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Gelatin Dry Plates in the Woods of Letchworth State Park

Monday, June 17, 2019, 12 a.m., Off Site

Tuition: $1,500 ($1,400 members), plus $200 materials fee
Workshop for 6 participants

If you like camping, hiking, and large-format photography, this is the workshop for you. Nick Brandreth and Mark Osterman will guide you in making your own silver bromide gelatin emulsion in the darkroom at the Eastman Museum. Then, each participant will coat pieces of 4×5″ glass to produce a stock of negative plates. On the second day, we’ll travel to Letchworth State Park, known as the Grand Canyon of the East, and set up camp in rustic cabins in the woods.

For the next 3 days, we’ll hike the wooded trails and along the Genesee River gorge to shoot plates using a 4×5″ view camera. The group will return to camp at the end of each shooting session to develop the plates one-on-one with the instructors in a portable darkroom tent.

On the last day, we’ll return to the museum, where all negatives will be scanned and digitally inverted to “proof” the images.

This workshop also includes viewing vintage landscape prints made by Ansel Adams, Gustave Le Gray, Eadweard Muybridge, Carleton Watkins, and many more images held in the museum’s photography collection. Participants receive a work apron and a complete manual with all formulas and instructions written by Nick Brandreth and Mark Osterman, as well as additional readings on the making and evolution of early gelatin emulsions.

All meals and park lodging are included Tuesday through Friday morning. The relaxed atmosphere around the evening campfire makes this a truly memorable experience. Mark will bring a banjo and a guitar. Musicians are encouraged to bring their own instruments.

Note: Lodging for the first night in Rochester is not included in the workshop tuition.

Audience: Limited to 6 participants, this 5-day outdoor workshop involves some hiking over rough terrain. Only those who are confident of their fitness should consider attending. No prior photography experience necessary.

Cancellation Policy: Withdrawal from the workshop 30 days before the session’s start date will result in a full refund minus a $100 processing fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations made fewer than 30 days before the workshop start date. If the workshop is canceled due to insufficient enrollment, the entire tuition will be fully refunded. The George Eastman Museum is not responsible for airline ticket cancellation costs or fees.

Location and Scheduling: The workshop is held at the George Eastman Museum, 900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, and Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY. Directions to the museum can be found here here.

Lodging: Lodging for Monday night in Rochester is not included in the workshop tuition; participants must make their own arrangements for this first night. 

  • The Strathallen is a 15-minute walk from the museum. Visit strathallan.com to make a reservation. 
  • The Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown is a 30-minute walk from the museum, and only an 8 minute drive. Visit their website to make a reservation. 

The museum may take images, still or video, during the workshop, and use them for educational and promotional purposes.