"I had a great time at the workshop! I feel like this has re-energized my enthusiasm for photography, which has been in steady decline for 10+ years. Being in West Virginia was really part of the experience for me, and I hope I can go back someday for another class." - Eric Bullock, July 2015


Lisa's Cabin
Paw Paw, WV

Students will be shooting 8"x10", prior wet plate experience is required.
Students are advised to bring their own cameras.  Two cameras will be available for loan.

Wet plate collodion was the leading method of photography during the 1850’s and 1860’s.  The wet plate process is most commonly known in its three forms – tintypes (positives on tin), ambrotypes (positives on glass), and glass negatives (negatives on glass).  In this workshop, attendeses will have a chance to photograph freely using 8x10 cameras and chemistry in a rural setting.  The basics will not be taught, however, there will be a focus on honing and advancing the craft of wet plate in the field.

This workshop provides a unique opportunity to apply your skill set to an outdoor setting.  Ample opportunity for practitioners who would like to learn the wet plate collodion process using natural light, and who would like to build their own darkrooms, and shoot in the field.  Participants will learn how to create and expose images using the sun, proper developing for positives or negatives, fixing and varnishing. Students also learn proper handling, safety, and how to build their own darkroom and/or modify a camera.

Workshop participants will be using their own cameras - or, if reserved, the two cameras available. The chemicals and other materials will be supplied.

Attendees will need to provide their own transportation, food, tents, and sleeping bags. Accommodations are available nearby for those who do not want to camp. One small tent is available for workshop participant use on a first come, first served basis.


LISA ELMALEH's work is an exploration of rural America. Using a portable darkroom in the trunk of her car, Elmaleh photographs using the nineteenth century wet collodion process. Elmaleh received the Silas Rhodes scholarship to attend the School of Visual Arts, and obtained a BFA with honors. She is a recipient of the Tierney Fellowship, the Everglades Artist Residency, the Camera Club of New York Darkroom Residency, and the Goldwell Artist Residency. She has been included in various group shows such as the 2008 New York Photofest (Powerhouse) and Landscape: Voyage (KMR Arts). lisaelmaleh.com

Feature Image © Lisa Elmaleh
Workshop photos from May 2015 courtesy of Kathryn Obermaier