Advanced Photography: Topics

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Topic varies. For Fall 2016: Introduction to Wet Plate Collodion

This course explores photography’s 19th century beginnings with wet plate collodion. Students will learn how to make these beautiful, instantaneous, hand-poured objects, along with the basics of the chemistry involved. They will learn how to adapt standard film holders in order to make their glass negatives, tintypes or ambrotpes with a traditional view camera as well as how to make enlarged collodion plates from either film or digital negatives.

This class will also cover some of the short history of the medium, various 19th century photographers along with contemporary practitioners. Discussion will include the context and relevance of historic processes in today’s changing photographic climate, 19th century brass lenses and spirit photography.

Students will visit tour the Center for Alternative Photography in order to see a north light studio and work with 19th century reproduction cameras and original brass lenses. Students are required to have a final body of work for review at the end of the semester.

3 credits. Prerequisite: Photo I. Visiting Artist: Joni Sternbach (Fall 2016)

Course Code: FA 361

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.