CREDIT: Simon Williams

Early Wetplate Collodion Photography Talk

Event info

The period between 1831 and 1864, when the Clifton Suspension Bridge was built, saw some of the most significant advances in photography. Some of the earliest photographs ever taken are actually of its construction. When the bridge opened in 1864 some of the first pictures taken were made on glass using the recently announced Wetplate Collodion Process (1852).

Join science teacher and photographer Simon Williams for an extraordinary talk and live demonstration of this early glass plate photography technique. You’ll view images taken over 150 years ago and see how their quality rivals today’s digital images. You’ll also learn how cameras and technologies over 100 years old can produce unique images filled with beauty and atmosphere.

Watch a glass plate photograph negative appear, disappear, and then reappear as a positive image as Simon uses his 100-year-old camera to guide you through the process of using collodion and silver nitrate to produce an image of the bridge on a piece of glass.

This event has been supported by a grant awarded by South West Museum Development with thanks to funding from Arts Council England.


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Event Organiser

Simon Williams



Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre

Bridge Road

Leigh Woods