Collodion Photogram Workshop Impressions

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l had a wonderful time making wet plate collodion photograms with a fun and talented group of photographers. J Jason Lazarus, a photographic educator at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, had this to say:

“Nadezda did a terrific job with making the material approachable for beginners and advanced alt-pro photographers alike. Although I’ve certainly possessed a basic understanding of the process, she demystified so many elements of this complex process – one that I’ve always seen as magical… From coating the plates with silver through exposure and development, I quickly developed a cautious confidence in what I was doing thanks to Nadezda’s hands-on guidance. Students were encouraged to play with several alternative processing methods that would alter the final result – and that exploration only fueled my interest in the process even more.”

I am grateful to all the participants for making this such a rewarding workshop experience and look forward to seeing the results of their future forays into the process! Again, many thanks to Michael and Chelsea Granger at LightBox Photographic in Astoria, OR, for their hospitality and dedication to antiquarian photography.

“Remnants” Exhibit Catalog is Here!

Kaden and I are pleased that the Remnants exhibit is featured in a beautiful catalog, now available here! Many thanks to Michael Granger at LightBox Photographic.

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Jurors’ Statement:

For “Remnants,” we wished to put together an exhibition that showcases the experimental and innovative possibilities in antiquarian photography, while placing an emphasis on the crafting of the physical object.

The artists in this exhibition have each made a deliberate choice to step into the obscure and exciting world of analog photography in pursuit of their own artistic vision. A vision that is distinctly contemporary and avant-garde even as it revisits the past. A vision that rises above process (for process sake): Where the artist integrates historic technology into the narrative and uses it to shape the experience of the viewer.

Playful children are superimposed onto a forgotten playground covered by a tangle of vines, the disjointed chronology and chromatic effects suggesting remembrance and loss.

A ghost-like figure in a white gown, head invisible, arms stretched as if feeling her way through the enveloping darkness.

A male nude materializes from bands of partially applied emulsion, simulating beams of intimate light gently illuminating a beloved.

The imprint of a mummified bird, avian bones hanging like chimes: Echoes of shamanic rituals.

Still life with a scale: Distorted image of an infant floating inside a bottle is weighed against a single egg in a bird’s nest.

It is evident that artists featured in this exhibit know their craft. The investments in time and the appreciation for the handmade photograph are palpable in each image. These artists are also eager to experiment in order to construct a personal vocabulary from a palette of artifacts, as a painter might. Each unique art piece embodies the tension between chance and control, entropy and order – as if reflecting on the very nature of life.

We wish to thank everyone who submitted their work and to congratulate all artists selected to participate in this exhibit.

Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer and Kaden Kratzer

Creating Photograms with Wet Plate Collodion Workshop

I am pleased to offer a workshop on creating wet plate collodion photograms during the opening weekend of “Remnants” at LightBox Photographic Fine Art & Printing (Astoria, OR).

Click here for more information.

Creating Photograms with Wet Plate Collodion

Date: September 10/11 (Sat. & Sunday)
Time: 10:00am-5:00pm
Price: $350.00
Instructor: Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer

Not to exceed 5 participants

From Henry Fox Talbot and Anna Atkins, to Man Ray, Jayne Hinds Bidaut and Adam Fuss, photographers have readily skirted the lens in their own respective pursuits of knowledge, ideas, poetry and metaphor. The field of photography has been greatly enriched by the photogenic drawing, inviting the viewer to interpolate from the shadows in search for the elusive spirit of the arrested form.

The photogenic drawing — or photogram — is made by placing objects on a light-sensitized surface which is exposed to light to produce an image. In this two day workshop the particpiant will learn about the 19th century wet plate collodion process and delve deep into the history of photography to explore lens-less image creation. We will learn the basics of wet plate collodion, including formulas and chemistry, and walk through the steps of creating direct wet plate photograms. Each participant will have the opportunity to make their own wet plate photograms and to explore the medium’s responsiveness to individualized expression.

Open to all skill levels, although some background in the darkroom and basic understanding of photography is desired.

Contact michael@lightbox-photogaphic.com with interest in this workshop