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Introduction to Black-and-White Film Photography and the Darkroom
8-Session Evening Course

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Monday, April 17 to June 12, 2017 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (no class May 29)
Code: 1K00HU

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In a world of digital cameras and photo software programs, today’s photographers have access to technical and creative tools their counterparts as recently as a generation ago could never have imagined. At the same time, a new appreciation has sprung up for the techniques used by the masters of 20th-century photography such as Ansel Adams, Irving Penn, Diane Arbus, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Berenice Abbot. Black-and-white film and the darkroom are at the heart of many of these artists’ most enduring works. Here’s an opportunity to rediscover and reclaim these time-honored skills for your own.

This course provides a thorough introduction to the 35mm camera and the basics of photo darkroom techniques. Learn how to use your camera, compose a photograph, develop film, and make a print in the Smithsonian Associates’ well-equipped darkroom. Lecture-demonstrations, class assignments, critiques, and practical darkroom work help you to understand photography from shutter speed to finished print. Discover, too, how black-and-white film and darkroom skills can enhance the work you create digitally.

Bring a 35mm adjustable camera to the first class; film and photographic paper to buy are discussed at that time. Developing chemicals are provided.

Instructor: Paul Matthai

8 sessions, 3 hours each (no May 29)


S. Dillon Ripley Center
Photolab 3036
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)