Silver Chloride Digital Negative Workshop Aug. 31–Sept. 1, 2019

Silver Chloride Digital Negative Workshop Aug. 31–Sept. 1, 2019


With Richard Boutwell and Paula Chamlee

Limited to six participants

Saturday, August 31–Sunday, September 1

At Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee’s unique home/studio in historic Bucks County, Pennsylvania


This workshop utilizes my QuadToneProfiler-QuickCurve-DN tools. 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. Our aim is to help you to make better photographs—in the camera and in the darkroom—with confidence and renewed creativity.

Day One


Introductions and looking at Michael A. Smith’s and Paula Chamlee’s large format film contact prints for an understanding of the tonal qualities we will be using as a standard for the digital negatives.

We will then go into the darkroom to set up for the day and dive into the digital negative calibration and profiling workflow using the QuadToneProfiler-DN Software.

Topics will include:

  • Darkroom layout, best practices, 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

We will print the digital negatives in the darkroom with Paula using Lodima silver-chloride contact paper. Paula will talk about the subtle print qualities that be achieved with silver chloride papers, and how to evaluate and manipulate the final print tones with additional exposure and development techniques.

Day Two

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 thirty prints 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.