In this workshop we shall begin with a brief history of the mordançage process and the work of Jean Pierre Sudre, the French photographer that created the 1960 formula we use today. As her mentor and friend for over 15 years, Elizabeth learned the process directly from this master in his Provence atelier. Viewing their original work in Mordançage will add valuable insight into directions for making it your own creative voice.

Together students shall mix the chemistry and begin with an instructor demonstration on understanding the test strips to discover proper exposures for negatives or photograms. What takes time to create, time respects. Mordançage takes time to master. Information on negatives or materials to bring shall be sent prior to the workshop. Darkroom days will be spent testing various paper and redeveloper combinations, experimenting with oxidation and toners to alter color, and deciding to save or not to save the veils. Often, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Discussions will also focus on intent for the final image. Papers, chemicals and notebooks with formulas will be supplied.

By the end of the workshop, students will have a safe working knowledge of the process, and leave with archivally processed images. You will have a good foundation into the techniques if you decide to continue in your darkroom. After 25 years of committing to the mordançage process, Elizabeth has many possibilities, pitfalls and discoveries to share. By working with a small group of photographic peers, students can combine information on papers available today to further enhance their creativity. Experimenting is highly encouraged. A working knowledge of the darkroom is essential.

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7079 Hwy 83 N | Condon, MT 59826
Call to inquire about Workshops - (800) 922-5255 - or email:
With Elizabeth Opalenik


From her earliest days doing advertising and editorial assignments, Elizabeth Opalenik has been hired for the sense of poetic grace and movement she brings to her images. As a fine art photographer Elizabeth now extends that sensibility to philanthropic projects documenting stories in the Amazon and South America for Medical Ministries International on projects concerned with eye care. She is a sought after educator for the sense of wonder and possibility she creates in her students. 

Elizabeth’s heart is in her Oakland, California darkroom where she creates unique photographs in the Mordançage process, continuing to pioneer new possibilities with the signature veiled images. Platinum/palladium printing, hand-painting, and other diverse processes including paper making for books and printing remain a focus. From portraits to landscapes, her passion is working with images made involving water. She remains true to creating images in camera, but bridges technology, mixing digital and traditional when appropriate to utilize all the creative possibilities. Elizabeth uses images as stepping stones that trace where the mind has been, believing they reflect the unique vision that each of us carries through life.

Her innovative images are represented, collected and shown internationally and have been profiled in most major photographic publications. For nearly 30 years, she has conducted photography workshops in the United States, France, Italy, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba and Argentina, privately and in conjunction with The Maine Media Workshops, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, The British Guild of Portrait Photographers, Stanford Continuing Education, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Les Rencontres d’Arles, National Geographic Expeditions and others.

To view images from her monograph “Poetic Grace: Elizabeth Opalenik Photographs 1979-2007” please visit
Workshop Fee:
(does not include food & lodging)

Save up to 25% off tuition with a combination of any 2 of the following discounts:

Early Bird Discount: 
An early registration by the 30th of April 2020 qualifies for a 15% discount on your workshop tuition.

Back to Back Discount:
Register and attend two classes consecutively and  . receive a 10% discount off the second weeks tuition

Bring a Friend Discount 10% off available when you both sign up for the same workshop.