Monday, 5 August 2013

Image Bliss : Surfland by Joni Sternbach

Hello Bliss seekers. I am absolutely loving the work of photographer Joni Sternbach at the moment and in particular her Surfland series. Joni's use of early photographic processes results in some seriously stunning and beautifully haunting contemporary seascapes.

All of these photographs are made start to finish on location with a portable mini darkroom just as they would have been done in the 1920's. It is done with the use of collodion; an emulsion that is hand poured onto a photo plate for each photograph. The plate is then dipped into a bath of silver nitrate (where it sensitises) and placed into the back of the original 1920's style camera. Here it is exposed for up to a few seconds. The plate is then taken back to the dark box (mini dark room) to be developed. From here it is fixed by exposure to daylight. The final stage is where the magic really happens with the plate being dipped into a fixing tank. This turns the negative into a positive image revealing the results of this labour of love.

I love that Joni is keeping an original photographic process alive. Today's modern technologies and digital processes are incredibly useful in creating exceptional images and allowing almost anyone to become a photographer. There is just something enchanting though with regard to images that aren't digitally enhanced, and are produced with the use of an early photographic process. Apart from the vintage look, which I completely adore, there seems to be an added layer of nostalgic emotion in these images. The contrast of modern people being photographed in this old way results in some truly beautiful images and something I find to be extremely inspiring in my own photographic pursuits. To check out more of Joni's work you can head over to her website.

A very big thank you goes out to Stacy at The Lacquerie for introducing me to this fantastic body of work

Sending you much bliss, Heather xx

All images are by Joni Sternbach
Resource information via


  1. How great are they! I'm not surprised you love these images, being they be beachy gal you are. Thanks for popping by Alex xx


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