19 January 2021 23:14
Wet Collodion Berlin | Photography Workshop Germany
Wet Collodion Berlin, an alternative process one-day photography workshop on how-to-do wet collodion photography, in Berlin, Germany
Apply to our one-day alternative process photography experience in Berlin, so you will learn all the secrets of making photographs with the early wet plate collodion process.
1 day full-immersion
Wet Collodion Berlin Photography Workshop plan:
arrival within 9:30 am
workshop ends at around 5 pm
Lesson in Italian and English (we can have mixed groups)
Level of the course: basic, introductory, hands-on workshop
Closed number course: max 6 participants allowed!
Application deadline 3 weeks prior course beginning
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A wet collodion workshop about all what you need to know on wet plate collodion photography, run in Berlin, Germany
Every participant will make collodion plates on their own and they will end up the workshop with at least one good plate photograph to take back home.
What is wet collodion alternative process?
Wet-collodion photographic process, also shortly called collodion process, is an early photographic technique invented by Englishman Frederick Scott Archer in 1851.
Basically, the process consists in adding iodide to a solution of collodion (cellulose nitrate) and coating a glass or metal plate with such a sticky mixture. In the darkness of a darkroom the plate is soaked in silver nitrate bath, so the chemicals react and form silver iodide which is sensitive to the light.
The plate, while still wet, is exposed with a camera specially modified to accept wet plates. It is then developed by pouring a solution of developing agent over it and is fixed with a classic fixer bath, based on of sodium hyposulphite (which is not sodium thiosulphate, as many believe!).
Ambrotype and ferrotype
Ambrotype and ferrotype are the wet collodion two variants. One is the negative version, the second is the positive one. Ambrotype is made on a glass, ferrotype on a metal plate.
Wet Collodion is certainly the technique that allowed the spread of black and white photography on a large scale. Developed towards the end of the 1800s, it allowed the creation of the first negatives on a glass plate (ambrotypes) which were initially printed in contact on salt paper, but also suitable for enlargement. The ferrotype technique instead gives rise to direct positives on metal plates.
In both cases it is a matter of creating two objects that belong to the nowadays called alternative process techniques used in early photography. The photos of this wet collodion workshop will be taken using metal and glass plates on a large format 4×5″ or 5×7″ view camera (depending on availability of stock materials).
What should you bring for this Collodion Workshop
Chemicals, materials and equipment (view camera) are included in the course fee. You only need a notebook to take notes. Don’t underestimate taking notes! There’s a long procedure to learn about collodion process. Moreover you will need an apron to protect your vests. Alternatively you can use some dress you don’t care about. Pay attention because chemicals used in this workshop are not harmful to us but they stain fabrics in a permanent way. Be prepared for this.
Program of the Wet Collodion Berlin Photography Workshop in Germany
- One-day workshop. Meeting at 9:30 am at the location.
- Introductory lesson on collodion history, how to make it, how to handle it, how it works.
- Hands-on course begins, with the preparation of all the necessary chemicals such as Collodion, Development, Fixing and more.
- We will stage a set and start taking our collodion photographs in the surroundings of the location, in outdoor lighting. Collodion needs sunlight to operate properly, because it’s very slow. In case of bad weather conditions we will shoot indoor with flash lights or long exposures poses.
- At the end of the course, each participant will have acquired the necessary knowledge and technique to be able to continue shooting in collodion if he/she wanted to.
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