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Alternative and historical processes

6 films
At the start, I have a fairly precise idea of what I want to do. Then you have to give way to the process. The process has its own personality too.
- Jean-François Fresson
DK2R Team

The so-called alternative processes in photography often refer to 19th-century techniques: the uniqueness of the print, its "stamp value" and the technical difficulty of these processes have been rediscovered by lovers of a slow pace and rare work. In addition, these ancient methods offer subtle tonal ranges, often very strongly linked to the sensitivity of the person carrying out the various stages of creation.

These processes, perfected by pictorialists in the 19th century in an attempt to push back against precision, still find fans today, and for the same reasons.

Films on the theme

The Workshop | The Fresson Process

In the secrecy of their workshop, a real time capsule that takes us back to the 19th century, the Fresson grandson and great-grandson are at work. Guardians of a legendary photographic process, they can spend up to two weeks on a single print. An intimate film that offers insight into a technique, but also into a family of craftsmen who have been part of the history of photography for more than a century. A rare documentary that reveals the difficulty of preserving an art that is slow and fragile in a world addicted to speed, where digital and inkjet printers reign.

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Sara Imloul | Das Schloss

On the ground floor of a vast family home, a young photographer shuttles between an antique view camera and a laboratory overflowing with dangerous chemicals. She seems in a state of uncertainty. One shot follows another. Each is a disappointment... Sara Imloul's discovery of the calotype sparked the idea for her first photographic series. Reappropriating this historical process by combining it with personal experiments, she explores a world both mysterious and poetic, which illustrates all the richness of today's photography.

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Carlos Barrantes | Artist and artisan

In his laboratory in Perpignan, Carlos Barrantes has perfectly mastered the art of historical photographic processes, all those monochrome techniques that require incredible precision, specific tools, and a knack. The printer's know-how does not stop there. Carlos also reveals his photographic work, closely linked to the processes he uses. And by observing these variations, we can see how each method tells its story.

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The Chemigram by Odile Bernard Schröder

One day in 1995, photographer Odile Bernard Schröder decided to leave her camera in the cupboard and instead devote herself exclusively to her research, exploring the vast world of alternative photographic processes. Using various techniques, she multiplies her experiments with light... Part one of a three-part encounter, this film sees her tackle the chemigram, a technique invented by Pierre Cordier in 1956, which uses both painting and photographic materials to create its images.

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The Cliché-Verre by Odile Bernard Schröder

Part two of a three-part encounter, this film sees her tackle the Cliché-verre, a printmaking process invented by Grandguillaume and Adalbert Cuvelier and practiced by Corot, Rousseau, the Barbizon painters and later by Man Ray.

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The Cyanotype by Odile Bernard Schröder

In this third and final part of our meeting, she shares with us her vision and her practical experience of the cyanotype, one of the oldest photographic processes, which has very much come back into fashion in recent years.

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