Thomas Gibson Studio started the summer 2011 Collodion Workshops season off with a full class during the height of Kansas tornado season. A group of four creative photographers gathered at the studio at the end of May to get intimate with the collodion wet-plate photography, a fine-art photography process that pays homage to the roots of American photography. The five of us — Megan, Travis, Crystal, my partner Sherilyn and myself — spent a stormy Saturday sharing the details and experiencing the imperfect beauty of collodion wet-plate photography. Teaching this workshop was a complete shift from the world of fast digital photography and photo manipulation — and what made it even better was seeing how enthusiastic this first group of workshop participants were about the process.
“It was a great experience. I learned a lot of information on the wet-plate process, while performing and practicing the process in a relaxing and inspiring environment,” Megan told me. “At the end of the day, I left with my multiple finished plates, and the knowledge and references needed to start my own wet-plate studio. Along with this came the opportunity to further experience this process and others through future workshops and sessions, which I am looking forward to attending.”
Besides going through the history of the collodion process and actually developing a few of our own plates, my goal in these workshop sessions is to have connect with other artists and emerging talent and have fun. At the end of the day, we kicked back with a bottle of wine and glasses of beer to help unleash a few more creative juices.
“It was amazing and loads of fun — a great learning experience,” Travis says. “If you enjoy alternative processes then you will love the wet-plate collodion process.”
Our next workshop, Ambrotypes 101, is slated for this Saturday. Stay on top of the Collodion Workshops schedule or give me a call to find out more information. If you can’t make it to a workshop soon, check out highlights from a recent collodion wet-plate demo below, and see even more videos on Thomas Gibson Studio’s new YouTube page.