New Wetplate Workshop at VillaRoquette

Wetplate collodion photography workshop at VillaRoquette

John Brewer using a 19th century camera at Villa Roquette

Our next workshop at Villa Roquette wetplate collodion workshop september 2025 will be on the weekend of September 26/27 2015.

It is run by John Brewer wetplate collodion workshops.

The cost of the two day workshop is £325, or £475 which includes two nights full board accommodation. All materials are included and there is a wide selection of cameras and equipment for your use. Payment can be made in UK Sterling or euro

The accommodation includes a double room so you can bring your partner, there is only a small extra charge of £25 if the second person wishes to join us for lunches and dinner on the two days, breakfasts are included already.

Students on the course can come earlier and stay later, as many days as they like. All darkroom and lab facilities are available and our cameras can be used. There would be a charge for extra materials and chemistry used

An interesting feature of this course is the availability of a fully equipped mobile darkroom designed for wetplate work.

Wetplate collodion workshop at villaroquette with mobile darkroom

Mobile Darkroom camera on roof

Students on the collodion course can get into the beautiful local countryside and make wet plate collodion work. We use both tin and glass plates.

Wet Plate Collodion Workshop September 2015

Our next wet-plate collodion workshop in the South of France will be on September 26 and 27.

This is a two day residential course at Villa Roquette run by John Brewer –

The course includes two days full board accommodation, two days practical hands-on experience, chemistry and literature. The inclusive price is £475 – this includes accommodation for two people so you can come with your partner at no extra cost (this includes the course fees for one person, for lunch and evening meal if required for the second person there is a small supplement).

All equipment is available for students use, including our classic 19th century cameras and lenses up to 24cm x 30cm, full darkroom facilities are in-house and we have a mobile wet-plate darkroom for location work. You can also use our modern studio cameras, even converted Polaroids if you wish.

Low cost flights to Beziers airport (20 minutes and we can pick you up) makes coming to the South of France cheaper than going to London from Manchester.

You don’t have to come only for two days, you can come and stay at Villa Roquette for a long as you like and the darkroom facilities are free to use for all guests – come earlier or stay longer.

As a bonus, we are in the center of the largest wine producing area in the world and the harvest will be finished and the wine festivals will be in full swing in many local villages.

On The Road

Not Kerouac, not Dorothy and not Mandalay, although I guess there is a little “Oz” in the Ruby lights.


Our mobile wet-plate darkroom is “on the road” after a few days fitting out. The main work has been the insulation, light-proofing and getting plenty of efficient ventilation. It is designed for three people to work inside and needs a good light trap, so with the ether, alcohol and other chemistry, fresh air and temperature control is uppermost in my mind.

In summer temperatures reach the the mid 30s centigrade most days, so it would get uncomfortable and affect the chemistry so cooling it is very important.

There is so much to see in Languedoc, I have a list of “projects” I plan to make into a series of portfolios, most of these ideas are within an hours drive from Villa Roquette and look like keeping me busy for several years (I hope).

I took the darkroom van on a short trip today, just outside our village to a spot in the vineyards overlooking Montblanc. I will use this as the first test for a wet-plate next week. But today I just wanted to see that everything stood the test of bumpy farm tracks and steep hills – so far, so good.


I expect to be using the rooftop camera platform a lot, it gives me a great advantage from the roadside for a lot of the landscape work I am planning – the platform is a strong steel grill, which the feet of the tripods fit into perfectly and safely.


Inside I have just fitted work surfaces and plenty of storage – I have ideas about pumping water for washing plates and securing the silver-boxes etc. I will make haste slowly, most importantly I want to get out and get some plates made