Wet Collodion Plate

Museum of Photography in Bydgoszcz
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Workshops with wet collodion plate – Hanna Zamelska

Wet Collodion Plate
Hanna Zamelska

Briefly about the host and the ambrotype:

"4 years ago I bought a digital camera. It had a lot of buttons, knobs, functions and a very thick instruction manual. But no one reads the instructions [...] I signed up for the basic photography course. And so it began. Like a plum, I came across this whole photo. Today, I practice photography in the 19th century. I know, I know, I didn't get the buttons in the digital camera [...] A wet collodion plate called ambrotype is pure magic. The process involves covering the glass plate with collodion, sensitizing it to silver nitrate, exposing the image, developing and fixing. We have about 10 minutes to finish and everything is done wet. A beautiful photo is created on the glass, where the whites are silver and the black is deep. A very capricious and unpredictable process, but that's why I love him. For the time I spend with a photographed person - because taking 1 photo is about 30 minutes. How many digital photos could you take at that time! For the time spent in the darkroom and the most beautiful moment when the image appears. Sometimes I think that the chemistry used in the process is the most beautiful plugins for the photoshop. And I feel like a painter, because such miracles come out. And the coolest thing is that it's not quantum physics and everyone can..."

Schedule 9.00-17.00:

  • 9.00-10.00 – introduction (history of ambrotypes, a bit about chemicals).
  • 10.00-11.00 – we will prepare chemistry for the ambrotype ourselves, learn how to spill collodion on glass.
  • 12.00-17.00 – the best thing, i.e. photography, creating a silver image on the glass yourself using a large format camera.

How to prepare:

  • dress in clothes that we will not regret throwing away. The collodion process is permanently dirty,
  • do not be afraid of a large format camera - it only sounds so terrible and it is child's play, we will show and teach.