Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Posts Tagged ‘salt printing

Woodland Photography .eu

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Woodland Photography .eu is three day event in deep forest of Kočevski rog in Slovenia. The main theme is photography and environmentalism, so you can expect photography expeditions, talks, projections, exhibitions, challenges and even performances. And of course bonfire with acoustic music.
It will last three days, in the last weekend of July 2016 and on the last day, Sunday 31st, it will be open for public. The core group will be around 50 people, but on the last day, Sunday 31st, local community will join us so we expect more then 300 people.
The accent of this event is to experience primal environment and primal photography. And although this will not be a workshop in classical sense of the term, there will be many demonstrations of 19th Century photography processes, like wet plate collodion, dry plate collodion negative, salt printing, albumen printing, carbon printing, cyanotype, lumen prints, large format photography,film photography, etc. And of course digital photography will be very much present. We will do time-lapse photography, photo-hunting with long telephoto lenses,…
More about the program at the bottom of this post.

For photographers and lovers of photography. The accent will be on analogue photography, like collodion and film photography, but also digital photography will be strongly represented.

29th, 30th and 31st of July 2016

In the middle of Kočevski rog – Resa, Slovenia, in one of the deepest forest of Europe.

Food & drinks will be available, but not for free. It will be possible to make your own food, meaning there will be open fire places, so you can make your own food. Indoor kitchen facility is limited. Shop is in the valley, that’s 30 minutes drive, so daily we will organise collective shopping list and somebody from organisers will go and buy groceries.

LANGUAGE: English and Slovenian

Evening program is open for public and free of charge. The camping, accommodation, food and drinks will be available for purchasing.

The participation fee depends on accommodation. The prices are for three nights, per person and the contribution for the program is included.
150 EUR for camping + program
200 EUR for accommodation in shared sleeping room + program
Renting a private room is possible, please send us an email.
Kids under age of 15 years have 50% discount (escorted by parent).
Youth under age of 25 years have 25% discount.

Please email us to

FRIDAY, 29th of July 2016
08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast
09:00 – 12:00 Setting up working conditions, photo expedition
13:00 – 15:00 lunch break
15:30 – 19:00 Photo expedition
19:00 – 21:00 Dinner
21:30 – 23:00 Talk at bonfire

SATURDAY, 30th of July 2016
04:00 – 07:00 Photo-hunt (with an escort of a hunter*)
08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast
09:00 – 12:00 photo expedition to the peak of Rog
13:00 – 15:00 lunch break (at the location Žaga Rog)
15:30 – 18:00 Photo expedition to the caves of Željnske name
18:00 – 19:00 Dinner
19:00 – 21:00 Exhibition opening and talk in the caves
21:00 – 21:30 Returning to Resa
21:30 – 23:00 Talk at bonfire

SUNDAY, 31st of July 2016
04:00 – 07:00 Photo-hunt (with an escort of a hunter*)
08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast
09:00 – 13:00 Photo expedition
10:00 – 16:00 Flea market (local hand craft, second hand photo gear, photo books,…)
13:00 – 15:00 lunch break
15:00 Forum of local community
16:00 – 18:00 Photo expedition
19:00 – 21:00 Dinner
21:30 – 23:00 Talk at bonfire

* Additional charging
Hunter escort, flying with paraglider, rafting,… are arranged individually and charged additionally.

