As we move deeper into the digital world of pixels and megabytes, there has been a counterbalance taking place—a quiet but steady growth of interest in historic photo processes. Handmade Photographs offers a wonderful opportunity to discover and explore two popular historic photographic processes, Cyanotype and Platinum Palladium, and then experiment and expand these into personal statements.
The medium of photography began in the 1800s after the discovery of the use of heavy metals to dye fabrics using water as a catalyst. Today, these historical photo printmaking processes are still available and known as Alt Pro Photography. This revered but little-known part of the photographic world uses sunlight, heavy metals, and water to create a photographic print.
Christi Wiltenburg, artist and alt process photographer, trained by the famed Alt Pro champion and Santa Fe-based Bostick & Sullivan, leads this workshop. She starts the week by teaching the important initial step of making digital negatives — a process refined with specific curves and adjustments in Photoshop before the actual negative is printed on a calibrated printer with transparency film. Then Christi introduces workshop participants to the processes of Cyanotype and Platinum Palladium.
After experimenting with these processes, the next step is to combine them, add toners, and work with photogram compositions. Adding to the wealth of creative possibilities, various alternative printmaking techniques including transfers and printing on various substrates round out this full week.
Note: This workshop utilizes the Alt Process Lab located in the basement of The Workshops. There is a flight of stairs that you will use quite a bit, traveling back and forth from the digital lab.
Proficient in digital workflow; working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom is helpful.
Christi Wiltenburg is an artist and historic alt process photographer. She received her BA in Photography from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Before graduating, she interned with Bostick & Sullivan in Santa Fe, and after completing her degree, she was a Work/Study for Santa Fe Workshops. Christi then re-joined Bostick & Sullivan and for five years was immersed in historic photo processes as their primary customer service representative and darkroom manager.
Christi’s personal work explores expressions of grief after the passing of her mother in 2018 through historical photo processes combined with layering of several processes, fiber arts, and Fujifilm Instax cameras.