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Wet Plate Collodion Workshop March 22 & 23

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New Orleans Photo Alliance &
New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts

Wet Plate Collodion Workshop with Ellen Susan

Sometimes called the Polaroid of the 19th Century, wet plate collodion photography has been experiencing a resurgence of interest. The labor intensive, civil-war era process is revered for its grainless detail, three-dimensional quality and the unique beauty with which it renders images.

In this workshop, you will learn how to create wet plate collodion positives, making both tintypes and ambrotypes (glass plate positives). Through a combination of discussions, and hands-on group shooting and processing sessions, each participant will have the chance to create several unique plates and will leave the class with sufficient knowledge to start their own wet plate collodion practice if desired.

Schedule: Two-day Weekend Workshop
March 22 & 23, 2008
10am – 6pm

Materials: None required. Chemicals, plates, cameras and a downloadable course manual will be provided.

Cost: $325 + lab fee of $95

Enrollment: Limited to 9 students

Deadline for registration: March 1

Who should take this class: Photography enthusiasts with the willingness to get down and dirty for an intense, messy, smelly and physical weekend. View Camera experience and equipment is not required.* This class offers anyone who’s curious about the wet plate collodion process an excellent chance to try it out without a major investment in equipment.

Instructor: Ellen Susan lives in Savannah, Georgia. She studied photography at the Massachusetts College of Art, and earned an MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her current series, “Soldier Portraits,” uses the wet plate collodion process to depict Iraq War soldiers. Her work was recently featured in an article on, American Photo’s online magazine, and was exhibited in a solo show at the New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery.

*Students who have their own view cameras are invited to bring them. Any who choose to must also bring a film holder, which will be permanently modified to accept wet plates.

Participants should wear old clothes, which will probably get stained. Aprons or lab coats are recommended, but not required.

To register please email Fee is payable by check, money order or PayPal sent to

New Orleans Photo Alliance, 1111 St. Mary Street, New Orleans, LA 70130