then asked if he could give me just a few more minutes for two more plates, which we then quickly made. The whole shoot was weeks in the making, but just lasted under 20 minutes!
8x10 tintype of Master Jingchao Wu of Bei Dou Kung Fu
Wet plate collodion tintype captured with Century Studio camera
Jen Jansen, 2014
Hello! Thank you for visiting my website. I am located in Chicago, IL and take appointments for tintypes & ambrotypes, children's panels and custom restoration work of old photographs. To contact for an appointment, please email: email@example.com.