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Workshop: Salt Printing Melitte Buchman


  • The Penumbra Foundation 36 East 30th Street New York, NY, 10016 United States (map)
©Melitte Buchman

©Melitte Buchman

Salt printing was among the earliest photographic processes, discovered by Fox Talbot in 1834. This means that salt printing pre-dates daguerreotypes by quite a shot. Fox initially referred to this technique as photogenic drawing. Later when the idea of negatives was invented (also by Fox Talbot in 1841) salt printing was paired with negatives to produce photographic prints.  

Salt printing is a technique that combines NaCl (table salt), silver nitrate and gelatin.  Paper is “salted” with a combination of gelatin and salt.  It is then sensitized with an application of light-sensitive silver nitrate solution.  A contact print is made in full sun or ultraviolet light with a negative facing the light source and the sensitized paper sandwiched beneath to create a final print.  It is a lovely soft process that sinks into the fibers of the paper and is often sepia, bluish-black or purplish in tone.  It was used extensively until about the 1850s.  

In this two day workshop hosted by the Penumbra Foundation you will learn to work with and create salt prints with instructor Melitte Buchman. Included with the tuition for this workshop, the you will be provided with the materials and instruction to learn how to create your own salt prints!

©Melitte Buchman

©Melitte Buchman

Workshop Details:

About Melitte Buchman:
Melitte Buchman has been a professional photographer for over thirty years. Her work, though spanning numerous techniques over time, has at its core always been about issues of place and objects of power. She is interested in relationships between man-made systems and the natural environment. She wonders about the mystery, beauty and romance that we overlook daily. Her photographs are re-examinations of things and places common to us here and now. She dives deeper taking a closer look at what is present. Beneath the quotidian, she sees latent strangeness that lurks under the common. Her work was originally in film-based photography but has moved backward in photographic technique to tintype, ambrotype, salt printing and other alternative processes. Over the past decade, she has developed these pictorial techniques to discuss the romantic and emotional in our world.  Whether a superfund site or modern technology, these items when re-seen become more real.

For more information visit the workshop page at The Penumbra Foundation!