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Thread: Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop - April 16-17, Washington, DC

  1. #1

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    Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop - April 16-17, Washington, DC

    Introduction to Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop


    $125 plus $75 materials fee

    This is an intensive hands-on workshop for learning the wet plate collodion process. We'll cover everything from mixing your own chemicals to creating beautiful tintypes and ambrotypes. This historic photographic process was developed in 1850 and popularized photography around the world. Today, wet plate is undergoing a renaissance in the fine art world. We'll be using an 11x14 Century Studio Camera to shoot our plates. Students will gain an understanding and appreciation of the process and a solid basis for doing wet plate on their own. All studenrts will create tintypes or ambrotypes to bring home.

    Note: Completion of this class will allow students to enroll in regular Wet Plate Studio Sessions where they'll be able to use the Art Reactor Studio, Century Studio Camera, and wet plate chemicals to create their own portraits or still life work.

    Day 1 - Friday April 16, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
    History, Materials, Safety, Choosing Cameras and Lenses, Suppliers, Literature and Online Resources, Demonstration, Sudio and Field Practice of Wet Plate Photography

    Day 2 - Saturday April 17 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

    Intensive hands-on session, all students will perform the complete wet plate process and learn camera and lens operation for wet plate, coating, sensitizing, exposing, developing, fixing, washing, and varnishing of plates. We'll have a one hour break for lunch from 12-1. Students will learn about and create portraits and still life plates.

    Location:
    Art Reactor Studio, 5614 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD

    Free Parking: There is ample free street parking close to the Art Reactor Studio.

    Instructor:
    Barry Schmetter is a Washington DC based photographer and artist using historic photographic processes as a means to explore memory, forgetting, and other human cognitive processes. His work is in private and public collections and can also be seen in the upcoming ABC Television series, Happy Town.

    REGISTER via Eventbrite: http://wetplate-efbevent.eventbrite.com




  2. #2

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop - April 16-17, Washington, DC

    What a great opportunity! Wish I could be there!

    Vaughn

  3. #3
    Going to Tijuana soon...
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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop - April 16-17, Washington, DC

    I know many will think this is mean spirited, but your pours are not very good. If you're promoting this as an intensive workshop about learning a craft, should we not expect your examples to be equal to that expectation? I wouldn't have commented, but frankly you are going to be taking money from people to teach a course. Based upon what you are showing your work looks like early days on the path to learning not established technique and high craft ready to be disseminated.

  4. #4

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop - April 16-17, Washington, DC

    Sometimes one just has to embrace the imperfections of the process...

  5. #5

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop - April 16-17, Washington, DC

    Thank you Vaughn! It's true, I'm not yet a master of the process--perhaps I never will be. However, I've been working hard on opening a alt process and large format workshop space in the Washington area where photographers can come to learn and exchange information and fuel their artistic goals. Not everyone can afford the expensive workshop fees, flights and hotel reservations it often takes for a master class. My class is an introduction and priced to put it in reach of photographers that would otherwise have no opportunity to experiment with this wonderful process.

    If I'm not a collodion master, I'm a knowledgeable, enthusiastic teacher who consistently gets very positive feedback from students. I'm passionate about photography and art and I wouldn't dream of giving a workshop unless I thought I could deliver a valuable experience. I'm fortunate to have some respect in the Washington, DC art and photography communities for my work as an organizer of the area's largest art event, so I have a track record of delivering on my promises.

    I've put my personal time and money into this studio/workshop project and my idea is keep the workshop costs low and just enough to keep the doors open without losing too much money. I'm in this for the love of photography and the desire to contribute something to the local arts community beyond another photoshop class. We had a dry run and a professional photographer I taught (who already had alt process experience) is very supportive of the workshop.

    In the meantime, my quest for pouring the perfect plate will continue--hopefully at an accelerated pace in the new studio, and I'll live by my credo of always learning and always teaching.

  6. #6

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop - April 16-17, Washington, DC

    Barry, you mean you are not the Ansel Adams of Collodion?

