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Ansel Adams once said that the negative was like a musical score and the print was the performance. This intermediate-level class focuses on translating good black-and-white negatives into fine archival prints or "performances," suitable for exhibition. Students also study the Zone System, devised by Adams and friends as a method of negative exposure and development custom tailored for each scene and contrast situation, a valuable step toward becoming a competent printer.
Participants explore developers and papers and learn techniques for toning and archival processing as well as the important finishing steps of spotting and mounting prints. Metering and development for tone control are discussed. The class is individually paced to accommodate students with varying skill levels. Informal lectures and critiques are included.
Developing chemicals are provided. Students supply their own cameras—any format is acceptable—and their own film and photographic paper, discussed at the first class. All negative formats are acceptable.
Instructor Leland Bryant is an experienced teacher and fine-art photographer.
6 sessions, 5 hours each
To view the work of Ansel Adams and other American photographic greats held in the Smithsonian American Art Museum collections, visit American Photographs, The First Century.