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Through the Looking Glass

Funny thing about today—we’re photographed more than ever before in human history. Nearly every single day of our lives is catalogued for all to see, tagged and codified for easy examination. But who’s it being recorded for? Will anyone care? Will anyone even know where to find all these shots in 100 years? This is [...]
614now Staff



Funny thing about today—we’re photographed more than ever before in human history.

Nearly every single day of our lives is catalogued for all to see, tagged and codified for easy examination.

But who’s it being recorded for? Will anyone care? Will anyone even know where to find all these shots in 100 years?

This is what is driving Ed Gately: a mission to put permanence back in photography.

Gately has eschewed his former life in IT for a full-time gig in photography, an art he took up as a teen after realizing he wouldn’t be able to reliably narrate his own photographic memory.

“For the longest time, I never owned a camera; I had this young and naive belief I would vividly remember all of my experiences, until one day I was moving to a new home and opened a box. I discovered a book of photos documenting a language trip to Europe I had taken in High School. As I flipped through them, I instantly knew how wrong I had been. While I had not forgotten about the trip, generally speaking, recalling it might have been like watching a movie with the sound off. Each photo transported me back to that moment… the smells… the sounds… the emotions… all of it. The very next day I bought a camera and my adventure started.”

That adventure has pushed him forward as a photographer—by delving into the past. He now specializes in wet-plate photography, an antiquated technique that, while time-consuming, has resulted in images that have stayed around for centuries. His new business, in addition to making tintypes, will push to make glass negatives used to create vibrant 19th century prints, tactile documents captured in stunning, sharp detail.

“Ansel Adams has a famous quote,” Gately said. “‘The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.’ Think about that—every capture has a performance. If you just click to capture and then immediately click to “print,” you are missing out on the performance. I think I fell in love with the process because you get a chance to write the score and perform it all at once… right in front of your audience. It is incredibly personal and humbling.”

We leaned in a little closer to let Gately shine light on a more lasting look into modern life.

You talk of “permanence.” Why is that so meaningful to you in this day and age? Permanence is so undervalued today. Do you know if the image you created and saved digitally to the cloud or a social platform will be around to share with your kids? Or their kids? Or will it even be there for you late in life? Technology changes rapidly and may be incompatible with the way you digitally stored your images, and there is always the potential of data loss. Even current inkjet technologies have only been around for 20 years. We have no guarantee of their permanence. This was a big reason I fell in love with the wet plate collodion process and now print-out-paper processes; like cyanotypes. We have historical examples of these items existing for over five generations. Irreplaceable memories passed from one generation to the next. That is powerful.

Is there an irony to you, in that the disposable and affordable nature of photography today may give more people an opportunity to learn the art, but they may not appreciate the tactile relationship of the old process? When creating art with photography you are engaging in two general actions; capture and print. The affordable nature of photography in the digital world has been amazing. Our phones now have wonderful cameras in them to capture any moment in front of us. The vast majority of all captures are now “printed” on a screen. It has been a boon for getting exposure or just sharing with friends. All this is great to create work rapidly, but is it helpful to create it thoughtfully? You mention the tactile relationship of the old process. This is an amazing thing for me as an artist, but I think it may be even more important for the viewer. Each process I practice has a unique language for telling the story of an image. Holding a finished tintype in your hand is really a moving experience. The level of detail the process is capable of capturing surprises most people.

How much trial and error before you were able to get some workable images out of the wet plate process? Oddly enough, the first plates I poured turned out pretty decent. I had already spent over a year gawking at YouTube videos before I tried. It also helped that my very first hands-on attempt was done at a one day workshop over at UA Creative Studios with an amazing instructor. Heather Wetzel. In my eyes, the greatest advantage the wet plate collodion process is that it can all be created right in front of your eyes. The ability to visually inspect your work as you process almost always ensures you get some sort of image. The process of creating clean almost modern looking images or ones with the distressed look you intended is another story altogether. To further complicate things, the chemistry itself is its own living and breathing entity. You have to understand the interaction with temperature and humidity, decayed performance due to age, and maintenance of certain chemicals due to precipitation. It requires an immense amount of dedication to produce work on a high level.

Which photographers you are inspired by, around the world, and locally? There are so many amazing and talented photographic artists out there. If I just focus in the area of alternative process, I’d have to pick these three. First, Alex Timmermans from Holland for crafting amazing storytelling images. His set work and approach to solving problems without photoshop is rather unique. Second, Wilfred Thomas from France for his soft and delicate portrait work. I’m not sure he has shared a portrait I am not in love with. Locally, Tariq Tarey gets my vote for his gorgeous film portraiture work. So smooth and clean, it’s easy to waste too much time on his Instagram feed.

Who is one person you’d love to photograph more than anyone? I hope this does not sound cheesy, but the next person who comes into my studio. Sure I would love to meet someone famous and have them sit in front of my camera, but I am just as content having a friend or a new client come sit in my studio. It takes 10-15 minutes of total time to capture one image. This really changes how you interact and engage with each other. We must slow down on both sides of the camera and engage in mindfulness. I would not trade this for anything.


E.W. Gately

19th Century Photography  and Prints

Instagram: @ewgately


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Arts & Culture

SoHud Collective provides fresh, stylish open-air experience




The fear of ever going back inside of a building that’s not your home has become a general widespread worry. Open-air markets and garage sales are going to be a hot commodity this summer, and one new company has already taken a proactive and stylish approach to fill that need for consumers.

