For almost twenty years Dan Estabrook has been making contemporary art using a variety of 19th-century photographic techniques. His work has focused on the earliest processes on paper – calotype negatives and salted paper prints – as sources for hand manipulation with paint and pencil.
Calotype was the premier negative-positive system and one of the first photographic processes to emerge in the nineteenth century. In 1840, William Henry Fox Talbot introduced the calotype process – capturing light images on a sensitized paper – to the public. Prints from calotype negatives possess a picturesque quality that resembles the chiaroscuro effect of classical paintings and was most widely used in France and England.
Students will learn the traditional process for making calotypes and will discuss various French formulae, as well as practical considerations like paper choice, coating techniques, waxing for transparency and printing.