5-day Workshop on Alternative Photography Processes with Brian Potts

Date – 3-7 Mar 2018, Chennai, India


Alternative photography

Alternative photography is a term usually associated with non digital and mass produced images and techniques. More often it is the ‘alternative process’ of analog and hand made prints that define the alternate image today.
Historic processes have re emerged in the hands of contemporary practitioners who have transformed the image into objects of Art. Often the image may appear inconsistent or imperfect, but the tactile nature and intuitive approach, ensures the print remain unique. Not only is this an exploration of the alternative process, it is an ‘alternative vision’.

Brian Potts

Led by Melbourne based photo-artist Brian Potts who has more than two decades of teaching experience around the world; this workshop series is meant for enthusiasts and professionals alike and offers participants the unique opportunity to dive into traditional photographic processes from the absolute basics of developing a roll of black and white film, making contact prints and enlargements through to alternative processes such as cyanotype and paper negatives.

The processes

The ‘Cyanotype’ was one of the first non silver technologies used to create photographic images. Invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, it was adapted as a copying technique for large architectural and mechanical illustrations. It was also termed a ‘blueprint’ ( still relevant in todays vernacular}. A mixture of Potassium Ferricyanide and Ferric Ammonium Citrate are used to sensitise media and exposed to ultraviolet light.

The ‘Vandyke Brown’ print (sometimes referred to as Kallitype) can also be credited as a variation of Sir John Herschels experiments with light sensitive materials. As the name implies, a rich brown print is synonymous with this process (attributed to the pigment used by painters). A mixture of Ferric Ammonium Citrate and Silver Nitrate solutions are used to coat the media which is then exposed to sunlight.


Who Is This For?

This workshop is for the serious hobbyist, practicing photographers and artists wishing to explore or extend both their current practices and vision. You will be guided both as a group and 1:1 hands on techniques.


Schedule 3rd March to 7th March – 5-day workshop

Day 1

1. 9am – 12pm

  • Introduction: Brief History, Contemporary practices
  • Traditional and digital negatives
  • Materials and Chemistry and Safety

2.1pm – 4pm

  • Demonstration: Cyanotype and Vandyke Brown Prints
  • Toning prints
  • * Groups

Day 2

1.9am -12pm

  • Group A      Practical ‘Cyanotypes’
  • Coating media, exposing, washing and drying

2.1pm – 4pm

  • Group B      As above

Day 3

1.9am – 12pm

  • Group A       Practical ‘Vandyke Brown’
  • Coating media, exposing, washing and drying

2.1pm – 4pm  

  • Group B     As Above

Day 4

1. 9am – 12pm

  • Group A       Personal Choice (Cyanotype or Vandyke brown)
  • New negatives or refined
  • Toning

2.1pm – 4pm

  • Group B      As Above

Day 5

1.9am – 4pm

  • Final Prints
  • Groups A+B    Review
  • Selections for Exhibition
  • Mounting and Framing work
  • Exhibition

The resulting works will be curated and produced for a public exhibition hosted at the Goethe-Institut Chennai for 5 days from 10th to 17th March 2018


  • Rs. 11,000 per student
  • 4 Scholarships for College Students (must show student ID)
  • Max number of seats: 12

What’s included

  • 3 x Pictorico Transparency (8×10) for digital negatives
  • 15 x High-Quality Watercolor Paper for printmaking
  • Chemistry & Lab Fees included
  • Supervision & Support by lab assistant at all times


  • Workshop: The Dark Room at Anna Nagar This apartment converted into a studio and darkroom is a haven for creative thought. Explore the collections of photography books and resources while you wait your turn for your negatives to dry. Equipped with 4 working enlargers and a separate wet area as well as a separate print washing room, this space is perfect for intense printing. The main hall doubles up as a studio complete with interchangeable backdrops and strobe-flashes which are available for rent.
  • Venue for Exhibition: Goethe-Institute, Auditorium

Click here  to Book Regular Seat