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The Smithsonian Associates offers photography classes geared towards all levels of experience, from the occasional snapshot clicker to the darkroom expert.  As well as offering both introductory courses and open darkroom sessions, we also have an array of special topics courses that include portraiture, landscape, pinhole photography, on-location photography, photo-trekking around the D.C. area, and photo theory.  Classes are both digital and film-based.  Lectures, demonstrations, assignments, field trips, and hands-on experience all play a role in expanding participants’ knowledge and skill with photography.

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current photography courses & programs

Friday, April 25, 2014 at 6:30 PM

This course provides a thorough introduction to the 35mm camera and the basics of photo darkroom techniques. Students learn how to use the camera, compose a photograph, develop film, and make a print.

Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Drawing inspiration from the rich tradition of such masters as Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Paul Caponigro, intermediate and advanced photography students have an opportunity to develop a personal vision of the modern landscape.

Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 1:15 PM

This darkroom-focused class is geared for photographers with basic darkroom skills and beyond, who are interested in taking their work to the next level. Students benefit from small-group lectures, individual instruction, and independent work to gain confidence in a specific area.

Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:15 AM

This non-darkroom course is designed for beginners who want to learn how to use their digital or film-based camera as a creative tool. The goal is to gain skill in technical aspects of photography so that they can concentrate on composing beautiful images.

Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:30 PM

With public sculpture that ranges from classical to abstract and architectural styles from gothic to contemporary, the Smithsonian is an ideal location for photographers. Hone your technique and your eye in classroom sessions and shooting excursions to a variety of museums and sites on the Mall.

Monday, April 28, 2014 at 6:30 PM

This course is designed for students who have completed Introduction to Black-and-White Photography and wish to refine their black-and-white printing skills and their understanding of 35mm camera operation.

Monday, April 28, 2014 at 6:30 PM

This black-and-white photography course is designed for those who want to learn how to create portraits of men and women, using the special lighting controls of the studio.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 6:45 PM

In recent years, Ian Shive has spent as much time in America’s National Parks as a ranger. See the stunning images this conservation photographer has created, and learn what it takes—creatively, technically, and physically—to capture the perfect shot in some of our country’s most beautiful natural settings.