Jill Enfield

Jill Enfield makes her stunning photographs using the historic large-format photographic process of wet plate collodion. Introduced in the mid 1800s, wet plate collodion is much slower than a digital or smaller format film process. Enfield takes advantage of this to carefully visualize and frame her images. The process begins with mixing collodion, and then pouring it onto a glass plate. The wet plate is then placed in a silver bath to make it sensitized to light. The sensitized plate is then placed into a plate holder and inserted into the camera. When the sitter/subject is ready, the lens of the camera is opened for a fraction of a second or more. After the exposure, the plate must be removed and developed immediately. Once the plate dries, I coat it with varnish, so that the image remains fixed to the plate.

View a time lapse video of Jill’s portable darkroom as she makes a collodion plate.

A fine art and editorial photographer, Jill has taught handcoloring and non-silver techniques at schools in New York City and throughout the USA and Europe. Her work is in the collections of The Amon Carter Museum, RJ Reynolds Co., Southeast Banking Corp., Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín in Colombia, Boca Raton Museum of Art and Hotel Parisi in La Jolla, among others. Her personal work has appeared in many photography magazines throughout the world.

Jill’s work was one of 42 images selected from thousands on file with the city through the HERE IS NEW YORK Archive to commemorate the fifth anniversary of 911. The prints hung along the fence surrounding Ground Zero in Manhattan for a year. She has been a “Legend Behind the Lens” for Nikon and featured on their website several times. Her book on non-silver techniques titled: “Photo Imaging: A Complete Guide to Alternative Processes” published by Watson-Guptill won the Golden Light Award for Best Technical Book of 2002 through the Maine Photographic Workshop. And more recently Jill was the recipient of a faculty development grant from The New School to produce a new body of work using the wet collodion technique.