Tag Archives: Photoworks Glen Echo

Private Tutorial – Platinum/Palladium Printing

I recently completed a one-on-one private tutorial in Platinum/Palladium printing with Mat Marrash, who you may know of if you listen to The Film Photography Podcast. I’ve known Mat for several years now, having met him at Photostock in 2013. He’s an extremely gifted photographer who mostly works with an 8×10 view camera, and does a lot of work with infrared film. Mat knows a lot of the same folks I know in the alternative process field, including people I’ve learned from, so I was deeply flattered that he chose me to learn from.

Mat With First Print
Mat With First Print

Yes, Mat is a very talented photographer in his own right so a lot of what we did in this session was easy for him. BUT, he did make it challenging by starting off working from 8×10 inch negatives, instead of starting with 5×7 (the smaller size is easier to coat evenly when you’re new to the process, and costs 50% less per print). I want to show this as this was his first ever (!!!!) palladium print. We hit the first one dead on, out-of-the-ballpark, ready to frame and go up on the wall. This extremely beautiful process is quite easy to learn and should not be intimidating to anyone interested.

And here is his second ever print, which added another wrinkle – the negative he used was one he had previously shot, not planning to make a palladium print with it. We developed all his film, the negatives we made that weekend along with some other negatives he had made previously, using the development regimen I use for my work, and we were able to produce some excellent prints even from those other negatives.

Mat's Second Print
Mat’s Second Print

Private one-on-one tutoring can be arranged at any mutually convenient time, and can cover a wide range of topics either specialized for fine-tuning your process or just a deep hands-on introduction to the process. Contact me for details on pricing and scheduling – as this is an a-la-carte arrangement, I need to know what you are looking for in order to give a quote. Tuition will include your own set of chemistry and any paper we use in the class.

I’m offering my group class at Glen Echo Photoworks next weekend, December 10-11, if you are interested in getting your feet wet without committing to a one-on-one workshop, This is the perfect opportunity. Tuition is a very modest $250 plus $50 materials fee (chemistry, paper, and all instructional materials). The class runs from 10 AM – 4 PM Saturday and Sunday. You can register here at the Glen Echo Park website.

Intro to Platinum/Palladium Printing, Day Two- First Printing Session

This weekend was module one of two in my revised Intro to Platinum/Palladium Printing class. Module One covered making images from in-camera film negatives. Yesterday we went out in the park at Glen Echo and shot some film with my 5×7. This first image is one of the student prints from that outing – the rocks and water in the stream that runs through the park.

Rocks, Stream, Glen Echo Park
Rocks, Stream, Glen Echo Park

This second shot is a happy accident – one of my students wanted to do portraits, and shot this and another one (which we didn’t print) of two classmates. What we didn’t realize at the time, which was very much my fault, was that those two sheets had previously been exposed by me on an outing with my Intro to Large Format class to the National Cathedral, but not developed. So we had two negatives of students in the woods superimposed on the facade of the National Cathedral. In the other one, the student’s face was obscured by the rose window, but here it works well. We were joking that it would make a great political campaign photo.

Happy Accident - Double Exposure
Happy Accident – Double Exposure

Here are my students busy coating paper and working hard.

Students Coating Prints
Students Coating Prints

Another faculty member had been given this UV exposure unit by one of our long-time patrons, Grace Taylor. Grace is now retired from photography as she’s in her late 90s, and had given it to him when she stopped printing. At the time he passed it along to me, he said it might have an electrical issue and so may or may not work properly. I was leery therefore, but determined to give it a try. If it didn’t work, I would still have a fallback option of the blacklight compact fluorescent fixture I’ve used before. Fortunately, not only did it work, but it worked well. It gave us very fast exposure times (3 minutes was our base exposure, instead of the 6.5 I normally get with my own unit or the 7-9 we were getting with the CF fixture). So Grace, if you’re aware of this, a big thanks for your UV unit, it has found a new home and is once again being productive!

Grace Taylor's Old UV Unit in Action
Grace Taylor’s Old UV Unit in Action

This was another student image, this time one that one of the students brought in, from a digital negative she had made herself. The shot is an interior of one of the hotel rooms at the Chateau Mormont in Los Angeles. This foreshadows next weekend’s module, making digitally enlarged negatives for alt process printing. She had made this negative using the Dan Burkholder method, including using the printer adjustment curve he supplied as a download. The curve he supplied is a good baseline starting point, but as we saw in several tweaks of the print through the day, using someone else’s curve is not a true substitute for making your own.

Chateau Mormont Interior - Digital Negative
Chateau Mormont Interior – Digital Negative

I’ll have the students work through making their own curves next Saturday, and then we’ll make some digital negatives of our own and print from them. I’m having them use Ron Reeder’s book, Digital Negatives for Palladium and other Alternative Processes as the textbook for the digital negative process, specifically focusing on creating adjustment curves rather than using QTR to interpret the adjustments needed to create the negative. Ron covers both techniques in his book, and going through the ordeal of making a QTR to adjust the printer output has the advantage of being non-destructive to your digital file (meaning that it doesn’t make any permanent changes, so you don’t have to create multiple files to print negatives for each alternative process you want to use), but for all but the computer-geekiest of folks, it’s way too intimidating.