Workshop in Berlin by Borut Peterlin

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WHAT? Group Workshop in Wet Plate Collodion Negative, Salt Printing and Albumen Printing
WHERE? Berlin in Christian Klant‘s studio
WHEN? 16th-19th of Jully 2014
WHO? It’s intended for experienced ambrotypists and tintypists who wants to take new step into the world of negatives and prints.
HOW MUCH? Four days workshop costs 600 EUR and that includes all material cost and most importantly taxes. It does not include food and accommodation.
APPLICATION? The workshop is limited to five participants, so please hurry if you are interested by sending an email to

– Introduction to the processes the difference between wet plate collodion positive and negative
– Reviewing examples of negatives and prints we are expected to be making during the workshop
– Preparation of chemistry and cleaning plates
– The making of the first wet plate negatives

– Participants will learn how to make different densities of wet plate negatives
– How to redevelop a negative
– What light is appropriate for wet plate negative and how to work in inappropriate light
– Practicing a wet plate negative on still life
– Making a portrait with ambient light
– Making a portrait with studio flashes
– Varnishing glass negatives

– Making more negatives. The goal is that each participant will make several negatives with different densities for different printing processes.
– Varnishing glass plates
– Preparing albumen for printing process
– Preparing gelatin for salt print process
– Seizing paper for salt print process
– Seizing paper for albumen print process
– Demonstration of salt and albumen printing process

– Salt printing
– Albumen printing
– Toning with goldchloride
– Waxing salt prints
– Silver Nitrate bath maintenance (boiling with baking soda, filtering, adjusting pH,…)
– Demonstration of dry collodion negative & Carbon Process

Each participant will receive few pages of notes with all receipts and most important points to remember.

Contemporary art project in wet plate collodion and salt print process

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Dear topshit readers,
Half a year ago I’ve done an experiment, I’ve sold a print on ebay, as an auction starting from $0.99 USD and after 5 days it was sold for $111 USD (LINK). Few weeks later an auction for the second print won $182 USD (LINK). These two sales were just a test to see how ebay works and what could be done and at what prices a print could be sold. I was very happy to see that it does work. Many people congratulated me for the courage to expose my work full monty to ebay auction, but I was also a target of a critic that the price my prints won, were ridiculous.

What I couldn’t explain to the critics is that it’s not so much about the money, it’s more an experiment how to sell art. I was invited to give a TEDx speech in Ljubljana where I’ll talk to 600 people live and few thousands on-line.

Not to mention the theme how to sell art is the mission impossible here in this corner of the world! I live in Slovenia, that’s the only country in EU (beside Cyprus) that still have recession, (that’s -3% recession!!!) and an art market is totally and utterly DEAD. The most prominent artists are dependent on grants, but I’ve decided to try something different.

I’ve explained everything in the video, I just want to add that the key element of the project is to give all my aces out of my sleeve. The print I’ve done and the way it’s presented is the best way I can. I am not able to do it any better. I wasn’t sparing any money. When I was cutting the glass negative my hands shook. They really did. I couldn’t believe it!

Oh, one more thing. Even though I was satisfied with my first ebay sales I pulled a handle brake and stopped selling my prints. I hit a question that I couldn’t answer. Why would someone buy a print from me for 1000 EUR, if I’m actioning my prints on ebay, starting with $0.99 USD? It took me literally two months to find an answer to that. And it goes like this. I need to make the ebay adventure as an art project by itself. I need to find an unique motif and a concept that will be solely devoted to the ebay auction experiment and by doing that I will protect my other work to be affected by the inflation of the price. I would never sold a print from lets say my best project Flower Power for less than 700 EUR. (which I did to a Dutch collector, long, long time ago…)

HERE is the LINK to the ebay listing. It will end Nov 27, 2013 11:23:04 PST.

Density of negatives

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Tomorrow I’m flying for Rochester, USA, where I’ll join Mark Osterman‘s workshop of Carbon Printing Transfer. It’s literally a pilgrimage for me (as an atheist), to come to George Eastman House museum and take a workshop with Mark Osterman. I never did a carbon transfer print, I am also not aware to see one although I’ve must have seen a carbon print in various museums I’ve visited, but still it’s described as the king of printing process, so it’s time to meet the king! Mark asked us to bring our own negatives and so yesterday I’ve done negatives of different densities. It’s no secret how it’s done. The same as with ordinary film. As Mark Osterman have taught me, exposure gives you information, development gives you density, so according to this commandment, I overexpose and underdevelop for low contrast and just the opposite for high contrast. (read captions for more info). The highest contrast negative is redeveloped. I’ll not go into details since this is very specific collodion technique. Before I headed for the pilgrimage I’ve done also a salt print, to remind the master Osterman that the king carbon print must make a better print. Ha! I do martial arts and the peak of the training is when you test your skills against your teacher and you get beaten as a sack of beans. No doubt this will be the case also this time. I always aim beyond my reach and then see how will I do. Ha, I so much look forward!!!

