Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
5-day intensive Workshop on Collodion Negatives and Albumen printing.
Colldion photography became very popular over the last years and quite some people are making ambrotypes now. But with an ambropype you do not use the whole potential of the collodion plates. Even on a well-made ambrotype you'll lose details in the highlights, looking at the plate in reflecting light, whereas there's a lot more to see if you look through your plate.
So, if you want all the dynamic range, a collodion negative is capable of, you have to make negatives and print them.
The incredible range of tones and dynamic of the collodion negative is perfectly matched by 19th century print out papers like salted paper and albumen. The tonal range of a well-made salt print is barely surpassed by any other photographic paper. By the way, this was how collodion photography started in the 1850's.
In this workshop you will learn how to make your own wet collodion negatives; coating the plates, sensitizing, exposing the plate, developing, fixing and possibly intensifying the negatives for a greater density.
Later during the workshop, we'll print our negatives on hand-coated photographic papers. We'll start with making albumen paper and I'll show how to prepare the actual albumen for the coating. If you want and time allows, you can try other print out processes like Vandyke, Cyanotype or Gum bichromate as well.
The workshop will take place at he Manger Barn of Lacock Abbey: home of William Henry Fox Talbot who invented the photographic positive/negative process here (the abbey, not the barn) in the 1830's
We will shoot the first plates under studio conditions, later we can use my darkbox and take some plates on the abbey grounds. I'll have at least two cameras and several lenses on location, which you can use. Of course you're welcome to bring your own equipment, especially for the outdoor shootings.
Booking and pricing information via PM or my website collodion.org.uk.
Over the last years I specialized in the Collodion negative and the pre 1880 printing techniques, which I use exclusively for my work. In fact, I actually started with collodion photography for the negatives and pinting techniques in the first place.
When not working on private projects I teach historic photographic techniques in higher education and in private tutorials. I work for several photography-related institutions, universities and museums in the UK and on Mainland Europe. The complete reference list can be found on my website: collodion.org.uk
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