I have a great crop of students this time (well, I almost always do!) and I think I’m having at least as much fun as they are!

Glen Echo 40th Anniversary “Signature” fundraiser

I just completed my contribution to the Signature fundraiser for Photoworks. Here is the description of the event:

We are celebrating Photoworks 40th Anniversary by collecting “Signature Prints” from 40 of the best fine art photographers we know. And then we are throwing a party with one hell of a “goody bag” for our guests to take home!

On Saturday, February 21, we will honor the vision that inspired our founders 40 years ago and we’ll celebrate the many individuals who have helped us become a true arts community. And it is only fitting that on the occasion of our 40th anniversary, we will look ahead to ensure that we can continue to inspire and nurture a new generation of emerging artists by teaching, mentoring, and exhibiting their work. Our 40th Anniversary “Signature Auction” will help us raise funds to support programming, outreach, and new investments that will enrich our community in the years to come.

The raffle tickets will be $150 each, which isn’t cheap, but you’ll get the chance to acquire some incredible photos.

My contribution is a 10×10 inch print of a Toronto street scene. It’s titled “Romeo & Juliet”. Look carefully and see if you can tell why:

Two Streetlamps, Reflections, Glass and Steel
Two Streetlamps, Reflections, Glass and Steel

And now for the geeky bits:

The print is a silver gelatin print from a negative made on Kodak Tri-X, shot with my 1956 Rolleiflex 2.8E. The paper is Ilford Warmtone Multigrade fiber paper, developed in Ansco 130, which is a classic all-purpose developer. I prefer it over other paper developers because it lasts seemingly forever, even in an open tray, and it produces a very nice neutral/cool tone without the greenish sheen in the shadows you can get from Dektol.

“Signatures” Exhibit at Glen Echo Photoworks – Review in Washington City Paper

I got a favorable review in the DC City Paper for my image in the “Signatures” exhibit at Photoworks. The exhibit is (well, was, it’s now over and I’ll be picking up my print after work today) a brief show of images by students and instructors at Photoworks, with the theme of “signatures” indicating characteristic images that can be viewed as representing you and the work you do – pieces you would be recognized for. I submitted my Ficus Tree, Recoleta, Buenos Aires as my contribution to the exhibit, and it was one of three pieces singled out by the reviewer as praiseworthy. The reviewer did get the process all wrong, calling it a faux-toning process (he obviously didn’t ASK, or try to contact me about it before publishing the review), but I’ll take any positive press!

City Paper Review

Ficus, Recoleta, Buenos Aires
Ficus, Recoleta, Buenos Aires

First Session of Intro to Platinum/Palladium Printing a success

I finished up my first session of my Intro to Platinum/Palladium Printing class today. I had eight students, all highly motivated and enthusiastic, and it was a big help in making the class succeed. I was a bit nervous as this was my first time running the class, and it was sold out. There was a very diverse audience – about half and half male and female, and age ranges from early 20’s to late 60s (maybe older than that, but it’s not a very polite thing to ask). I was really thrilled that everything went smoothly – on day one, we all talked about the process, shared work and little bios of our artistic backgrounds, and then went out in Glen Echo Park to walk around and shoot some images. We made 10 negatives all told, enough for everyone in the class to own one, with a couple spares. Since platinum/palladium is a contact printing process, we shot all the film with my 5×7. Most of the students had never used a view camera before, so it was an additional learning experience for them. I took the film home with me and developed it that night, so that students would have real live working negatives, properly developed, for the class, and to keep a sample to see what a good negative looks like.

Today, we got in to the darkroom early, set up and went through the process, end to end. I began with a coating demonstration, then exposed the print, developed, cleared, washed and dried it. Then I cut my students loose and let them coat and print away.

Students Coating and Printing
Students Coating and Printing

We used a combination of artificial UV light source and natural daylight – it was a cloudy overcast day, so actually not a bad day for doing pt/pd prints, but exposure times were LONG outdoors – with some negatives, up to 25 minutes. For a quick-and-dirty portable UV light source, I used a 16-socket PhotoDiox lamp house with black-light compact fluorescent tubes. It worked out great for exposing, if a little slow (the average exposure with it was 12 minutes), but we could only do one at a time with it. We still managed to get two prints done for each student, which is not bad for a single day printing session with so many people trying to use a small facility.

Exposing a Print
Exposing a Print

We got the chance to try both traditional develop-out palladium prints and printing-out Ziatypes (a variation on the theme but the image if fully formed during exposure and requires only a water wash step instead of development. Here are my students posing with their prints –

Class Photo - May 5-6 Intro To Platinum/Palladium Printing, Photoworks
Class Photo – May 5-6 Intro To Platinum/Palladium Printing, Photoworks

And here’s a finished print of one of the student images. The print is still wet, and the crappy Olympus digital P&S I was using didn’t white balance well, so my apologies in advance if the shot looks a little yellow –

Stairs, Glen Echo
Stairs, Glen Echo

Glen Echo Photoworks demo November 9th

I received great news today – with over a week to go before the wednesday night demo, I have 10 people registered. This is terrific. I’m really looking forward to the event, and I can’t wait to meet all the people interested in the process. There’s still room to sign up if anyone is interested, so please head over to the Photoworks website and sign up.

