© Walter Hugo, Oli Sims, from “reflecting the bright lights”

© Walter Hugo, Natalie Darby, from “reflecting the bright lights”

“In order to create the portraits, his sitters must stare at a bright light for 10 seconds without blinking, creating an intense and concentrated glare, a glass window into their souls. (…)

Can you talk us through the process of making a glass photograph?

Ok, I’ll try and simplify this as much as possible as it’s quite a scientific process. The process I’ve developed pre-dates modern photography, it’s from around 1850. First I had to build a camera, in order to make the glass plates in the size that I wanted. My camera houses a dark room, so the whole process takes place inside that, something like a 150 year old Polaroid! I prepare the glass meticulously before each sitting, cleaning and applying the chemicals that I have made specifically. My subject will then have to sit absolutely still for between five and ten seconds. This is more difficult than it sounds, especially with bright lights shining at them. Once the image is developed and fixed I can bring it out into the daylight and show everyone for the first time (including myself). This is a lovely joint experience.

source: i-D online interview

More of Walter’s work here

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