A Year of Wetplates

A year ago I ventured into the world of wetplate photography as prepared as I possibly could be – I had read several books, countless articles, watched I-don’t-know-how-many videos on YouTube and attended a workshop before I went it alone. Still, I had a lot to learn… Still, I have a lot to learn, but I’m starting to get the hang of it.

I’ve made 225 plates during my freshman year as a wetplate photographer and learned just as many lessons (or so it feels like). I’ve set plates on fire and made images disappear. I’ve scratched plates and dropped them, spilled chemicals all over my darkroom and on myself, and don’t even get me started on the varieties of working too slow/too fast that’s gotten me in trouble, not to mention the plethora of quirks the chemicals can induce. But among all the fails, I’ve also had quite a few wins. In short, being able to tell what’s wrong when something is “off” and know how to fix it is the biggest win. It took a year to get there, but I’m confident when I say “I know what I’m doing,” now… or, y’know, most of the time.

The collage features one image from each month of my first year as a wetplate photographer, starting with October last year in the upper left hand corner and finishing with September this year in the lower right hand corner. Models are: Ingvild Eiring, Janne Ebbesdatter Lavogez and yours truly.

If you’d like to see more of my wetplates, head on over to julieloen.com or follow my adventures in wetplate photography on Instagram.

Advertisements

Polafornia – Release Party and Exhibition

Polafornia will finally get a belated release party next Saturday on August 26th at Cyan Salong in Oslo. Ingvild and I will be there from 12.00 to 22.00. At 14.00 we’ll give a talk about our trip, if anyone’s interested. The book will be available to purchase, as will postcards and posters. Hope to see you there!

And while you’re still here, allow me to mention that Polafornia is now available at Tronsmo and Cyan Salong in Oslo. If you’d like a signed copy, you can order one from my Tictail shop.

And just one more thing, foto.no has posted an article (in Norwegian) about All the Things a Woman Oughtn’t Do – The Ballad of Zerelda Glanton. Read it here, I think it turned out pretty nice. 🙂

Polafornia is OUT NOW!

My new photobook, made in collaboration with Ingvild Eiring, is finally available!

Longtime collaborators and friends, model and artist Ingvild Eiring, and photographer and author Julie Loen embark on a week-long trip to California, traveling in a loop from San Francisco, via Sacramento to Yosemite, and back to San Francisco again. Join them on their adventure through a selection of Polaroid pictures, digital photographs, candid snapshots, drawings, and words.

Ingvild and Julie visit Alcatraz without doing the audio tour, encounter a family of skunks by Folsom Lake, deal with an allergy attack after cuddling a rabbit in Sacramento, fall in love with an abandoned trailer home in El Portal, ride horses in Yosemite, raft down the Merced River, discover the original “bollefjoms” at the Palace of Fine Arts, and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog.

– Contains some nudity –

The 180 page book is available in three different editions:

  • Hardcover (12x12in/30x30cm) for $139.99 – Buy it here
  • Softcover (7x7in/18x18cm) for $79.99 – Buy it here
  • E-book for $0.99 – Buy it here

Whiskey & Whiskers is Out Now

Whiskey & Whiskers collects the first three books in The 9 Lives of The Outlaw Known as Crazy Cat series.

Get your copy here: Paperback or Kindle

Said about Embers a Dawn, the first book:

“If you like your Westerns dark and morally ambiguous, J.C. Loen’s EMBERS AT DAWN is plenty of both.” –Charles Baker for IndieReader

Said about An Obelus Wheeze, the second book:

“To say I liked the lead character would be an understatement. The balance between her tough will to survive and her loyalty and gentleness to those closest to her is a joy to read and I found myself smiling, even laughing out loud, on many an occasion.” – Kenneth Wilson, Goodreads

Said about The 7th Bullet, the third book:

“I really enjoyed the strong female outlaw. The story kept me reading and wondering if I was right in what I expected to happen.” Lynn, Goodreads

 

A Self-Publisher’s Third Year in Numbers

I won’t say 2016 has been a bad year, but it hasn’t been quite the year I had in mind a year ago either. I had expected to publish two more books than I did; another photo book in collaboration with Ingvild Eiring and a short story collection. I also thought 2016 would be the year I’d put some money into promoting my work and by doing so sell more books, but I got laid off work for three months and simply couldn’t blow money on such fancy notions.

But 2016 has also been kinda awesome. I got around to get my driver’s license (about time, I’m 35). All the Things a Woman Oughtn’t Do – The Ballad of Zerelda Glanton got a proper exhibition at Studio Cyan in Oslo. I finally got into wetplate photography, and I’m loving it.  And I published The 7th Bullet, the third book in The 9 Lives of The Outlaw known as Crazy Cat series. On top of these major events I’ve met some fantastic new people and had many a good time with old friends.

