Wet Plate Collodion

Wet Plate Portrait
July 10 – 14, 2023
Produced by: Santa Fe Workshops
Create both tintypes on aluminum and ambrotypes on glass, use natural and studio lighting, and experience a mobile setup for taking wet-plate collodion on the road.

Workshop Description

Englishman Frederick Scott Archer was credited with inventing the wet-collodion process in 1851. Today, there is a world-wide revival of this beautiful historic technique. Wet-plate collodion enhances the textural and painterly effects of photography to create images that are simultaneously real and dreamlike. A contemporary master of this alternative photographic process, Cotton Miller, leads this dynamic, hands-on workshop in Santa Fe.

Cotton begins the week with a historical overview of wet plate and then step-by-step demonstrations of the process, paying special attention to maintaining proper chemistry and safety as we work. Throughout, participants are given the chance to create both tintypes on aluminum and ambrotypes on glass, use natural and studio lighting, and experience a mobile setup for taking wet-plate collodion on the road.

This workshop offers photographic artists the opportunity to learn the beauty and complexity of the historical wet-plate collodion process from a contemporary perspective. The week is spent in the Workshops Alt-Pro Lab where chemistry, tanks, plates, and several antique cameras are provided. Participants receive continual assistance from Cotton and an assistant providing immediate feedback on works in progress, along with an open exchange of working concepts, ideas, history, and techniques. Demonstrations, and learning through repetition, successes, and failure, are a continuous part of the workshop. 

Wet-Plate Collodion is alive and well in Santa Fe. Come and be part of our Alt-Pro community and this emergent revival. 

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