Wet Plate Collodion

Wet plate collodion workshop:


Wet-collodion process, also called collodion process, early photographic technique invented by Englishman Frederick Scott Archer in 1851. The process involved adding a soluble iodide to a solution of collodion (cellulose nitrate) and coating a glass plate with the mixture. In the darkroom the plate was immersed in a solution of silver nitrate to form silver iodide. The plate, still wet, was exposed in the camera. It was then developed by pouring a solution of pyrogallic acid over it and was fixed with a strong solution of sodium thiosulfate, for which potassium cyanide was later substituted. Immediate developing and fixing were necessary because, after the collodion film had dried, it became waterproof and the reagent solutions could not penetrate it. The process was valued for the level of detail and clarity it allowed. A modification of the process, in which an underexposed negative was backed with black paper or velvet to form what was called an ambrotype, became very popular from the mid- to late 19th century, as did a version on black lacquered metal known as a tintype, or ferrotype.


This demonstration offers the opportunity to learn more about wet plate collodion – a historical process using silver and light to obtain a unique images on glass (ambrotype) or on aluminium (tintype) plates.

During the demonstration we will talk about the following subjects.
– Health & Safety and poisonous materials
– Large format cameras and collodion plate holders
– Lighting set-ups and exposure measuring methods
– Chemistry and equipment
– Presentation and varnishing
– Troubleshooting

If you want to try out the process, make sure to bring comfortable darkroom clothes as they may get stained! We try to shoot that many how much we can. For the afternoon you are allowed to bring your own model or still-life objects. We will make also “selfies” with the help of each other.
If you have a suitable camera for this technique, you are welcome to bring it. I can lend you 4×5 and 8×10 inch plate holders, but any other size plate holder is on you.

The workshop takes place at the Factory Studios in Bournemouth. The workshops can accommodate maximum 4 participants (aged 18 or above) at the same time.


For dates please check my Workshop Calendar

For further information or to book over the phone, please call me on 07588 94049
Or email me to attila.pasek@attilapasekphotography.com

You can’t find the date you are looking for or you want this demonstration somewhere else?
Just give me a ring for more information! I also provide One to one tuition in collodion photography.
The content is decided by you and delivered at a pace to suit your level and prior knowledge.