David Sokosh

In the era of digital photography and mural-sized color enlargements, I am part of the renaissance in hand-crafted photography, on an intimate scale. Using the mid-nineteenth century technique of Wet Plate Collodion, I create unique photographic pieces on metal, which are sometimes presented as objects, to be held in the hand.
In our world of digital, mass-produced, photography, I am drawn to the hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind nature of these photographs. I’m a post-industrial person, living in a self-created pre-modern world full of period objects of all kinds. This authentic process lets me explore the mindset of the early photographer/scientist/collector. I’m drawn to the quality of photograph-as-object that Wet-Plate yields, and excited by the hands-on aspect of the process. I see the limits of this technology (large, heavy equipment and long exposure times) as a challenge rather than a hindrance. ?? The images in "Mortals, Saints and Myths" explore this photographer's collecting obsessions. From casts of ancient sculpture through natural history materials to vintage clothing worn by friends who stop by the studio, these photographs provide a glimpse into my world.

Photo of David Sokosh


Wet Plate Collodion on Aluminum


David Sokosh was raised in Bethel, Connecticut, the son of two amateur photographers. As a result, he began taking pictures at an early age. He graduated from Western Connecticut State University in 1989 with a BA in Photography and settled in Brooklyn, New York that fall. Sokosh worked at Kelton Labs from 1989 to 1997. During that time he worked with Lillian Bassman, Steven Klein, Brigitte Lacombe, Helen Leavitt, Mary Ellen Mark, Mark Seliger, Lou Stettner, and many others. By 1991 he had become interested in the Polaroid Transfer process and received a number of grants from the Polaroid Corporation, culminating in a 20x24-studio grant in 1992 and inclusion in their permanent collection. Sokosh participated in group exhibitions in New York City including a solo show in 1996 at Bergdorf Goodman Men featuring 35 architectural images. While in Provincetown, MA, in 2001, he began a study of the relationship between power lines and architecture. Forty-eight images from this series were published as the book "Provincetown Lines" by St. James Workshop in 2004. Sokosh was the director of Underbridge Pictures, a gallery in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn from 2005 - 2008. Underbridge specialized in images of architecture, exhibiting painting and photography.
Always interested in historic photo processes, Sokosh has never taken up digital photography. In fact, he has moved backward from traditional film and gelatin silver printing to the mid 19th Century process of wet-plate collodion, which he now uses exclusively. Wet-plate creates unique images on metal and glass, commonly called tintypes and ambrotypes. His tintypes appeared in the New York Times on the cover of the Thursday Styles section accompanying the story “This Just in from the 1890’s”
He moved from Brooklyn to Claverack, NY in 2015, and has a new daylight studio and wet-plate darkroom there. David Sokosh was was included in the exhibition: "Views of Antiquity Shaping the Classical Ideal" Spring 2019 at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, FL. He will have select photographs in the exhibition "Time Lapse" at the Shelburne Museum in Burlington, VT fall of 2019.
Sokosh’s work in included in numerous collections including the Polaroid Corporation, Pfizer, the Kinsey Institute, the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, and many private collections.