Charles Mason: Denali through Collodion

On view April 30 - Sept. 26, 2021

 

Denali has long captivated photographers, including explorer Bradford Washburn (1911-2007), who pioneered aerial photography while surveying the mountain in the 1930s, and renowned landscape photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984), who snapped one of the most iconic images of the mountain in 1948. Contemporary Alaska photographer Charles Mason captures present-day Denali National Park through images made with a 19th-century photographic technique called the collodion process. Using his Westfalia van as a traveling darkroom, Mason prepares and develops images in the field on glass plates (also known as wet plate photography). He values the technique for its unpredictability – how anomalies in exposure and development often create unexpected dramatic and compelling visual images. The large-scale images he produced for this exhibition offer a new way to see this iconic landscape.

 

Image: Ghosts of Wonder Lake (detail), 2018. Type C print from collodion plate, 40 x 50 in.