Pop-Up Darkroom on Exhibition Road

November 20, 2015

This is a guest blog by Almudena Romero, visual artist and photography teacher.

My team and I took part in the V&A’s one-day careers event for schools, Creative Quarter, on Friday 13 November. We put up a pop-up darkroom on Exhibition Road to celebrate the Julia Margaret Cameron exhibitions at the V&A (opening 28 November) and the Science Museum.pop up collodion darkroom (1)




During the course of the day, we took tintype portraits of 30 students taking part in the event. The portraits represent future scientist, designers, artist, and engineers – echoing Julia Margaret Cameron’s portraits of eminent individuals. pop up collodion darkroom (5)


We produced positive collodion images on tin – known as tintypes. The collodion process is sensitive to the green and blue lights of the visible spectrum as well as to UV light. Due to this, red, yellow and orange tones are recorded as blacks and colours such as green, blue and violet are rendered as whites.pop up collodion darkroom (7)



Discovered in 1851, the wet plate collodion process allowed the reproduction of images through glass negatives with shorter exposure times and lower production costs. Wet plate collodion was one of the most popular photographic processes between the 1850s and the 1880s. Julia Margaret Cameron used wet plate collodion negatives to produce egg albumen prints.Exhibition Road Portraits 2

The exhibition, Julia Margaret Cameron, opens at the V&A on 28 November and runs until 21 February 2016. http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/julia-margaret-cameron/

Creative Quarter is the V&A’s flagship event for Secondary Schools and Colleges. It is a free one-day event that offers students an insight into the creative industries and creative careers and is organised in partnership with Discover South Kensington. To find out more about the Secondary Schools & Colleges Programme visit www.vam.ac.uk/secondary

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