• Alternative Process Photography

    Handmade prints using historical processes

    Handmade prints

    There is beauty in the imperfections. Alternative process prints are never the same twice. From variations in how the chemistry is applied to subtle tone difference in the exposure, each print is unique. This is how photography started. Before roll film, before the Fotomat, there were inventors who experimented with processes like calotype and collodion prints. Their work led to the processes we use today.

    Chemistry class was never like this.

    I've said often that if I had learned about alt process photography in high school I might have studied more in chemistry class. And it's true. To make a print you're often coating paper with two different chemicals that combine to make a light sensitive emulsion. For example, in the salt print shown the paper is first coated with salt water. After that dries it is coated in silver nitrate. The salt and silver combine to make silver chloride, which is light sensitive.