Experimentation on Display in AltPro Photo Class


The AltPro class in New York City on October 19. Credit: Shez Zangmo

Every Tuesday and Thursday night, a dedicated group of photographers gets together for a class that allows them to explore creative, experimental ways of making art.

Alternative Photographic Processes, taught by Mr. Hing, explores what constitutes a photo by exploring alternative methods of developing pictures. These include utilizing Ink Aid coatings, digital printing on metals and plastics, “Purrell” transfers, the use of studio “flash lighting,” 4×5 view camera techniques, and Cyanotype and Ziatype printing.

Open to sophomores through seniors, the night class consists of five students: Vince Wang ’20, Alex Marwaha ’20, Melissa Baseman’21, Shirley Shen ’21, and Shez Zangmo ’20.

Alex Marwaha is enrolled in three art classes this trimester. Employing an apt reference for the subject of photography, Alex said this particular class encourages creativity by broadening the scope of exploration.

“Usually you have a very limited scope of how far you can reach into creativity,” said Alex. “This class is awesome, as it makes the scope wider.”

Alex got technical to explain the intricacies of developing a photo in a non-traditional way.

“Texture and process have a major effect on the final look of a photograph, and in this you get a direct hand in the emulsion surface, chemical process, lighting, and you can manipulate the silver density of the digital negative, which is really cool,” said Alex.

On October 23, visiting artist Dan Burkholder spent three hours with the class demonstrating the Platinum/Palladium over gold leaf technique, which he pioneered in 2007.

Charlie Blumberg ’21 is not currently enrolled in the class, but is taking AP Studio Art and doing Arts Intensive, and he voluntarily came to learn Burkholder’s innovative process.

“Gold printing is super neat, especially because no one has done it before,” Charlie said. He added that he loved the workshop, especially how attentive Burkholder was to “the way students wanted to learn.”

On Oct. 25 the class took a trip to New York City to visit museums, photo exhibitions, and connect with alumni. The class spent two hours at PHOTOPLUS, the largest annual photo convention in North America, held this year at the Javits Center.

Mel Baseman ’21 said the trip allowed her to be more adventurous in her own work, and even influenced what she may do after Williston.

“It opened my mind to try things I haven’t yet thought about,” said Mel. “It made me consider my college path.”