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Poetic Alchemy: The Ambrotype
with David Hyams
July 24 - July 30, 2011

This workshop has already begun or is a past workshop.

Ambrotypes are singular, wet-plate collodion images on glass—true camera originals. Join us for a week of wonder, creating one-of-a-kind ambrotype portraits, both in a studio setting and in the field.

This unique workshop encourages both novices and seasoned collodion artists to enhance their skills by learning how to create these wondrous, glowing, positive images on glass. In a hands-on setting, we learn about the equipment of the wet-plate collodion era—big cameras and big lenses—as well as contemporary resources for wet-plate gear. Our staff guides you every step of the way, from preparation to presentation. We learn how to mix our own chemicals, and prepare our own glass plates. We learn how to handle the chemistry in a safe and proper manner, all while maximizing its working life.

Working with experienced models, we explore how to express this new and exciting photographic language through our dynamic subjects. We take full advantage of the naturally extraordinary Santa Fe light, as well as learning different methods for studio illumination, with both continuous lighting and strobes. Working with both clear glass and a variety of colored, stained glass, we create lasting, unique images that defy duplication.

Take a step back from the digital revolution and dive into the world of a century’s old process.


David Hyams: David Hyams is a photographic artist who specializes in historical and antique photographic processes. David first joined the...

© David Hyams
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