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Alternative Photographic Processes in New York State: Sources

A resource for those looking to explore and practice alternative photographic processes in New York state.

Annotated Bibliography


Alternative photographic processes A-Z. (2009, December 26). Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

    In this online resource, provides concise introductions to dozens of alternative photographic processes. Alternative photographic processes A-Z also links to published resources and’s expansive collection of instructional process articles.

    Alternative photographic processes A-Z provided helpful context for our own process introductions, and we share the resource on our How-To page, to provide our users with a means of learning additional processes we do not have the capacity to touch upon within the limited scope of our LibGuide.

Anderson, C. Z. (2013). Gum printing and other amazing contact printing processes. Bozeman, MT: Christina Z. Anderson.

    Part manual part essays about the contemporary context of alternative processes, Gum printing and other amazing contact printing processes is often used as a textbook in college courses focusing on alternative processes.

    This book is an important part of our recommended “How-To Books” list because we have put it to use ourselves in our own work creating cyanotypes, van dyke prints, salt prints, and others. Anderson’s language is clear and easy to follow. Unfortunately, no copies of this text were available from Pratt Libraries nor NYPL.

Brandt, M. (n.d.). Bio. Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

Matthew Brandt is a contemporary working artist who experiments in alternative processes. His series “Lakes and Reservoirs” is featured in this LibGuide, which highlights his process of washing chromogenic prints in the water depicted in the photograph. Our information on his process and his biography came from his Bio page on his website. He has many other series that utilize alternative processes which can be found on his website as well.

Cauchi, B. (n.d.). Ben Cauchi. Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

Ben Cauchi is a contemporary working artist who utilizes alternative processes in his current works. The information on his biography and his process was taken from his gallery’s website, where more of his work can be seen. They also have a link to his website where users can see related publications and exhibitions he has been included in. His gallery will also include information on any upcoming exhibitions his work may be in.

Center for Alternative Photography Workshops. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

Penumbra is a non-profit foundation located in New York City. They offer many different outlets for those looking to get involved with alternative processes from entry level to expert. They offer many different types of workshops varying in length and skill level and offer a research library of books on all photographic processes. They also have an artist in residency program for established artists working with alternative processes. For the residency they offer unlimited use of the facilities and technical support. In addition to their education-centered programs, they also have a tintype studio where individuals can pay to have their portrait taken in this historic process. All proceeds go towards the organization and their facilities. The tintype studio is especially popular for weddings and other events.


Community Right to Know: List of Hazardous Substances. (2015, December). New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Retrieved from

    This New York City government document, published by the Department of Environmental Protection, defines hazardous substances that fall under New York City’s Community Right-to-Know Law (Local Law 26, of 1988).

    Several of the chemicals used in wet-plate collodion, daguerreotypes, and other alternative photographic processes appear within this document. It is important for New-York-City-area practitioners to make themselves aware of whether they are required by city law to report the chemistry that they maintain.

Cyanotype Kit Instructions. (n.d.). Bostick & Sullivan. Retrieved from

Bostick and Sullivan is one of the resources listed in the Suppliers box. They are one of the first resources taught to those interested in alternative processes because they offer the necessary chemicals, equipment, and basic instructions for each process. Users can buy individual chemicals as well as whole kits for certain processes that will also include the basic materials along with the necessary chemicals. Here is where we retrieved the instructions used in our cyanotype video. Each kit will come with a set of instructions and tips to consider. They are a vital resource for anybody interested in alternative processes.

Lab / Workshops. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

Light Work is a non-profit organization in Syracuse, New York. They work in conjunction with Syracuse University and offer discounts to students, however anybody is able to use their facilities for an hourly fee or a membership price. They have a community darkroom and digital workstations. Although they do not specialize in alternative processes, they still have the facilities for some of them. They offer workshops as well, although they lean more towards the digital realm. Their facilities include large format printers, high resolution scanners, large work tables, and many digital workstations for editing.

Lavédrine, B. (2009). Photographs of the past: process and preservation. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute.

    Photographs of the Past describes in detail the historic and scientific context of analog photographic processes. Lavédrine describes the physical composition of historic processes in a vivid, and easy-to-understand way and clearly communicates the chemical reactions at play within each photographic process.

