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Salt & Albumen Printing

Monday, September 19, 2016, 12 a.m., George Eastman Museum

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Please email [email protected] to be added to the waiting list.

Learn the two most popular printing processes of the nineteenth century: salt and albumen. The salted paper print process was introduced by William Henry Fox Talbot in the 1830s. The albumen printing process was invented by Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard in 1850. The processes are both based on silver chloride printing out techniques, with the addition of an egg white binder for albumen printing. Used well into the latter half of the century, the technique of making photographic prints with paper coated with egg whites was both simple and elegant once a skill set was perfected. Albumen prints have a glossy sheen, whereas salted paper prints have a matte finish. The final image hue ranges from a warm brown to a purple-brown depending on depth of printing and gold toning.

Instructors Mark Osterman and Nick Brandreth will guide participants through the steps of coating, printing, processing, and displaying salted paper prints made from glass, paper, and digital negatives.

Then, guided by the instructors, the group will prepare egg whites, coat and sensitize paper, and print from digital and glass collodion negatives. The evolution of albumen printing will be emphasized through several variants of the process as used in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Weather permitting, sun exposures will be made in the historic gardens at the George Eastman Museum. We will also demonstrate negative retouching, tissue printing masks, traditional wheat starch mounting, and print burnishing.

This workshop includes illustrated lectures on the theory of sun printing and albumen. Participants will view original salt prints by Roger Fenton, Hill and Adamson, James Robertson, and William Henry Fox Talbot, as well as albumen works by Julia Margaret Cameron, Gustave Le Gray, Eadweard Muybridge, and others.

Each participant will receive complete instructions and formulas as well as reprints of relevant historic articles on these printing processes.

Audience: Limited to eight, this five-day workshop is suitable for fine art photographers, teachers, history buffs, or anyone interested in the evolution of photography. No experience  necessary for this very hands-on workshop.

Cancellation Policy: Withdrawal from the workshop 30 days before the session start date will receive a refund, minus a $100 processing fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations made less than 30 days before a workshop start date. If the workshop is cancelled due to insufficient enrollment, the entire class will be fully refunded. The George Eastman Museum is not responsible for airline ticket cancellation costs or fees. The museum may take and use images, still or video, for educational and promotional purposes.

Location and Scheduling: Daily sessions begin at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. The workshop is held at the George Eastman Museum. Directions can be found here.

Lodging: Lodging is not included in the cost of the workshop. Participants must make their own arrangements. The host hotel for workshops held at the George Eastman Museum is the East Avenue Inn & Suites, eastaveinn.com. This hotel is within walking distance of the museum. Room rates begin at $119 per night. The East Avenue Inn & Suites also provides transportation to and from the airport. Reservations can be made by calling (800) 559-8039. When calling to make a reservation, please mention you are taking a workshop at the George Eastman Museum to get this special rate.