Wet Plate Collodion and Salt Print Workshop – September 10th-25th 2016
Please join us for an intensive workshop run by fine artist and historical photographic process expert Luther Gerlach, hosted by the International Center for the Arts this September 10th to 25th. The ancient hill-top village of Monte Castello di Vibio is the setting for this immersive program. Students will enjoy private accommodation in a twelfth century stone convent with spectacular views of the Tiber Valley, including three home-cooked Umbrian meals per day. Using historical cameras, we will create wet plate collodion negatives and positives and make salt prints from those. This workshop pairs beautiful scenery and historic sites with Gerlach’s sense of artistry and passion for historical photographic processes.
“Quite often, I feel as if my soul is in the past and my mind is in the future. The vintage cameras and processes I use have a magical quality, which helps me to bring forth an indefinable depth of feeling and poetic structure in my images. My primary concern is that my art communicates both on a factual level, as well as on one of beauty and emotion.” –Luther Gerlach
Luther Gerlach will be instructing workshops on wet plate collodion and salt printing, with a brief introduction to albumen printing. The first week, participants will work directly with Gerlach’s collection of historical cameras and lenses as they create their own wet plate collodion positives and negatives. The second week will focus on printing the negatives. Weston Naef, Curator Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Michael G Wilson, historical photographic collector and producer will be participating in the workshop. These men are world authorities in historical photography and in addition to their participation, they will be lecturing on their respective work as collectors and historians. What a rare opportunity to have both of these luminaries together in such a picturesque and intimate setting. This workshop is intended for participants with a wide range of experience levels and interests. Beginning and experienced wet plate photographers, curators and photo historians will all find this workshop enlightening and beneficial. Participants will be immersed in a learning environment designed to give you the confidence to continue working and developing skills on your own.
Luther Gerlach is one of the foremost artists working in historical photographic processes. For the past 30 years, he has been involved with many aspects of the art form, including lecturing and demonstrating at museums, universities and private workshops; building the cameras he works with and collecting lenses, cameras and other historical photographic technologies. Gerlach has conducted workshops and master classes across the United States and Europe, including at the inaugural European Wet plate collodion symposium. As expert in historical processes he has contributed to the Getty Museum’s Encyclopedia of Photographic Processes. As an artist, “my main emphasis is working with the poetic structure of light to coax layers of meaning and beauty from my subject matter.” Gerlach uses his extensive collection of antique cameras and lenses for his work, with a special focus on mammoth plate cameras. His primary focus for the last 15 years has been the wet plate collodion process. Gerlach has done over 200 on-site demonstrations, lectures and workshops at the J. Paul Getty Museum and was a featured speaker at the 2015 Alternative Photographic International Symposium. He has taught historical photographic processes at universities around the country, including UCLA, Art Center, Tulane, Brooks Institute of Photography and New York Film School. His work is exhibited internationally and included in major private and museum collections
Amelie and Alchemy from Konstantin Brazhnik on Vimeo.
Accommodations and Services
We provide private accommodation in a twelfth century stone convent (called, Asilo, or “sanctuary”). Each room affords a spectacular views of the Tiber Valley. Round the clock access to studio space and 24 hour bilingual support allow participants to fully immerse themselves, both in their work and in the rhythms of life of an Umbrian hill town. Weekly excursions compliment the experience.
See accommodations and facilities page for more info
Also see this link to our setting page for more information about our workshop’s setting.
This workshop includes two full day trips and one half day trip. The first week, as students are immersed in the wet plate collodion process, we will visit Florence. Here, we will make a trip to the Alinari Photography Museum, where students will be exposed to the great beauty that can be accomplished using this process. We will also tour the local countryside for a half day, stopping to shoot with smaller view cameras or other devices and ending in the charming hill towns of Rote Castello and San Venzano for dinner. The second week, as we are wrapping up the salt print segment of our workshop, we will visit Bomarzo and Marmore Falls. Built by the Romans to control the flow of water into the aqueducts, Marmore has been a tourist attraction since Roman times. Described by Lord Byron in his epic work Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, “rapid as the light the flashing mass foams shaking the abyss,” Marmore Falls has inspired generations of writers, photographers and painters. Students can join in the fun and shoot their personal film or digital cameras on this trip.
A Day in the Life…
We have a deep and intense learning experience planned for you. (see the full Workshop Itinerary on Luther Gerlach’s website here) However, being in such a romantic environment, there is plenty of time built into the schedule to just enjoy. It is vital to our mission that you allow “la dolce vita” to seep into your artistic process as much as possible.
A typical Umbrian breakfast is served at 8 AM and is available until 9 AM. Students will be in class from 9 AM to 12 PM, with an hour to wrap up or relax before lunch. Lunch will be served in the common room from 1 PM to 2 PM. Afternoons will typically be less structured, designed to facilitate and supervise individual work. In the hours between 6 PM and 8 PM, program participants and local people alike gather in the piazza outside of the Bar Centrale for bitters, coffee or a glass of wine, and join in conversation about the day’s activities. From 8 PM to 9 PM we have dinner on the terrace, often followed by an evening talk, slide presentation on a Visiting Artists’ work or a film (as announced). These occur in the common room or in the Teatro Concordia on Tuesdays.
€2450 for all inclusive ICA
€750 instructor fee
€140 materials fee
€3,340 total amount payable to ICA
Note: this is all inclusive as follows.
Family friendly accommodations are available.
Not included: airfare and meals on trips as cited.
- 15 full days double or petite single accommodations with views
- Private Studio and Group Classroom space
- Lectures with at the Teatro Concordia with Weston Naef, Curator Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Michael G Wilson, historical photographic collector and producer of the James Bond films
- Trip orientation and trip monitor
- Orientation tour of Monte Castello and ICA
- 3 Meals on all days excluding 2 full trip days, one dinner on the second Sunday and dinner on the RoteCastello half day trip
- Two full day trips: Florence, Marmore Falls/Bomarzo
- One half day trip: Rotecastello/Umbria countryside
- Transport by private bus to and from Rome FCO airport, start/end of trip
- Exhibition with reception
- Weekly housekeeping/linens
- Pre-trip talks and orientation.
Deposits are due by August 1, 2016
Final registration and Payment in Full is due August 15, 2016
Cancellation before August 1: Full refund less deposit of €225
Cancellation after August 15: Fees are non-refundable
After August 15, we will accept registrations and deposits on a space available basis, payable in full at the time of registration.
A €50 fee will be assessed for late registration.
Please see this link for our complete cancellation policies