Kelp Part 1

Luther has been working on a new project for an upcoming show. He’s a process man, obviously, as you can see by his unwavering dedication to wet plate collodion, but this project really takes it to a whole new level.

Here’s our man collecting kelp along the coast in Ventura. We’ve been doing this almost daily for the past week (due to some persistent light fog that slowed down shooting) and we were so impressed by the different growth patterns we found in the same species of kelp. It seemed like every day we found a new variation, so many unique and beautiful leaves and pods, but only a few of these worked for the compositions Luther had in mind.

Once the kelp is collected and Luther gets set up at his studio en plen air, he arranges the kelp in this aquarium he built. This part of the process is trickier than it sounds, but I promised Luther I wouldn’t reveal all the tricks of his trade. As you can see above, in the second picture especially, this is where things start to get really beautiful.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the arranged kelp. If I were Luther, I would take one look at this gorgeous image and say to myself, “my work is done here,” wrap it up, and head back to the beach. But as I said, he’s a process man, he’s dedicated, and this is just one of many beautiful stops along the way.

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