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Photography

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, May 6, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Film hasn’t always dominated photography. Get a hands-on introduction to alternative processes past, present, and future as you move from 19th-century forms such as the cyanotype to large-scale digital images.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 6:30 PM

In this photography class, take your darkroom printing to the next level by learning how to use fiber paper and chemical toners.

Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Take your skills beyond auto mode as you explore a myriad of your digital camera’s exposure options and features in this workshop designed for intermediate photographers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Shooting a great photo is just the beginning. Get ready to show off your work by learning how to get your digital images printed accurately and to cut custom-sized windows in mat board. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Get the most out of your digital mirrorless or SLR camera by taking part in this one-day class, which includes a shooting session on the Mall; and an in-the-field discussion of technical elements along with composition, light, and other aesthetic considerations.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Get a better understanding of compositional elements and how best to apply them. Emphasis is placed on practices that promote taking better and more unique photographs, including simplicity, balance, and natural lighting conditions.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 6:30 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.

Friday, July 8, 2016 at 6:30 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.

Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Whether you want work in digital or film, this course offers a solid foundation for new photographers ready to learn the basics. Two on-location shoots offer chances to put your new skills into practice.

Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 10:15 AM

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.

Saturday, July 9, 2016 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, July 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

This hands-on digital media workshop covers topics such as obtaining a good exposure; making exposure adjustments on an image; controlling color and tone as files are captured; understanding resolution, picture quality, and file formats such as JPEG and RAW; transferring files to the computer; and organizing files with a browser.

Sunday, July 10, 2016 at 10:15 AM

This non-darkroom course is designed for beginners who want to learn how to use their digital SLR 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, July 10, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Washington’s bountiful and diverse outdoor public sculptures and buildings offer great opportunities for students who want to learn how to sharpen their way of thinking about shooting outdoors. In this class, emphasis is placed on what happens before the shutter release is pressed, and on truly pre-visualizing the photograph.

Monday, July 11, 2016 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.

Monday, July 11, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Lighting can make or break your work as a digital photographer. Learn the tech tips that will make your flash one of your most effective creative tools.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 6:30 PM

This non-darkroom course is designed for beginners who want to learn how to use their digital SLR 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.

Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Take your skills beyond auto mode as you explore a myriad of your digital camera’s exposure options and features in this workshop designed for intermediate photographers.

Sunday, August 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Get the most out of your digital mirrorless or SLR camera by taking part in this one-day class, which includes a shooting session on the Mall; and an in-the-field discussion of technical elements along with composition, light, and other aesthetic considerations.

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