But nevertheless the salt print is gorgeous and it will present the best challenge I can make with salt print process against carbon print process. Obnoxious in that kind of creative way I was always been 🙂

PS: all reproductions have my dirty finger in the frame as a reference point that it is not digitally altered. Plus the print is dry! It’s not like super cooper wet and when you dry it all the blacks are gone…

Salt print from 8×10″ wet plate collodion negative, toned with gold chloride

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Salt print from a 8x10" wet plate collodion negative, toned with gold chloride.

Salt print from a 8×10″ wet plate collodion negative, toned with gold chloride.

First of all I apologize for absence from my blog. SO many things is going on, I always want to write what happened in Poland and Serbia first. I decided to write as it happens. Today is a milestone in my career. I know, another one you might say, but hey, they are for free, why not! Seriously, I’ve made a giant leap in salt printing. Yesterday I’ve made a great wet plate collodion negative, 8×10″ format in very difficult circumstances. First test was foggy, my tent was leaking too much light. I solved that and my first negative was underexposed, second one was correctly exposed, but wind shook my camera during exposure. Then rain started and I start to pack in my tent. After 15 minutes it stopped and also wind stopped blowing, so I unpacked my things and made the third plate. It was close to perfect with few annoying developing marks.

For the forth plate sun started to shine and I’ve made an estimation how much should I cut the exposure. The fourth plate was p.e.r.f.e.c.t. Well, when I was developing the negative, I was disappointed, because whites exploded in 10s. My first reflexion was to cut the developing time, but then I remembered what Mark Osterman is saying, to focus on blacks, to keep void in the negative and observe appearance of fog in dark areas. I was developing for 90 seconds although I could go on for another minute, but I didn’t want to risk of getting fog. I had all the information on the negative and I was intending to redevelop it anyhow. Redevelopment is a process of building the density of a negative after it is fixed. Yes, it’s true sorcery, but it works. Salt print is very low contrasty medium so you need to build up super contrasty and dense negative to make a good salt print.

Few days ago I’ve received a shipment from ArtCraft, I’ve bought 1gr of gold chloride so I’ve made gold toner. And long and behold, here is the result. I’m amazed with dynamic range of the salt print. Take a look, there are details in the brightest and in the darkest part of the print. Tomorrow I’ll make more prints and wax them. I’m so excited, with this technique so many opportunities are opening!

I’m alive and kicking!

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My dear readers,
I wasn’t blogging last month since an avalanche of obligations was collapsing on me from all sides. So chronological order:
19. April 2013, Group exhibition Materialnost in Kibla Portal, Maribor, Slovenia. I was presented there with one huge print that works really good! Exhibition is open until 15th of September 2013.

Group exhibition Materialnost in Kibla Portal, Maribor, Slovenia

My piece on group exhibition Materialnost in Kibla Portal, Maribor, Slovenia

Then Mladina magazine issued a special issue and I had to make 24 portraits of renown Slovenian opinion leaders. I was tempted to do it in wet plate collodion technique or at least on film, but under the time constraints I decided to go for digital and furthermore to find a visual concept that would be feasible in any location and would produce the same kind of portraits. I wanted to make studio portraits although I knew I will not have a studio. But since I graduated at FAMU, Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts and that also means I’ve earned a PhD in improvisation, so I resorted to improvisation. I’ve made a set up that I could apply anywhere and I could transport it on a bicycle. I wanted to get uniform kind of portraits either it would be taken in offices or outdoor location. I’m attaching the most wild behind the scene location 🙂 The issue looks fantastic and I received compliments by editors, because they are aware how much I needed to bend my back backwards to pull this out. Technically I was using Nikon D3, Nikkor 105mm macro lens, one Nikon Speedlight 900, a firefly softbox and two reflectors.

