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A portrait at Studio Kokanas  

Studio Kokanas offers you a complete behind-the-scenes immersion in the making of a photograph. Our photographer Nicolas Chabrol will reveal to you the principles of this entirely artisanal process. Under the red light of the laboratory, he will show you each of the steps necessary to create an image, from the preparation of the photosensitive emulsion to the development of the final image. And it is then, at the end of this meticulous process, that you will see your portrait appear in a magical way on the support.


Very insensitive to light, collodion requires an exposure time of about ten seconds depending on the amount of light provided. This duration explains the depth of the portrait as well as the impression of life specific to this type of photography. Indeed, the staticity of the subject that it imposes is such that you give something to the image, like a part of yourself. This is also what explains the emotional intensity that collodion photographs express and contain.


Collodion is a living product, the age and maturation of which will directly influence the final rendering of the image. The older it gets, the more it will lose sensitivity but the more it will gain in contrast. The image thus obtained is in this sense a unique object, witness to a precise instant.


Applied to a glass or aluminum plate, this process makes it possible to obtain a unique, non-reproducible and long-lasting image. Indeed, these images have a lifespan of around 150 to 200 years! In the digital era, wet collodion photography makes it possible to reconnect with the materiality of the image as a physical and transmissible object.

Immersion with Nicolas Chabrol in Studio Kok anas

Wet collodion is a photographic process attributed to the Englishman Frederick Scott Archer in 1851. It enjoyed great popularity until the 1870s-1880s because it made it possible to reduce the exposure time from several minutes to a few seconds compared to its predecessor to the daguerreotype, which also made it possible to obtain photographs of great finesse.


The photographer Eadweard Muybridge used it in particular to produce his famous photographs of galloping horses and other chronophotographs.


Originally used as a glass plate negative, the ambrotype would later be used as a direct positive. The developed image then immediately appears positively. Other media will be used to replace glass, fragile and delicate to handle, in particular iron, now replaced by aluminum, which will give the name tintype.


Collodion is a cellulose nitrate dissolved in a mixture of alcohol and ether which is spread on a chosen support. When this syrupy mixture begins to solidify, the plate is immersed in a bath of silver nitrate to sensitize it. The salts then contained in the emulsion are thus transformed into light-sensitive silver halides. The plate is then drained, transferred to a light-tight frame and then introduced into the photographic chamber.


Collodion is sensitive to light only when wet, so the shot must be taken quickly. Once the plate is exposed, it should then be immediately developed under safelight with a mixture of gallic acid and iron sulfate. This step brings up a first image, with bluish tones. It will finally be introduced into a final bath to allow it to be fixed. This step will then reveal the final image, keeping the whites while erasing the blacks.

Prices for a session  

The studio can accommodate a maximum of 2 adults.  For children's portraits, we can adapt the composition according to the desired number. The average duration of a session is one hour.  


Ambrotype  :     150€          

On glass plate



Tintype :       120€          

On aluminum plate












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