[Alt-photo] the alt family tree

Joseph Smigiel smieglitz at gmail.com
Sun Jul 30 22:10:34 UTC 2017


Hi Chris,

I'll just mention that my start in gum printing originated with Kodak's Creative Darkroom Techniques from the early 70s and that actually predated Skopick and Keepers of Light by a few years.

In terms of wetplate collodion, I believe the modern lineage should include George Berkhofer and John Hurlock. I'm not sure about this, but I think they were mentors to John Coffer who got the ball rolling in the re-enactor scene. Later, I found the Osterman's "Collodion Journal" though it took at least a decade for me to investigate that process further and finally take a workshop first with one of their students, Michael Mazzeo, and shortly afterward with John Coffer. The recent collodion fora of Bob Szabo and Quinn Jacobson were also very important in the wetplate revival.

Other alt influences for me included Elizabeth Opalenik who was a protégé of Jean-Pierre Sudre in mordançage.

In addition to the texts you've already mentioned, Nadeau's and Dick Sullivan's publications were helpful in other areas and Dick Arentz's book clarified Platinum printing for me. Judy's WJPFP, too. And Sandy King should be mentioned in the context of carbon printing among his other contributions.

This list was a gift and exponentially increased my knowledge base and contacts.

Joe




On Jul 16, 2017, at 12:43 PM, Christina Z. Anderson via Alt-photo-process-list wrote:

> Dear All,
> 
> A few years ago SPE (Society of Photographic Education) was working out this photography family tree thing, where members would write in who taught them photography. I thought it was an interesting proposition, even though most of us have several moms and dads so to speak so the final tree trunk might not be just one set of “parents.” 
> 
> An MFA in photography is a comparatively new field as compared to other arts, but even other arts had schools of training and thought (e.g. Bauhaus).
> 
> So that got me thinking about the key texts (and mentors, teachers, people) who influenced me in alt over the years. And it also got me to thinking about alt list members over the years, who’s still on, who still posts, that kind of thing. 
> 
> And then I’ve noticed lately “pockets” of alt in different countries and wondered who was at the foundations of those movements. It had to start somewhere. Where did Mrhar come from? 
> 
> Whatever the case, alt seems to be a burgeoning movement, unlike in the 60s or 70s where it was decidedly not mainstream.
> 
> Anyway, it is an interesting conversation to think about, our forefathers and foremothers.
> 
> Perhaps all contemporary collodion, for instance, leads back to Osterman or Coffer? Salt leads back to Reilly (1980)? Gum to Scopick?
> 
> William Crawford’s text and then Scopick’s were at my foundation, but then Airey, House, Arnow, Blacklow, Hahn (who was influenced by Henry Holmes Smith), Nettles, Van Keuren…and then later Enfield, James, Farber, Barnier.
> 
> I’d love to hear input from others as to their influences, perhaps too long a conversation for the summer vacation months! I decided to make a list of which I will share when I feel it is comprehensive. Wouldn’t want to miss someone because they weren’t on my personal radar.
> 
> Chris
> 
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