The Spring 2017 Complete Photographic Process for B&W
The Spring 2017 Complete Photographic Process for B&W
Instructor: Bruce Barnbaum
May 14, 2017 (9:00 a.m.) to May 19, 2017 (3:00 p.m.)
Workshop Fee: $1250 (includes complete lab fees)
Deposit amount: $150
At Bruce’s home/darkroom, Granite Falls, Washington
Traditional b&w film-based photography and the traditional darkroom are alive and well!
This workshop will show you why. Nothing equals the quality of a fine silver-gelatin print produced from a traditional negative. This workshop works with traditional materials, and traditionally critical concepts such as understanding light, composition, and relationships of elements within the scene, rather than the latest tricks of Lightroom and Photoshop.
The most important part of photography is seeing, and the second most important part is carrying that seeing through to a final meaningful image. The traditional silver-gelatin b&w print conveys that vision with unmatched brilliance and subtlety. You'll learn an enormous amount about creating a mood and interpreting a scene to turn it into your own vision. You'll learn how to express yourself better about the world that is photographically important to you, and how you can create whole new worlds. Even if you do digital work, you'll learn a great deal of value from this workshop. Why? Because digital techniques are derived directly from traditional methods. (For those who want a more complete discussion of traditional and digital approaches, see “Thoughts on Digital Photography” on this website.)
Today’s b&w darkroom is radically different—and far more versatile—from what it was in the past. High quality variable contrast papers, dichroic or variable contrast enlarger heads (making full use of these papers), the reemergence of masking and seldom-used toning techniques, combine to make the darkroom an exciting, creative place. Yet, it is also a contemplative place, where you can work slowly to create fine art. Our emphasis remains focused on one central goal: photography as an artistic, expressive form of non-verbal communication.
This popular and informative hands-on workshop explores all aspects of the modern b&w process, from negative exposure and development to fine printing of the negative. The traditional silver print remains the gold standard by which all photographs are measured. In this workshop you'll see fine prints, you'll see how they're produced, and you'll produce them yourself because it's hands-on...in other words, you get to print your own work in Bruce's fully equipped, state-of-the-art darkroom with feedback from Bruce throughout. We do not know of another workshop that offers this opportunity. You’ll learn how to expose and develop your negatives to obtain the densities and separations that make your prints glow. You’ll learn about the astounding range that film encompasses—far greater than most people understand, far more than is normally taught, and far beyond the range of digital sensors—and how to fully use that range to get the most out of your negatives. You’ll see demonstrations of printing by a master printer using the highest quality papers, including unique methods of burning and dodging, sharp and unsharp masking, and potassium ferricyanide bleaching for refined control and additional print brilliance. Rounding out the demonstrations will be selenium toning of prints (and perhaps also of negatives to increase their contrast level), full archival processing of prints, plus mounting and spotting of prints for display.
The days are filled with information...and fun! You'll also get wonderful refreshments throughout the day, every day, prepared by Bruce's lovely wife, Sonia Karen, and her fabulous breakfasts to start each day on the right note. A few hugs, barks, and licks from Bruce's and Karen's dogs makes the week even more pleasurable.
NOTE: the workshop begins Sunday morning, May 14 after breakfast at Bruce’s home. We request all students arrive the evening prior to the workshop (Saturday evening, May 13), and join us at 7:30 p.m. for an informal get-together with wine, dessert, informally meeting one another and seeing the exceptional workshop facilities. The workshop runs through Friday afternoon, May 19, ending between noon and 2 p.m. Please plan your travel to allow full participation in this workshop.
Accommodations: Participants can stay at the Mountain Loop Bed and Breakfast, a beautiful b&b just a half mile from the studio, with additional rooms available in Bruce and Karen's home and guest house, plus camping on their property, or at U.S. Forest Service campgrounds nearby. Once you sign up for the workshop, we will send you complete information about all accommodations. Just fill in the form and return it to us, and we'll make all reservations on your behalf, beginning the Sunday the workshop begins, and ending Thursday night prior to the close of the workshop.
More Details About the Workshop: The workshop is in a beautiful setting, just over an hour’s drive north of Seattle, Bruce’s darkroom/classroom/gallery facilities are in his home surrounded by over a hundred acres of forests, meadows and marshes. There is immediate access to forest and mountain hiking trails nearby on U.S. Forest Service land of the rugged North Cascade Mountains of Washington State.
Outdoor sessions in these surroundings concentrate on light, composition, and effective use of the Ansel Adams Zone System for exposure. You’ll learn how to use light as a tool for your interpretation, and you’ll see how it applies to any subject matter: portraits, architecture, still life, etc., outdoors or indoors.
Indoor sessions feature probing discussions and constructive evaluations of each student’s negatives and prints, with suggestions of improvements that can be made to strengthen your statement. Because you get feedback from your fellow students during these sessions, as well as from Bruce, you'll have new ammunition for evaluating your own work in the future.
Bruce's darkroom contains seven LPL dichroic enlargers, accepting negatives from 35mm to 4x5, allowing the finest possible prints from your negatives. You'll print your own negatives—either those you bring to the workshop or expose and develop during the workshop—with ample time for you to try new printing techniques soon after seeing them demonstrated.
The goal of this workshop is the thorough integration of the entire photographic process. You’ll learn how to envision your final print while viewing the scene from behind the camera, and then to create a strategy of negative exposure, negative development, and darkroom printing to fulfill that vision. No workshop program does this better.
To register for this workshop via the website, please pay the full amount ($1,250) or the deposit ($150) using your Visa or Mastercard credit card (sorry, no other credit cards). If you register with a deposit, the full payment is due 6 weeks prior to the workshop.
Alternatively, to register by regular mail:
Download the workshop application to your computer from here:
Print it out, fill it in, and send it to:
Photographic Arts Workshops
Granite Falls, WA 98252