Michael Schaaff led the workshop for wet plate collodion and clearly demonstrated his depth of skill and experience in the technique. It was great to see the level of dedication he gave to his practice from sourcing the materials to the occasional DIY large format camera or dark box; something I've considered myself. I found the whole process in perfect balance between science and art where the photographer really exhibits a labour of love to prepare these plates.
While I can understand that unpredictable results may yield a certain level of frustration, it is the element of surprise and happy accidents that I look forward to harnessing in my photographic practice. As a printmaker and photographer, I value the imperfection that has been lost in digital media and the idea of the craftsman perfecting their craft.
Overall, the process was complex and will probably require a couple of workshops before attempting myself but I look forward to when I do. It was a great way to network with other practicing artists and photographers in the local area and I look forward to similar opportunities in the future.
See Michael Schaaf's website on wet plate collodion HERE
Photographs courtesy of workshop attendees - Kate Genever and David Neve