WET PLATE COLLODIAN -
AMBROTYPES, TINTYPES & LARGE FORMAT CAMERAS
3 Day Workshop
This three day workshop will be an introduction to the 19th century Wet Plate Collodion process. This is a truly magical photographic process that is both immediate and beautiful.
During the workshop you will learn some history, mostly technique and safe handling of the chemicals. You will prepare your glass or tin plates for coating and sensitising to expose in wet plate cameras or vintage cameras that have been adapted to take glass or metal plates instead of sheet film. This makes the process accessible and an affordable way to learn about the early history of this photographic process and the action of light on light- sensitive chemistry.
Once you have become familiar with the technique, you will have the opportunity over the three days to experiment further either by creating tintypes (a positive image on tin) and ambrotypes (a positive image on glass) to produce a still life, portrait or landscape. Working out exposure times by using modern devices to measure and work out light readings will be covered.
You may bring your own half plate or full plate camera, tested or untested, though there will be one available to use. There will also be a selection of small half plate vintage cameras to experiment with too.
The workshop participant numbers are kept low to enable us to support your experience, whether you are a beginner or a photographer with some experience of alternative photographic processes.
A limited number of 4 places are available on this workshop, please email email@example.com directly to make enquiries.
Fee includes all chemistry and materials.
£360 for three days, which includes materials. Numbers of participants are limited to 4.
Individual private tuition is £250 per day. Dates on request.
All prices exclude VAT.
History & Process
The Wet Collodian process was invented in 1848 by F. Scott Archer (1813-1857) and was a significant advancement to the French Daguerreotype and English Calotype* processes that were invented in 1839 and 1840 respectively. The new technique could produce a much finer and faster image than its predecessors.
On glass, Wet Collodian is produced both as a negative and a positive plates. Negatives are used to reproduce images from. Positive plates are blackened on the rear of the plate; the milky image appears, as if by magic, to become positive and can be framed as a unique image. When Wet Collodian is applied to black coated tin it is called a Tintype and these became very popular during the Victorian era with the addition of hand painted colour.
*Calotype Photography is the direct ancestor of modern photography; a waxed translucent paper image was used as a negative from which a positive image was printed.
A sheet of glass or tin is coated with a solution of gun cotton dissolved in ether, which is immediately sensitised in a solution of salts of silver and exposed in a camera whilst still tacky. The process is immediate, though it is limited to having a darkroom close at hand to process the images. A mobile darkroom tent can allow for mobility when taking photographs of landscapes.