Best of Great State: Can I take a selfie? That’s an impossible task for this old-time photographer

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- We live in a time when just about anyone can step out their back door, snap off a snowy picture with their cell phone, send it, delete it, or print it.

"So pretty," exclaims photographer Lori Oden

But Oden prefers a much older, more careful method.

"I like the process," she says of taking pictures with huge box camera. "The process is meditative to me. I feel like I have a hand in every aspect of it."

A decade ago she was an art historian who studied photographer pioneers like Mathew Brady.

Lori came to appreciate their work so much she started taking pictures like them.

"I do most of the 19th Century processes," she says. "Salt prints, daguerreotype, platinum palladium. I've tried them all at least once."

"Wet collodion is where my heart is. It's pretty meticulous."

Lori's photographs are exposed on a specially treated plate of glass.

She describes, "The first time I poured a plate I didn't spill it or anything. I just poured it smoothly and I thought, 'oh my goodness'. I was hooked."

Once the plate is treated, she soaks it in a vat of silver nitrate for 5 minutes.

Every picture is a deliberate act.

"If you're going to take a picture like this," says Oden, "You really have to think about what you're going to take a photograph of, and really think about the composition. And I think just that process of thinking and analyzing is what attracts me to it."

Her camera click takes 45 seconds.

Her viewfinder is looking through a wooden blanket through a wooden box.

"It's not just something you click, click, click, and then delete, delete, delete," she says.

Our modern technology works so well most of the time it tend to conceal the wonders that take place in making even a simple picture.

Lori Oden's photographs lend a different kind of texture to the art form, one that lays bare the miracle of how to bring it all to life.