  7. #7
    funkadelic
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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop - April 16-17, Washington, DC

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryS View Post
    <snip>
    I'm fortunate to have some respect in the Washington, DC art and photography communities for my work as an organizer of the area's largest art event, so I have a track record of delivering on my promises.
    <snip>
    I applaud your effort in sharing knowledge and hardware to make this class available.
    In the future, I would suggest scheduling further in advance if you're marketing this for people traveling from outside the DC area.

  8. #8

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop - April 16-17, Washington, DC

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryS View Post
    ...Not everyone can afford the expensive workshop fees, flights and hotel reservations it often takes for a master class. My class is an introduction and priced to put it in reach of photographers that would otherwise have no opportunity to experiment with this wonderful process.
    Having taught 3 collodion workshops myself, I was surprised to see the cost on this one. Also in the description is the fact that participants will be able to use an 11x14 studio camera with what appears to be a nice portrait lens mounted to it. Add to it that 'togs always like to getter together for social reasons at workshops as well, and I think this looks like a bargain.

    Making the decision to attend a workshop is usually based on the needs of the student and whether the instructor has something to offer them. Some have more than others and "you get what you pay for." (No offense intended there Barry.) I would expect a collodion workshop from John Coffer or the Ostermans to be priced well above other collodion gigs, mine included. You can see examples of their work in their adverts and online, and make a decision if that level is something to aspire to and pay considerably more for. The plates posted here do exhibit pour artifacts and potential participants can judge whether that quality and level of technique is sufficient for them.

    Personally, I hope to take a collodion workshop from the Osterman's and would love the opportunity to somehow osmose Bob Szabo's knowledge on the process someday in a workshop or get-together, etc. I've taken workshops from Coffer and Michael Mazzeo and can recommend them both highly, though for different reasons.

    If I'm not a collodion master, I'm a knowledgeable, enthusiastic teacher who consistently gets very positive feedback from students...
    I too am very aware of my limitations and what I have to offer someone taking my workshop. I got into it because I was asked to do them and am always wary that the collodion gods may someday mete out some unfathomable problem with the process during a workshop. (Test beforehand and back-up everything.) But, I'd also add that there really are only a few, if any, doing collodion workshops that probably have all the answers.

    And, there's always that "those that can, do, and those that can't, teach" albatross. Well, you could also say those who can't teach, do (or don't I suppose, and I think a lot of teachers would agree with that). I've known some very excellent teachers and some very excellent photographers, and while not mutually exclusive, the combination can be a rare thing. I've taken workshops from internationally-recognized photographers who were absolutely terrible teachers. OTOH, I can recommend a few based on personal experience who have both talents. Personally, I'd rather take a workshop from an inspirational teacher than just a name.

  9. #9

    Re: Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop - April 16-17, Washington, DC

    Quote Originally Posted by jdc View Post
    ... but your pours are not very good...
    No, it isn't his "pours" which are causing the artifacts you are seeing.

    I have been a practicing member of the collodion cult for nine years, which makes me an old-timer by current standards. Learning any of these processes takes many years, and I think a $200 introduction to collodion is brilliant, regardless of the experience of the instructor. However, lets be clear about what is being offered. A eight hours will not adequately prepare students to go home and start the process themselves, but it will allow them to sample the process, make a few plates, and see if the process is for them.

  10. #10

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    Re: Wet Plate Collodion Photography Workshop - April 16-17, Washington, DC

    Those who can, do. Those who understand, teach.

    Also I think it is important to remember one of the purposes of this workshop -- as stated in the OP...

    "Note: Completion of this class will allow students to enroll in regular Wet Plate Studio Sessions where they'll be able to use the Art Reactor Studio, Century Studio Camera, and wet plate chemicals to create their own portraits or still life work."

    For those wanting to get into this process in the greater DC area, but don't have the space and equipment, the Art Reactor Studio sounds like an incredible resource. And because of the chemicals used and the specialized equipment, some level of training would be required for the protection of both the studio and its users.

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