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Ian Ruhter: The Alchemist Chasing the American Dream

Ian Ruhter is a photographer who works with the wet plate collodion process. He photographs people who have suffered personal difficulties, and helps to capture something of their resilient nature in the beautiful images he creates.

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As we’ve previously noted on Urban Times, in the digital era, there is a growing interest in using vintage and even archaic methods of photography. The work of Ian Ruhter – a photographer using the wet plate collodion process to develop his films – fits into this bracket, but is also about far more than just creating a beautiful image.

Ian searches out characters and stories, often people who have encountered many difficulties in their lives, and uses his photography to help capture something of what makes them who they are. His work is about building personal relationships, processing pain and emotion, and showing beauty in unexpected places; the pictures he creates have a depth and atmosphere that reflects the complex nature of the people that form the subject matter.