SOS: Saving our Stuff - Archiving for photographers

Want to know the proper way to store your photographs both digital and analog?  This workshop aims to empower photographers with sustainable and adaptable archiving practices to fit a variety of studio practices, career needs and budgets. 

In this workshop, you will learn the basics of how to save your physical materials: daguerreotypes, tintypes, ambrotypes, gravures, salt prints, cyanotypes, and other historical materials.  You will learn how to store different types of photographs safely, and how to organize and document these materials to make them easy to find. We will also cover the basics of organizing any related digital files, issues with color reproduction on the web, and best practices for long-term storage of your digital materials. 

For current course running March 25, 2017 here.


Basic salt printing

Salt-printing was the first of the practical photographic processes preceding daguerreotypes by a bit and tintypes by nearly 15 years. It is an easy, handsome printing process yielding sepia, reddish or purplish monochrome prints.  Although rarely taught it is a straightforward and inexpensive process.  Learning this technique not only broadens students visual vocabulary, it also is a fine example of simple chemistry yielding a photographic image. We will have an opportunity to explore this chemical miracle, that is the fixing of light on paper, during the class. This process also helps to develop heuristic skills including sizing and coating ordinary papers with emulsions, and the pleasures of exposing photographs in sunlight. Salt-printing ties students into a discussion of the earliest days of photography. This workshop can be crafted around a particular audience and is either a one or two day session.

Basic wet plate collodion: tintype and ambrotype

Wet-plate collodion was the second big commercial wave of photography, right after daguerreotype,  and it represents the democratization of photography.  It was the Polaroid of its time; it was cheap and dominated the photographic world up from the mid 1850s until about 1880 or so. It was still in use for its incredibly fine detail until about 1930 as a tool for astronomers. For artists it is a beautiful,  tactile and truly permanent way to make photographs. In this workshop you will learn the basics of making and using wet-plate collodion emulsions. This workshop can be crafted around a particular audience of a length to be determined.