    Photographs of the Past provides needed historic context for the alternative processes presented within our LibGuide, and beyond. It was our primary source in writing the process introductions featured on the home page.

Mann, S. (n.d.). Sally Mann. Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

Sally Mann in an internationally recognized and celebrated working artist who primarily utilizes wet-plate collodion processes in her work. Her various series reflect on her family, the land, the body, and death, and she is collected by institutions all over the world. More information about the specific institutions she is collected by and publications she has been in, as well as more examples of her work, can be found on her website.

McCaw, C. (n.d.). Bio/Press/CV. Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

Chris McCaw caught most people’s attention with his “Sunburn” series, which is included in this LibGuide. His process of physically burning the negative to depict sun trails earned him many museum exhibitions and acquisitions, and a handful of publications as well. His other series also utilize alternative process, mainly platinum/ palladium prints and can be viewed on his website.

Osterman, M., & Osterman, F. S. (2017). Basic collodion technique: ambrotype & tintype (Version VII). Rochester, New York: Scully & Osterman, Inc.

    Mark and France Scully Osterman are two of the leading experts and instructors in wet-plate collodion photography. The Ostermans a widely credited as primary players in the processes’ return to popularity after a roughly sixty-year hiatus. Basic Collodion Technique is a self-published manual on the collodion process, and was based primarily on the team’s personal practice and primary research in nineteenth-century scientific notes and publications.

    We included Basic Collodion Technique as one of our recommended “How-To Books” because, despite its small size, it’s one of the most comprehensive manuals on wet-plate collodion available. Safety recommendations from the front matter and appendix of Basic Collodion Technique were also referenced in our “Precautions” page.

Photography Workshops. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

The George Eastman Museum was created in honor of the founder of Kodak. Alternative processes and other types of analog photography are integral to this institution’s mission. They offer a variety of workshops at many skill levels and have an expansive collection of prints of all different processes. They also an expansive library of information on photographic processes. This is an excellent resource for those interested in the more technical aspects of analog photography and alternative processes. In addition to photographic processes, they also have a rather large moving image collection as well.

Sally Mann | Untitled (Self Portrait #4) (2011) | Artsy. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

Artsy is an online resource that primarily focuses on providing information on works for sale. This information is used for various types of research, including bibliographic and for market purposes. However, it is also a very valuable resource when searching for works by a specific artist. This resource was valuable to this project for this reason. By using Artsy we were able to see a wider range of work from contemporary artists who use alternative processes in their works that is not always represented on their personal website.

Sternbach, J. (n.d.). Joni Sternbach. Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

Joni Sternbach’s work is I a similar vein as Sally Mann when it comes to their approach to alternative processes. Sternbach works primarily with tintypes, but instead of photographing her family she turns her camera to surfers. She is best known for her series “Surfland” which is featured in this LibGuide and uses the tintype process to photograph surfers on beaches all over the work. Her other series, such as “The Salt Effect” and “Abandoned” also use the tintype process but instead depict landscapes. Sternbach also has a number of monographs and has been exhibited internationally. More information on her process, series, and career can be found on her website.

The Community Right-to-Know Program. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

    This page on the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s website describes the city’s Right-to-Know program (Local Law 26, of 1988) which stipulates that the City “effectively regulate the storage, use, and handling of hazardous substances.”

    Some of the chemicals involved in alternative photographic processes fall under the regulation of the Right-to-Know program. As such, it is important for New-York-City residents to acquaint themselves with the program’s requirements.

Tips and Techniques. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

    Lund Photographics, a wet-plate collodion supply company has published this extensive web page on suggestions for making wet-plate collodion images.

    Lund’s recommendation of the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and other safety tips influenced the final content of our “Precautions” page.

Workshops. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2018, from

The Center for Photography at Woodstock is a non-profit located in Woodstock, New York just up the Hudson River from New York City. This organization is a hub of photographic education and exploration for artists of all skill levels. They offer workshops of various types from digital to analog photography, and they also offer an artist in residence program and have an exhibition space as well. They do not focus on any one particular aspect of the photographic field but rather have something for almost everyone. This organization is a very valuable resource for those just beginning in photographic exploration.