SoHud Collective is one of the first Columbus-based companies to corner this emerging market. The boutique pop-up shop, founded on the principle of friendships formed around fashion, art, and plants, hosted their first event on Saturday, May 23. 

And oh yeah, free lemonade.

An assortment of deep vintage finds at an incredibly reasonable price will leave you walking away with at least one purchase. The first installment took place on the corner of Hudson and Summit, across the street from Evolved Body Art.

The idea of a pop-up shop at this corner may be a new idea, but the format has been around for ages. Why SoHud Collective is important right now boils down to the consumers’ desire for an out-of-house experience and the employees’ obvious shared compassion for each other and thrifting.

“Fashion has been the glue to our friendship,” said the SoHud Collective, made up of Taylor, Connor, and Hayden. “We thrift together, we borrow each other’s clothing, and we send each other pictures of our outfits before we leave the house.”

A company formed on friendships in the SoHud region, the group behind this passion project has a specific goal in mind when passing down their used goods: keep the SoHud community stylin’. 

“Some of us have lost our jobs due to Covid-19, and this was a great way to keep our spirits up and redirect our attention to something that truly fulfills us,” the SoHud Collective said.

The items featured in the monthly pop-ups are passed down from an assortment of thrifting havens. Closets. Basements. Other thrift stores. Grandmas.

From shoes to shirts, Atari systems to board games, SoHud Collective is elevating the thrifting experience in the time of coronavirus.

“Currently, our focus is on elevating our display and merchandising technique to really give the people an experience and a fierce outfit and home decor to create that perfect photo for Instagram, the SoHud Collective said.”

SoHud Collective would like to thank Evolved for letting it use its parking lot for May’s edition of the pop-up. With a goal to have an installment of SoHud Collective once a month, the pop-up shop will return to the same location on June 27 (11 a.m. until 7 p.m.) and 28 (11 a.m. until 4 p.m.). 

A charity table where all proceeds will go to clothing the homeless LGBTQ youth in Columbus will be present as well. 

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Arts & Culture

Loop Daddy invades Columbus with first-ever drive-in tour




The return of live music is going to be one of the trickiest industries to transition back into business as usual, if that will ever be the case. We’ve seen people getting creative, building concert stages within their own homes via live streaming. Some have participated in virtual festivals, probably the sector of live music to take the biggest hit.

But when an industry made up of innovative creatives always trying to come up with the next big idea is faced with incredible hardships, they respond with quick-witted imaginative solutions.

One of the first trends that popped up in the revolution of bringing back live music was the implementation of drive-in lots. Luckily for Columbus, the darling of the internet DJ scene Marc Rebillet aka Loop Daddy will be taking his first-ever drive-in tour through the Buckeye state in mid-June.

Captivating audiences with his participatory DJ scratching and immature antics, extremely goofy sex appeal, and sleazy porno stache, Rebillet was an act poised for a breakout summer before the pandemic shut music concert venues down. If you have access to a car, though, you’ll still have a chance to catch the wild virtual sensation.

On June 14, Rebillet will be pulling up to the South Drive-In for the third stop of his Drive-In Concert Tour. Rebillet will also be showcasing short films as part of his drive-in experience.

As far as sound is going for these events, a lot of drive-ins are opting to go the radio transmission route to encourage people to stay inside of their vehicles.

A very few grouping of tickets remain, which include three-person and four-person car passes. Tickets are running $40 per head (plus additional fees), which seems to be the average across the new wave of drive-in concerts. Two-people/one-car tickets have already sold out.

If you don’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity, act right now. Tickets can be purchased at:

Social distancing guidelines are outlined at the point of purchase.

The South Drive-In is located at 3050 S. High St. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning at 9 p.m. Attendees need to arrive before 8:45 p.m. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

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Arts & Culture

Live music allowed again in restaurants and bars: how will these establishments respond?




A major step forward in the return of live music in Ohio took place over the weekend. The Ohio coronavirus guidelines were updated to reflect the new COVID-19 Dine Safe Ohio Order.

The order outlining the guidelines on live music in restaurant and bars is as follows:

Musicians and bands may perform in restaurants and bars as long as the individuals who are performing maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from all other people including, but not limited to, fellow performers and restaurant and bar patrons and staff.

DJ's are included along with musicians and bands in the order.

Something that was on the mind of a lot of musicians with the reopening of restaurants and the indefinite closing of large venues was how restaurants and bars were going to respond to the immediate venue demand. Places like Woodlands Tavern that already have an infrastructure for live music will have no problem complying with the updated order, but will restaurants and bars that depended on jukeboxes before pivot to a live music model?

With a lot more space available in restaurants due to capacity cuts, does this leave more room for a live music set up? Or will restaurants have to get rid of even more tables if they want to make room for a performer?

The thought of live music in a venue setting is alone enough to get excited about. How these places that now have the ability to host live music execute freeing up space for a band to set up or a DJ to bring his rig in while practicing social distancing is what makes this situation a tricky one.

Not being able to get down in a MojoFlo Soul Train line will be pretty tough, but it’s a tradeoff we’ll have to accept for the return of live music.

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