This workshop is an introduction to the antique and flexible gum bichromate process.
By making artists’ watercolors light sensitive and coating the emulsions on elegant paper, students will create images reminiscent of the Photo-Secession period – a once controversial viewpoint that the significance of a photograph was not what was in front of the camera but the manipulation of the image by the artist/photographer to achieve his or her subjective vision.
During the early 19th century, when photography was considered to be a means to record reality and prominently used for clinical purposes, the pictorialist movement emerged. Through their movement, pictorialists aimed to elevate photography to fine art status. Pictorialists, such as Heinrich Kuhn, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Steichen, used processes like gum bichromate to create textured, artistic images that captured a mood, and advocated that photographers should guide their images much the same way that painters do.