So, here’s the plan for 2017:

  • Publish another photo book with Ingvild Eiring
  • Publish a short story collection
  • Publish the first The 9 Lives of The Outlaw known as Crazy Cat omnibus (Book 1-3)
  • Probably publish a photo book of self portraits I’ve shot the last ten years
  • Maybe (if time allows it) publish Black Lily, the fourth book in The 9 Lives of The Outlaw known as Crazy Cat series

That’s pretty much it. I’ve got a few other things brewing too, but I’ll allow those projects to pop up as a surprise if/when they’re good and ready to be revealed.

img_7638

My so-called #2016bestnine on Instagram

A Self-Publisher’s Third Year in Numbers
A year ago I wrote the post A Self-Publisher’s Second Year in Numbers, and the year before A Debut Novel’s First Year in Numbers. This is the follow-up to those posts.

The Books
Embers at Dawn was published in December 2013, An Obelus Wheeze in April 2015, All the Things a Woman Oughtn’t Do – The Ballad of Zerelda Glanton in July 2015 and The 7th Bullet in July 2016. I include free copies when I say “sold,” at this point I’m more concerned about getting my work into the hands of as many readers as possible, than getting rich. Here’s the cold, hard numbers of my books’ success so far: 

Embers at Dawn

Copies sold per year:

2013: 233

2014: 1106

2015: 337

2016: 110

Movements on Goodreads:

To-read:

2014: 929 + 7 reviews and 13 ratings

2015: 878 +  8 reviews and 21 ratings

2016: 866 + 8 reviews and 20 ratings

It also has one review on Amazon and one on Smashwords.

An Obelus Wheeze

Copies sold per year:

2015:  39 

2016: 9

Movements on Goodreads:

To-read:

2015: 595 + 5 reviews and 15 ratings

2016: 570 + 6 reviews and 17 ratings

It also has one review on Amazon.

The 7th Bullet

Copies sold per year:

2016: 22

Movements on Goodreads:

I have hosted one Goodreads giveaway for it where I gave away nine books, 1092 people requested it.

To-read:

2016: 416 + 3 reviews and 5 ratings

It also has one review on Amazon.

All the Things a Woman Oughtn’t Do – The Ballad of Zerelda Glanton

Copies sold per year:

2015: 15

2016: 29

Movements on Goodreads:

I have hosted two Goodreads giveaways for it where I gave away one book, 1036 people requested it in 2015 and 1332 in 2016.

To-read:

2015: 407 + 3 reviews

2016: 694 + 3 reviews

Social Media and Merchandise

Followers per year: 2014 – 2015 – 2016

WordPress: 35 – 49 – 53

Facebook: 130 – 144 – 175

Instagram: 98 – 147 – 363

Twitter: 67 – 137- 209

I haven’t made any new merchandise and pretty much ignored the whole thing in 2016, and consequently not seen any of the stuff that’s already for sale move. I’m considering bringing my Etsy store back to life and fill it with darkroom prints and wetplates, but it’s not on top of my list – I need to get a few unfinished projects done first.

So, there you are; my third year as a self-publisher in numbers. I sold a total of 170 books, an epic low, but I intend to change that trend asap. Until next time, have a good one!

I Do Wetplates Now

From my first wetplate shoot with model Ingvild Eiring.

I’ve been dreaming about this for years! So, I finally decided to do something about it – I bought a large format camera, chemicals and equipment, and a month ago I attended a wetplate workshop hosted by Sarah Lycksten in Sweden, and have been busy shooting plates since.

I’ll make a dedicated gallery for my wetplate work over at julieloen.com as soon as I have enough decent plates to show off. In the meantime, you can follow my progress and fails on Instagram – I’ve set up an account dedicated exclusively to my wetplate work called Aether & Instant.

Zerelda Exhibition

Yeee-haw! The exhibition of images from the photo book I made in collaboration with Ingvild Eiring kicks off at Cyan Salong in Oslo next Friday. Prints, originals and, of course, the book itself will be for sale.

Here’s what y’all need to know:

Launch party: Friday, September the 16th from 18.00.

Talk, yup… that’s right, Ingvild and I will be rambling on about the project on Thursday the 22nd from 19.00.

The exhibition will be up and running for two weeks, with regular hours from Saturday the 17th to Friday the 30th of September. Open Tuesday – Sunday from 12-15.00. Closed on Mondays.

Ingvild and I will be present at the launch party and the talk, and I will be present at the gallery on the weekends (Friday – Sunday). Stop by and and say howdy! 🙂

We Are Raven

I did a shoot recently, with model Ingvild Eiring, that was inspired by Siri Pettersen’s wonderful fantasy series The Raven Rings. To my great delight Siri loved the pictures and posted a whole album with images from the shoot on Facebook. To see more of the images head on over to my photo website julieloen.com

We did the shoot in the woods behind my house. I’ve done many shoots there before and never felt creeped out, but this day was different. Before we got started we came across a dead hare on the trail, and when we were ready to shoot a tree fell over close by us – the sound it made was… Well, it sounded like a troll was smashing through the forest. The rest of the day we didn’t hear a single bird, they were all inexplicably gone. But the forest wasn’t quiet, dead trees swayed in the wind, their shrivelled bodies creaking and screaming like something out of a horror movie.