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From daguerreotypes to digital photo albums — photography workshops return to Eastman House

Rochester, N.Y., May 12, 2010—After a decade of training the world’s top photograph conservators via a dedicated post-graduate fellowship program, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film announces it is again offering Photography Workshops to the public, of varying levels of interest and expertise — photographers, curators, educators, artists, or those interested in the art form.

While other institutions offer photography workshops, Eastman House is the only place in the world teaching several of the historic processes. Plus, at the same time participants will closely examine works from the Eastman House archives by the masters of those same processes, such as Daguerre, Cameron, Stieglitz, and Steichen. Most of the workshops will be taught by Eastman House’s process historian Mark Osterman, who is known worldwide for his teaching and artistry as an alternative process practitioner. George Eastman House was the first institution in the world to offer programs in photograph conservation, beginning in 1975.

The 2010 schedule:

“Tracing the Light: Imagery before Photography”  June 14 through 17

This four-day experience uses the various devices that led to the discovery and development of photography. The workshop is for anyone interested in early history of photography or drawing and painting. Participants will each make their own 19th-century-style portable camera obscura and ribbon-tied folios to keep. They will have the opportunity to use the cameras, a tent camera obscura, and camera lucida to make drawings in the historic gardens at George Eastman House. Inside the museum, the group will trace shades of each other and reduce them with a pantograph to make both hollow cut and bronzed silhouettes. Rare drawings, silhouettes ,and cameras obscura from the George Eastman House vaults will be displayed for inspection and discussion. The instructor is Mark Osterman. Tuition: $750 ($700 Eastman House members).


“1839: The Processes of Louis Daguerre, Wm. Henry Fox Talbot, Hippolyte Bayard and Hercules Florence”  July 19 through 22

The processes pioneered in 1839 will be discussed and recreated in this unique hands-on workshop celebrating the state of photography as introduced in that famous year. You may have read about these processes and their history; this is a chance to actually “do” them. Participants will have the rare opportunity to recreate a mercury-developed daguerreotype, Talbot’s photogenic drawings, the Bayard direct-positive printing process, and Hercules Florence’s ammonia-fixed, silver-chloride prints in the formal gardens at George Eastman House. The instructor is Mark Osterman. Tuition $750 ($700 Eastman House members).


“Dawn of Photography”  Aug. 9 through 13

(SOLD OUT) This workshop’s participants will travel to the Fox Talbot Museum in Lacock, England, to learn the process of photogenic drawing at the birthplace of negative/positive photography in rural England — locations used in the Harry Potter movies.  The instructors are Mark Osterman and France Scully Osterman. Tuition: $1,500 (sold out).             


“Digital Family Photographs: Printing, Sharing & Archiving”  Aug. 28 and 29

Do you own a digital camera and wonder whether you are getting the most out of its features? Do you wonder where and how you should store your digital images, or that you might not be able to open your digital images in five or 10 years? This workshop is designed for those who want to learn the best practices for printing, sharing, and preserving their family photographs.  Participants are encouraged to bring a faded or damaged family photograph to learn how to scan, color-correct, and digitally repair the object. Participants will take home a restored digital copy of their family photograph. The instructors are Roger Bruce, Patrick Ravines, and Stacey VanDenburgh. Tuition:  $300 ($275 Eastman House members).


“The Albumen Print: History & Technique”  Sept. 13-15

Discover the evolution of albumen printing: prepare the egg whites, coat and sensitize the paper and print from actual 19th-century collodion negatives. Masterworks of the George Eastman House collection produced by Julia Margaret Cameron, Eadweard Muybridge, Gustave Le Gray, and others, will be displayed to give individuals the opportunity for close examination. The instructor is Mark Osterman. Tuition: $475 ($450 Eastman House members).


“How to Identify and Preserve Historic Photographs: Part I, the 19th Century”

Oct. 16 and 17

Whether you are a volunteer at a local historical society or the family historian, it is important to know the vintage and type of photographs in your collection. Dating photographs is not an exact science. It is done by recognizing cultural clues combined with an understanding of the technical process used to make photographic images in different eras. Taught by specialists in the Kay R. Whitmore Conservation Center at Eastman House, this workshop provides the necessary information and hands-on techniques used by conservators all over the world, but in a relaxed atmosphere and easy-going pace. Combined with tips for preserving vintage photographic images, this is a fun and informative workshop that demystifies an otherwise very difficult job. (Part II of this workshop will be offered in 2011.) The instructors are Mark Osterman, Taina Meller, and Eastman House staff. Tuition: $275 ($260 Eastman House members).



“The Platinum Print: History & Technique”  Nov. 13 and 14

This workshop unlocks the mysteries of coating and printing the most archival of metal-based photography with master platinum printer Ron Cowie. This workshop includes learning how to make negatives with the most effective density range for platinum and palladium printing papers. Participants will also examine masterworks of the George Eastman House collection produced by William Willis, Alfred Stieglitz, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Paul Anderson, and others. The instructor is Ron Cowie with Mark Osterman. Tuition: $375 ($350 Eastman House members).


“Home Publishing: Digital Albums, Calendars and Greeting Cards”   Dec. 4

The one-day workshop is for people looking for more options for personalized holiday greeting cards, photo albums and calendars than those found at camera stores and online retailers. Guided by Eastman House staff, participants will be encouraged to unlock their creativity and create cards of their own design, merging text with images. In addition, participants will learn ways to create archival photo albums using digital and printed out photographs. Participants will get inspiration by examining a variety of historic and contemporary examples from the Eastman House collection. The instructor is Stacey VanDenburgh with Eastman House staff. Tuition: $90 ($75 Eastman House members).


To learn more please visit www.eastmanhouse.org or call Stacey VanDenburgh, conservation lab manager, at (585) 271-3361 ext. 323.

Direct link: http://www.eastmanhouse.org/Main/events/series/photo-workshops