Wet Plate Collodion Photography
Instructor: Luther Gerlach
Course Meets: June 5–7, 2017
Class times: 9:00-5:00
Tuition: $550 + $100 material/model fee ($650)
Level: All Levels
Supplies: All supplies and camera equipment will be PROVIDED BY INSTRUCTOR.
Audience: Limited to 10, this three-day studio workshop is specifically designed for students and others on a budget. No prior experience is necessary for this very hands-on workshop.
In this studio workshop, students will pair-up with each other and will be using Luther’s cameras and other necessary equipment to make your own tintype, ambrotype and negatives. The subject matter of the photographs you will take is up to you. Still life objects and portraiture will be the main focus. You are encouraged to bring your own unique objects to the workshop to shoot. We will have a model (nude and costume) to be the muse on the 3rd day of the workshop.
Using antique cameras he restores himself, and a wet-plate photographic process dating from 1851, Luther Gerlach is completely immersed in this compelling method of vintage process. This special three-day workshop is designed for beginners but experienced tintype photographers will also have a lot to learn. Luther teaches this workshop indoors, with a pop-up darkroom to process images. Each student will return home with several images that they have exposed and developed by hand.
Gerlach says, “Quite often I feel as if my soul is in the past and my mind is in the future.” His ability to combine past and present becomes even more evident as he transports glass-plate film, restored cameras, lenses, precious metals and solutions to each photo location via his converted bus. His unique use of the wet-plate process, combined with his contemporary style and provocative subject matter has propelled his work on the covers and featured editorial in respected publications, such as; View Camera and Shutterbug to mention a few. The pictorial photographers of the 1890s through 1920s worked to understand the meaning of line and light in order to use these elements as letters of an alphabet to write poems of their dreams and ideas. He continues, “I find myself allied to these photographers in an effort to accomplish the same goal. I strive to return to the art of not just selection, but of translation and the creation of visual music. By reducing subjects to their essence, and using the journey of process required to produce them, I create photographs that reflect an emotional state. This journey of process involves the use of large format cameras (8×10 through 30×40 inch) and lenses dating from 1850 to 1940, which I have been collecting and restoring for many years.”
Below, watch as Luther takes his process to the great outdoors to create an image.
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