Robert Shimmin demonstrates wet plate collodion process to KCC photography students

Kalamazoo-based photographer Robert Shimmin visited two sets of Kellogg Community College photography students during classes last week to demonstrate a photographic process called wet plate collodion, which Shimmin describes on his blog as “a slow and deliberate process; part science, part alchemy and art.”

According to Shimmin’s blog — online at — wet plate collodion was the dominant method of photographic image making from 1851 until the early 1880s. The process involves a glass plate on which an image is created using preparatory chemicals to make it light-sensitive, and finishing chemicals to fix the image and increase its durability following exposure.

The workshop was presented as part of the course ART 295 Photography & Multimedia Special Topics: Alternative Photographic Practices.

Click here to view two dozen photos from one of Shimmin’s wet plate collodion workshops held at Kellogg Community College last week, including the image above. Shimmin is pictured on the left.

For more information about the Photography & Multimedia Program at Kellogg Community College, visit