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 antique photo processes and alternative ways to print images. The Handmade Photograph workshop offers a wonderful opportunity to discover and explore both historic photographic processes as well as printing on alternative surfaces with a team of instructors.
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 and Dana Sullivan, from famed Alt Pro champion and Santa Fe-based Bostick & Sullivan, lead this workshop. They start the week by teaching the important initial step of making digital negatives — a process they have refined with specific curves and adjustments in Photoshop before the actual negative is printed on a calibrated printer with transparency film. Then Christi and Dana introduce workshop participants to three of the most popular historic processes: Cyanotypes, Van Dyke Brown, 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.
A field trip to Bostick & Sullivan’s studio on Friday afternoon brings a fitting end to this unique immersion into the world of handmade photographs. Come join the summer fun as Santa Fe’s two world-renown photographic organizations combine their respective resources and teaching talent.
Special support from:
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.
Dana Sullivan is the lab manager and head of product development at Bostick & Sullivan, the company his parents founded in 1980. Through his father, Dana developed a passion for photography and computers, which led to him working on primitive film-digital hybrid special effects teams for the movies Double Impact and Honey, I Blew Up the Baby. After moving to Santa Fe full time in 1995, Dana set out to expand his company’s product line to include supplies and kits for every major antique photographic process.
The hybrid special effects process Dana helped develop in the early 1990s, inspired Dana in the 2000s to commission a free hybrid digital negative system that makes hand crafted photography accessible to anyone with an inkjet printer. Dana does not produce a portfolio of his own work, but his custom printing can currently be seen in the Netflix series Godless and in promotional material for The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp.