Interview with Mark Sink
#1 Please introduce yourself
I am a artist and private art consultant who represents and curates local and international fine art photography. I a co-founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (http://www.mcadenver.org) and am founder of the Month of Photography Denver. (www.mopdenver.com) My fine art photography is shown and collected world wide. I am currently specializing in Colodion Wet Plate Photography with my wife Kristen Hatgi. Together we run studio photography services that include, portraits, product, architectural, fashion and wedding photography. We teach photography also.
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
Interest in photography has been in my family blood since my great great uncle, Samuel Finely Breese Morse, who took the first photograph in America in the 1850s . His nephew, James L. Breese, was the “primary inspiration” of the New York Camera Club , the first gathering of fine art photographers in America.
#3 Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
My parents were both artists / designers. So art always came easy. I have made a living off of fine art photography since 1978… most of my life.
#4 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
Many, depends what day it is .. my teacher in college, Ruth Throne Thomson a pin hole photographer, showed me early on its the concept not the quality of the camera that makes a great image. it the idea in the image that counts most. . Experimenters like Man Ray , Robert Heineken , John Baldessari had great impact. I love Romantics like Joseph Sudek who made art from simplistic objects right in front of you .. that turns me on ..and can be the greatest photographs, seeing and making art from things closest to you is the magic to great work.
I am a portrait photographer primarily so Julia Margret Cameron is a hero. I pull her books out when ever i do a sitting.
Most recently i love the freedom of Miroslav Tichý, really letting go with a great eye.
#5 What fascinates you in collodion wet plate photography?
Its slow ..Its honest and very pure. You are capturing the light directly onto the plate that is exhibited.. I like the idea that the light is captured on the silver and does not get a chance to head out into the universe.
#6 How did you learn the process, did you teach yourself?
Was shown the process by a friend Mark Katzman who was passing through Colorado making Wetplate photos out of his truck. At first it was very intimidating. My wife is a good cook who makes meals from scratch so the careful mixing and measuring of the chemistry was supported at first by her. Now its very easy. I could do it with my eyes closed.
#7 How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?
An hour or two preparing a set and darkroom.. Each photo takes about 10 -15 minutes start to finish. You prepare the plate ..if glass thats a few minutes cleaning and polishing ..then coating in collodion and placing into the silver bath ( 4min) then the exposure then development rinse and fix ..then coating with vanish then scanning ..all is done in the same session.
#8 What equipment do you use?
All sorts .. Wetplate i use my great grandfathers Deardorf studio camera and Star Company cameras and modern Cambos.. note by the way the 8×10 cassettes are universal since the 1880s my great grand fathers wood cassettes fit in my modern Cambo and visa versa . That great timeless universality is a sad loss in modern photo era. I will never be able to pass my digital Nikons to my grand children .. but probably my great grand fathers camera !
I still used my Polaroid cameras ..i love them, Dr Land was genius .. I use the original Diana cameras. And break out the old Hasselblad most sessions. I love pinhole and six month long exposures with solarography pinhole.
I am a old Nikon shooter so i moved into digital with them. I love the D800.
I use Cannon sure shots for my out and about camera.
I just purchased a Sony 100RXII for out and about. Its mind boggling fast and sharp and thinks well figuring out lighting. 24 mega pixels in a pocket camera .. amazing… this statement will probably be so dated even with in a year .. haha
#9 What do you do in your life besides photography?
Teaching and inspiring kids. Community Gardens growing food and flowers. I love bicycling ..i am an old x bike racer. I want to get back out doors camping more again.
#10 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
The Month of Photography is growing and growing. I hope to get a giant photography / new media center up and running sometime in the next decade. My wife and i want to have a baby sometime soon.
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