27 September 2021 08:42

Photography video graphics web | Florence Tiber-Valley Experience
Photography video graphics web | Florence Tiber-Valley Experience

Salt Paper Workshop | Alternative Process Photography Umbria


05 Jul 2020


TheDarkroom Academy Tiber Valley
Via Biturgense 100, Città di Castello, Perugia



In Brief

Learn how to create pictures on self-developing salt paper, the ancient process invented by Sir William Henri Fox Talbot in the 19th century.

1 day full-immersion

arrival within 9:30 am
lunch break (included)
workshop ends at around 5 pm

Lesson in English
Level: basic, hands-on workshop

Application deadline is 1 week prior course starting


The calotype experience on salt paper

Would you like to discover how the negative to positive process was born in photography? Take part to this workshop and learn how to create pictures on self-developing salt paper, the early alternative process invented by Sir William Henri Fox Talbot in the 19th century.

One day workshop with salt paper

Our calotype (or talbotype) workshop with salt paper runs for one full day, from morning to afternoon, where we aim to demonstrate how to handle the chemicals, how to prepare salt papers, how to expose the sheet using both a pinhole camera and a view camera, and finally how to get it developed.

By the end of the day the participants will have acquired a good knowledge on reproducing the negative-to-positive process on salt paper at home with satisfaction.

Encountering calotype photography

This experience aims to unveil to the public the ancient photographic alternative process known as calotype and its printing process known as salt paper.

Today it’s known as an alternative process such as others like collodion, platinum-palladium, carbon print, and so on. One of the latest processes invented in the end of the 19th century was silver gelatine, and soon became the industrial standard for the photographic market for a century to come.

The calotype and the salt paper printing has been re-discovered today for both its easiness of making and for its particular characteristic to print the image directly on the fibers of the paper (or into the fibers). The final result looks like a piece of art, a vintage-look print like if it was made in the 1800’s, with a tactile performance which is unique in its genre.

Today many artists look for new original ways of interpreting photography. This salt paper alternative process is one of the possible answers to offer unique crafts of photographic art.

What should you bring for this Salt paper Workshop

We put all the materials and equipments needed. You should arrive with a notebook to take notes (there’s a long procedure to learn) and an apron to protect your vests. Alternatively you can arrive with some dress you don’t care about. Chemicals used in this workshop stain fabrics in a permanent way! Be prepared for this.



  • Meeting with participants and introduction
  • Brief history of the vintage processes.
  • The salt paper, what is it?
  • Papers and chemicals are not all the same.
  • How to salt a sheet of paper.
  • Sensitizing the sheets.
  • Introduction to the pinhole camera and view camera for calotype process.
  • Outdoor shooting field trip.
  • Lunch break
  • Development of the negatives
  • Contacting the negatives and making of positive calotypes.
  • Final processes and drying of sheets.
  • Conclusions and greetings.


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