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Behind the scene on location shooting.

Behind the scene on location shooting.

Chronologically looking then I had solo exhibition opening in Krka Gallery. I’ve blog about that already. LINK. By the way, today is the last day that you can see the show.

Myself and Misa Keskenovic, doing chameleon thing, blending with the landscape.

Myself and Misa Keskenovic, doing chameleon thing, blending with the landscape.

Group photo of participants at European Collodion Weekend by Alex Timmermans

Group photo of participants at European Collodion Weekend by Alex Timmermans

Then we went to European Collodion weekend in Eindhoven, Nederland. The event was great, organized by Alex Timmermans. The concept was that we gather and make some plates together and hang around. We were about 37 artists from countries like UK, France, Belgium, Germany. Even Gerald Figal, President of Collodion Bastard association came from USA, although if you ask him, he will claim that he arrived from Tenesse. Also East side of Iron curtain was well represented by artists from Bulgaria, Slovakia, Czech, Poland and of course Slovenia. I’m sure I missed some country, but you get the idea, pretty good group of creatives.

I learned a lot of small, but super important things. Like Kal Khogali showed me how is he redeveloping wet plate collodion negative and his method is much better then mine. Furthermore he used his gold toner to tone the salt print and I loved the effect. I would never buy a toner that cost 70 EUR if I would not see the effect that it makes. I showed him my little tricks, that I’ve mentioned on my blog already. Oh, the best thing that I’ve learned from Kal is how to seal a tent Eskimo Quickfish 3 to be 100% light proof. I will make a video about that. It’s simple and super efficient!

At European Collodion Weekend I tried to organize a Harlem Shake video, but people were not up for it, so I’ve made this video 🙂

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On Saturday it was really hot. In our darkroom tents it must have been like 30C. Because of the temperature there was a plague of fog. Plates were fogging like it’s English morning. There was a polemic what is going wrong. I solved the issue to cut down time in sensibilisation AgNO3 bath from 3 min to 2:15 min and I had no problem with fog. It was harsh sun light and people were blaming too much UV, but I’ve made this plate in direct sun, just to prove it’s temperature and excessive silver on the plate that ‘s causing the fog. There was a polemic about it on FB, but that ended by the comment of Mark Osterman: “Yes, the sensitizing is by inspection, not by time. So in heat it happens much faster… Otherwise you can get fog in hot weather”.
I went to Holland with Grega Cokan and we drove about 2500km (both ways). When I got home I got a commission from Mladina and had to go next day to Vienna (444km x2) and a week later I drove to Poland 980km and few days later to Novi Sad, Serbia 800km and then home 600km. I had another exhibition in Poland and another in Serbia, but more about that in the following post. Before going to Poland I had to finish photoediting for Global monthly magazine and also preparing everything for exhibitions. And in that week I got also two commercial jobs to be executed that week and since I was not only exhausted physically, but also financially, I had to do that as well. I’ve made great stuff though, I’ll publish it later.
Last month and a half was the most intense time in my career and I wasn’t sure if I will pull everything off. Actually I was just trying to keep my nose above water and not be suffocated by the avalanche of everything. To make things worse I didn’t had time for sport (running doesn’t count) because of all obligations that I had, but yesterday I’ve played in-line hockey for two hours. I’m not yet friend with hockey stick and puck doesn’t like me very much, but nevertheless I feel like million EUR! Full of oxygen. And I’ve done it! I pull everything off with a success! There is nothing better then a victory in a month long battle! More about it already tomorrow.

PS: The making of a group photo: