Intro to Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop I attended

In 2012 I was introduced to the interesting 19th century process of wet plate collodion photography. The whole process from taking the picture to development happened in less than ten minutes apart. It is a labor intensive process that keeps you active and on your feet from the start to the finished product. Tin types were relatively quick and inexpensive to make in the 19th century and remain popular. Today where everything is quickly becoming digital artists like, John Coffer and David Emitt Adams still enjoy utilizing this process in their work. Adams led a wet plate collodion workshop making tin types October 27th thru October 28th at Art Intersection in Gilbert, Arizona. He explained how he got started with John Coffer, his mentor in the field and the material requirements needed before taking us step by step into the process.

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The chair he uses for his portraits was made for him by a metals student and he shows us how the head rest on the chair works to stabilize the head.

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“Please wait approximately three minutes and your tin type will be ready!”

*  Always wear protective eye wear when you are pouring collodion and developing plates and seek immediate medical attention if you get any chemistry in your eyes! Also It is important to wear gloves while handling your plate with the chemistry.

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David looks on as a student fixes her first wet plate!

Awe! The varnishing/drying room; I can still smell the scent of lavender varnish on some of my tin types!

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The varnishing/drying room is the last task in the wet plate collodion process.

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An old fondue dries and finishes each plate beautifully (purchased at Goodwill).

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We did not want the day to end. Alas he got his very own tin type to take home! Used CD cases were used to hold the finished plate.

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Photo taken by David Emitt Adams of his students during the weekend workshop at Art Intersection on wet plate collodion photography. Yea!

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One response to “Intro to Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop I attended

  1. That’s so cool that you got to take this class! I’m taking a wet plate collodion class this summer and I can’t wait to get back in the non-silver lab!! 🙂

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