NESOP 2016 Class Syllabus for Alternative Processes / by Ron Cowie

Alternative Processes
The New England School Of Photography
537 Commonwealth Ave Boston, MA

What are Alternative Processes?

Alternative processes is a catch-all phrase for 19th century photo techniques.  These techniques include, but are not limited to:
Wet Plate Collodion (Tintype, Orotone, Collodion Negatives)
Salt Printing (Albumen, Collodion Chloride, Salt Printing)
Platinum/palladium Printing
Gum Bichromate
Silver Bromide Emulsions (Gelatin Silver)

Primary Purpose
The goal of this class is to teach you how to make a photographic image using these historic methods. This is a hands on class and we will spend a considerable amount of time in the darkroom or developing rooms. This should be fun and engaging.

You will be graded on the following items:
Class participation
This is a hands-on class and you can only learn by doing.
Your attitude in class.
Read a book during class (yes, this has happened).
Do other schoolwork during my class.
Leave early.
Come to class obviously under the influence of “what have you”.


  • Show up on time.
  • Participate
  • Ask any questionsrelated to the subject.
  • Bring extra material to share with the class.
  • Do extra work outside of class.
  • Have fun.
  • Help your classmates

Class Safety
Most of the materials we will be using requires mindfulness. Some is downright dangerous. The object of this class is to have fun and learn. Safety is the key to both those things occurring.  
You must have latex gloves when we are in the darkroom. Buy them
Goggles or safety glasses are not unwelcome or frowned upon.
Wear clothing that you are willing to get messy. An apron or jumpsuit are creative alternatives.
Move mindfully.

Weekly Schedule
Week 1: Introduction, Cyanotypes.
Week 2:  Cyanotypes, toning cyanotypes.
Week 3: Kallitype
Week 4: Platinum Printing
Week 5: Mystery!
Week 6: Collodion
Week 7: Collodion
Week 8: Collodion
Week 9: Collodion Chloride POP
Week 10: Exam and Thrill Night.

There are no textbooks for this class. I will be posting helpful links and information on the material we will be covering.