When you stay with us at Villa Roquette, you are welcome to join me in my darkrooms and studios and come on location to explore with me traditional photography methods. I do not charge for this, except for materials if you use them.
Throughout the year we run photographic Villa Roquette workshops for many traditional alternative photographic processes including wet plate collodion photography (positive and negative), calotype, carbon transfer, orotone processes. We also provide printing workshops for silver gelatine, cyanotype, Van Dyke and albumen papers and other techniques. These workshops are from one to five days and tuition costs depend on the materials used, how many students there are (maximum is six), the process and the tutor. Accommodation is at our standard Villa Roquette prices, as all our accommodation prices are based on two people, you can bring a friend who can relax by the pool or explore the local countryside and shops while you work with us. You can stay longer or arrive earlier, laboratory and darkroom use is available and we only charge for materials if you are our guest.
All the processes and printing use traditional materials, I do not use computers, printers or scanners ( do not even own a telephone).
You can borrow some of my classic cameras and lenses, I work with equipment made from 1861 through to 1961. I work with various formats, from 24x24mm to 300x400mm
Since I was seven years old I have been a passionate photographer.
My first camera was a bakelite “bullet” camera, I still have it and use it. My mother bought it in 1945 to take photos of me, it cost 32 pence then, with a new film in.
Cameras don’t take photos and I try (hard) not to get too caught up in the “what camera is the best” debates.
Photography, for me, is holding in your hand, something which you have visualised and are presenting to another person, hoping that they will share with you the emotion you had when you “saw” what you were looking at – or something like that.
Since first pressing the shutter lever on that bullet camera many years ago, I have been trying to learn how to better “share” something important or beautiful. I have studied at college, studied with masters, worked and trained in studios, taught photography and had a short but successful and exciting career as a professional photographer – many things intruded and pushed and pulled me away from my passion, but I always, eventually, managed to start again.
So here I am “starting again”, again.
I hope to give the opportunity to share the equipment and facilities I have accumulated over the years, for guests to come to our place in the South of France to dance with the light.
I couldn’t tell you how it happened, it sort of just did, but we now have a B&B (a small hotel really) in a beautiful part of France, a few kilometers from the Mediterranean and surrounded by hills and history (and wine, as far as the eye can see). Come and join us, stay for a weekend, a week, a month (or a lifetime)