AlternativePhotography.com is all about historical photographic methods in use today – that means mixing emulsions and coating paper by hand. Learn how to print photographs with these techniques, and share your experiences with others. We are a non-profit organization and rely on contributions from supporting members.
We have spent 23 years and 100 000+ hours developing it. Not one person gets paid to do the work, it’s all done voluntarily.
- Learn: Artists, photographers, and other curious people can learn alternative photographic processes and we will supply the information to learn for free.
- Get inspired: In our galleries, we show artists’ work and encourage them to tell how they work, to inspire others to get hands-on.
- Connect: Make it easier to connect with other photographers working with alternative photographic processes, all over the globe.
How it all started
It all started in 1999 when I, Malin Fabbri (previously Malin Hylén) the editor of AlternativePhotography.com was working on my MA in Design Studies with Alternative photography as my selected subject, at Central St. Martin’s School of Design in London. I spent about 2 years researching the perception of images and how they compare to ordinary stock photography. That’s when I discovered and fell in love with alternative photographic processes. The process I used to do my research was Cyanotypes.
In those days, as far as the theory went it was hard to get hold of written material on the art of Cyanotypes. There were several books on the chemical process – but many dealing with the art of Cyanotypes. I only managed to find a few dusty books that I was privileged enough to have access to in the London Printing Library – including an amazing copy of Anna Atkin’s book on Cyanotypes. Thanks to the internet I was able to ‘talk’ directly to artists and some of them had websites. Just to put it in perspective: back then we used email lists and really slow modems that beeped and the discussion if images should be allowed on the internet or if it slowed it down too much was ongoing.
What was very striking was that everyone I contacted was VERY enthusiastic, sending me information, answering my questions and sharing their knowledge. Their enthusiasm really kept me going for the two years I worked on this project. When it all came to an end, I felt devastated at the thought of putting the results in the loft to gather dust. I had worked hard on collating all the information – some very hard to get hold of – and felt I had to share it with others – as people had shared with me.
The easiest way to share all the knowledge was the internet. I bought the domain name Cyanotypes.com on 8 April 2000 and published my thesis there. Some artists surfed “the net”, found the site, and asked me if I wanted to publish their images there too. I said ‘yes – why not?’ and it all grew from there.
Everyone was not working in Cyanotypes, so the name was misleading so we changed the name to AlternativePhotography.com on 22 November 2000. I never imagined it would take off as it did. In October 2002 – a year and a half later – there were 50 artists represented in the galleries on the site. Today there are many more artists and over 900+ articles on different processes.
So, basically, this is now a site full of information on anything to do with Alternative photography and processes. The site relies on contributions from Supporting Members to cover costs – no one gets paid and it relies on the users (you) to contribute and share knowledge and to participate in the community.
Help us grow even more
We don’t charge for learning and we don’t get paid. We do this because we love doing it – and we also believe learning should be free. We want to do photography as it should be: hands-on, fun and inspiring. We want to make it easier to connect with other photographers working with alternative photographic processes. But we really appreciate it if you help us with the running costs of the site. Please click here to help funding the site or click here to link to us.
We hope you enjoy it.
In the press
- Interview with Malin Fabbri in Cameradiere camera clubs newsletter September 2021, see page 20-21.
- Interview with Malin Fabbri in The Hand Magazine issue 40.
Everyone in the team works on a voluntary basis, without getting paid. They give their spare time to enable others to learn, get inspired and connect. Below are the true heros. There are also many more contributors of articles. Big thanks to all!
Malin Fabbri founded AlternativePhotography.com in 1999 and continues to work as the Editor and contributor. She is also an author and artist.
Dennis Humphrey is an interdisciplinary artist using digital photography, alternative photography (cyanotype and gum bichromate) as well as contemporary mixed media processes.
Nancy Breslin from Washington, DC, USA works with a variety of techniques, including pinhole, cyanotype and gum.
Peter J. Blackburn
Has been working in gum and casein bichromate printing for 30+ years. Represented by Afterimage Gallery, Dallas, Texas, since 2004 and occasional workshops.
Spiffy Tumbleweed lives and works in South Austin, Texas. He works mainly in pinhole photography, but also shares his work in albumen, cyanotype, gum, mordancage and Polaroid SX-70.
Crystal Denke Edwards
Crystal Denke Edwards (previously Chrystal Jackson) from Southern California, shows her work in gum bichromated – for us to enjoy.
Worked in alternative photography for 25 years and tried many of the alternative/historical processes and teaches gum bichromate and wetplate collodion.
Jalo Porkkala studied photography and works in Finland. He works in just about every alternative process under the sun and shows everything from anthotypes to ziatypes.
Retired librarian/archivist, musician, and visual artist working mainly in kallitype, argyrotypes and various gum-based processes, using both film and digital devices, while looking for the perfect croissant.
Silvino González Morales
Artist and photographer.
The logo is an old symbol for salt. Apart from salt being an ingredient in many of the processes, the handmade feel of the logo also represents the alternative processes. And we like to have fun:
February 11: Talbot’s birthday
February 14: Valentines
March: Frederick Scott Archer published
the collodion process formula in 1851
March 7: Sir John Herschel’s birthday
March 8: Womens international day
March 14: Einstein’s birthday
March 16: Anna Atkins’ birthday
March 17: St. Patrick’s day
March 19-21: Spring equinox
March 22: World water day
March – Earth hour
April 5: Site birthday (born 2000)
April 7: World health day
April 16: Denmark day
April 23: World book day
April 25: Anzak day
Last Sunday in April:Pinhole day
May 17: Norway day
May 25: Nerd pride day
June 6: Andy Warhol’s birthday
June 6: Sweden day
June 12: UK day
June 21: Midsummer
July 1: Canada day
July 4: Independence day
July 14: Bastille day
August 6: Van Gough’s birthday
August 27: Man Ray’s birthday
September 21: International peace day
September 23: Autumn
October 4-10: World space week
October 27: Roy Lichtenstein’s birthday
November 18: Daguerre’s birthday
November 26: Buy nothing day
December 10: Nobel peace prize day
Christmas: 1 advent
Christmas: 2 advent
Christmas: 3 advent
Christmas: 4 advent
Christmas eve: 24 December
Christmas day: 25 December
Legal policies and GDPR
We never sell your information, share it with anyone or use it to spam you, but we do have ads and that is a third party solution by Google, and we do sell eBooks and have memberships, and to deliver these, we need to collect your email. This is used for this purpose only.
- Privacy Statement (BR)
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- Privacy Statement (AU)
- Privacy Statement (CA)
- Privacy Statement (US)
- Privacy Statement (UK)
- Privacy Statement (EU)