A portfolio of still life images made using the wet plate collodion process and printed in platinum.

How do you process grief, how do you make room for life?

In early 2008, my wife Lisa Garner died suddenly leaving me with our 3 1/2 year old daughter. Lisa was always rather protective of her "stuff". In short, I wasn't allowed to touch any of it. After she died, I still had the same reservations. In 2009, I had reconnected with someone whom I knew would be moving in shortly. I was confronted by the real need to touch Lisa's stuff.

I remember standing in the master closet, looking at Lisa's side and said out loud "I'm not trying to push you out but, I need to make room and; I don't know how to do that. So, you tell me what I should do and I'll do that."

There wasn't a moment's pause when I heard Lisa's clear voice in my head "Photograph my things in wet-plate and print them in platinum."

The lesson is "careful what you put out there" because Lisa had a lot of stuff and wet-plate collodion is a fairly tedious process to do well. However, it was the perfect answer and most appropriate.

During the spring and summer of 2009 I spent my days polishing glass, pouring collodion, and setting up items to photograph. The process of making a single image could, at times, take an entire day from set up to final varnishing. This time allowed me to interact with the items in front of my lens. I was actually talking to Lisa through my camera. It was a beautiful, creative collaboration with the woman who taught me to love and be patient.