Vision and Technique Workshop
with Digital Negatives for Lodima Silver Chloride Paper
Intensive 2-day Workshop
with Richard Boutwell and Paula Chamlee
This workshop is designed to help you make better photographs—in the camera and in the darkroom—with confidence and renewed creativity.
After Michael passed away in 2018, Paula and their long-time and highly skilled technical assistant, Richard Boutwell have designed a new customized workshop experience.
This workshop incorporates aspects of the popular Vision and Technique Workshop with the use of digital negatives. With the software developed by Boutwell, it is now possible to easily make digital negatives that take advantage of the beautiful tonal range of this unique Lodima silver chloride paper. The technical aspects of making digital negatives have been simplified so you can focus on what is most important—your vision.
We will go through all aspects of using Boutwell’s software for calibrating and crafting a digital negative suited to gelatin silver chloride contact paper, printing with Paula Chamlee in the darkroom with special attention to evaluating the subtle tonal qualities of the paper, and a full-day critique session with individual in-depth discussions about your work.
About the digital negative techniques:
This workshop utilizes Richard Boutwell’s QuadToneProfiler-QuickCurve-DN software with specially designed curves and workflow designed for silver gelatin printing. This new system still uses the QuadToneRIP driver, but does away with all the complexity and manual calculations typically involved in the traditional QuadToneRIP curve creation process.
The whole workflow is based around three steps: a special set of pre-defined media settings, a simple method for setting the ideal blocking density for a wide range of processes, and using built-in linearization tools for profiling to the correct densities.
This system is designed to remove the need for Photoshop plugins and adjustment curves, and creates perfectly smooth digital negatives for any process, from albumen to ziatype.
The workshop will be held in Michael A. Smith’s and Paula Chamlee’s unique home and studio in historic Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Michael passed away in 2018, but Paula is continuing their tradition of teaching with silver chloride contact printing paper, and now incorporating the use of digital negatives.
Saturday 9:00AM–7:00PM and Sunday: 9:00AM–5:00PM. This will be an intense 2-day workshop that will cover a lot of ground. It is designed to help you make better photographs—in the camera and in the darkroom—with confidence and renewed creativity.
Our workshops are intense. Our objective is to help you develop your skills and give you the tools to make the best photographs you possibly can. We will try to teach you everything we know about the fine art of black and white photography, both visually and technically. We have no secrets.
Introductions and looking at Michael A. Smith’s and Paula Chamlee’s large format contact prints for an understanding of the visual concerns and tonal qualities that can be achieved with these materials.
Then we will go outside and each participant will individually spend time with Paula as she presents her unique “under the dark cloth” revelations about how to expand and improve your photographic vision. While an 8x10-inch view camera is used for the demonstration, this is not large-format specific, but applicable to all cameras.
We will then go into the darkroom to set up for the day and dive into the digital negative calibration workflow using the QuadToneProfiler-DN software.
Topics will include:
Darkroom layout, best practices, printing with amidol and mixing chemistry from bulk chemicals
Find correct exposure for maximum black with room for creative adjustments in the exposure and development
Establish the needed blocking density for your process and install the initial quad curves
Print and measure the linearization target with workflows for different devices
Use the QuadToneProfiler-DN’s built-in linearization tools, and any iterative linearization if needed
Printing a standard image, use of torture-test images, and confirming linearity
Creating ICC profiles for soft proofing and final adjustments
Afternoon and Evening
Paula will print the digital negatives in the darkroom using Lodima silver-chloride contact paper. Paula will talk about the subtle print qualities that can be achieved with silver-chloride papers, and how to evaluate and manipulate the final print tones with additional exposure and development techniques.
We will begin with the critique session, where we will then take a careful look at your photographs and discuss them in light of all that has gone before during the weekend. The more photographs you bring with you, the more helpful we can be. We recommend you bring twenty to in as finished a form as possible—preferably mounted.
We look at participants’ photographs both before and after brunch. We will also demonstrate mounting prints and spotting both prints and negatives.
Travel, Meals, and Lodging
There will coffee, tea, and light pastries in the mornings, as well lunch, snacks and drinks throughout the day. You will be responsible for breakfast and dinner. There are several good local restaurants we can recommend for dinner, and a good local coffee shop for breakfast.
We also provide a list of lodging options and directions based on how you’re traveling.
Among the Unsolicited Comments about the workshop from former participants
I have been a commercial photographer since I was 17, I went to college, assisted the top photographers in London, worked on global international advertising accounts for the last twenty five years, and last year I went back to collage to get a Masters Degree. Not once in all that time have I ever had such an interesting and informative photographic experience.
Just a note of thanks to you both for having me at your wonderful workshop. There are events that occur in one’s life that you consider a milestone for growth for who you are or become. I can honestly say that your workshop is one of my milestone events. You have renewed my photographic vision. You have reaffirmed my love of photography.
I truly enjoyed your workshop. The experience expanded my perspective and I have not felt this level of excitement since I started in photography. The best workshop of the dozen that I have attended.