Mirror, Mirror: Daguerreotypes with Jerry Spagnoli

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During our Daguerreotype Workshop with Jerry Spagnoli our participants got to try their hand at the first photographic process! 

Daguerreotype is a means of making a photograph that involves sensitizing a highly polished silver plate with iodine vapors, exposing it in a large-format camera, developing and fixing the image, and applying a gilded coating to preserve the plate. Our participants performed all these steps assisted by their instructor. Spagnoli explained the various chemical reactions that took place throughout the process, leading to a better understanding of how light-sensitive materials operate. Through learning how to make Daguerreotypes, our workshop participants gained a historical perspective of how early photographs were made and brought that knowledge into the 21st century by making contemporary images.

 

Polishing the plate – we broke out the power tools for this workshop!

Sensitizing the plate

Metering for good exposure

Clearing the plate

Checking the plate in good lighting

Gilding the plate – in lieu of the traditional ring stand, we improvised with an old spring!

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