Glen Echo PhotoWorks press release for FotoWeekDC 2011 events

Here is the press release about the Glen Echo Photoworks events coming up for FotoWeek DC. I will be participating in the “Celebration of Alternative Processes Symposium” on Sunday, November 6 and running a demo of Platinum/Palladium printing on Wednesday, November 9. I know a lot of the other presenters and they’re really great people and great artists. This will be a terrific event and I’m really looking forward to it.



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Celebrate The Alternatives!

Alternative Process
Photo Symposium & Workshops



Image by Barbara Maloney

    Cyanotype Workshop with Barbara Maloney
       Date:  Saturday, November 5, 2011 
       Time:  10 AM – 4 PM 
Place:  Photoworks

      Arcade Building

             Glen Echo Park, MD 20812 

       Cost:  $125 
       Register: www.glenechopark.org or call 301-634-2226
       Info:  www.glenechophotoworks.org

       Whether you are new to non-silver processes or not,
       this one-day workshop promises to be a lot of fun.
       We will make cyanotype photographs, photograms and collages.
       The class includes toning, hand-color and overprinting gum bichromate.

    Celebration of Alternative Process Symposium

       Date:  Sunday, November 6, 2011 

       Time:  11 AM – 4 PM  

Place:  Photoworks

      Arcade Building

             Glen Echo Park, MD 20812 

       Cost:  FREE — Lunch Break — Drinks & Desserts Provided
       RSVP:  Event is FREE.  Please RSVP at photoworks.gallery@gmail.com

       Info:  www.glenechophotoworks.org
       A group of artists whose work embraces the use of historic
processes and hand-applied emulsions
       will show and discuss their work and processes every 30 minutes.
       Guest Artists are listed below, in order of their presentations… 
       Barbara Maloney, “Temperaprint, Photo Etching, Cyanotype”
       Scott Davis, “Platinum and Palladium”
       Sheila Galagan, “Lith Printing”
       Andrew Currie, “Tintype”
       Grace Taylor, “VanDyke Brown”
       George Smyth, “Bromoil”
       Keith Williams, “Monobath, IR, UV”
       Richard Pippin, “Lith Printing”  


    Platinum & Palladium Printing & Variations
    Workshop with Scott Davis

       Date:  Wednesday, November 9, 2011 
       Time:  7 PM – 9 PM  
Place:  Photoworks Studio

      Arcade Building

             Glen Echo Park, MD 20812 

       Cost:  $40  
       Register: www.glenechopark.org
       Info:  www.glenechophotoworks.org

       Scott Davis will demonstrate the beautiful and noble platinum,
       palladium and ziatype printing processes.  Discussion includes
       tools, chemistry, paper choices, coating techniques, processing,
       contrast control, and techniques for affecting image color.
       Tips and tricks for great prints will be shared


    Bromoil Workshop with George Smyth

Date:  Sunday, November 13, 2011
Time:  10 AM – 4 PM
Place:  Photoworks

      Arcade Building

             Glen Echo Park, MD 20812 

       Cost:  $120 plus $30 supply cost 
       Register: www.glenechopark.org
       Info:  www.glenechophotoworks.org

       Bromoil is an early photographic process popular with the Pictorialists
       and is presently being revived by fine art photographers with endless
       possibilities for expression.  Topics covered are:  digital negatives,
       silver gelatin papers, mixing chemistry, and bleaching prints.
       Students will have the opportunity to ink a few prints (provided).
       Smyth will conclude with the “finishing” and presentation of prints.

Photoworks Photography School will offer
Alternative Process Workshops
in Spring 2012 as part of the course curriculum.
An Alternative Process Exhibit will be held
in the Photoworks Gallery in April 2012.



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     7300 MacArthur Blvd
     Glen Echo, MD 20812


Dates announced for Platinum/Palladium printing Demo, 11-09-2011 at Photoworks Glen Echo

I will be doing a live demonstration of the platinum/palladium printing process at Photoworks in Glen Echo, Maryland as part of the FotoWeek festival. The date and time has been finalized – Wednesday, November 9, from 7-9 PM. Topics to be covered include: tools, paper, chemistry, coating techniques, processing, contrast control and altering image color. The session fee is $40. The session will be held in the upstairs classroom in the Photoworks facility.

Photoworks location and directions

FotoWeek DC events at Photoworks in Glen Echo

Photoworks in Glen Echo, Maryland (just outside Washington DC) will be putting on a slate of events as part of FotoWeek DC from November 5-12, 2011. I will be participating in the alternative process show-and-tell on Sunday, November 6, from 11AM to 4PM. I will be showing selections from my recent body of work of DC at night, all shot on large format film.

I will also be giving a platinum/palladium printing demo later that week (date/time to be determined) – admission is $40 plus a $10 materials fee. Here is the slate of presenters and schedule for November 6. I encourage everyone to come out and see the show, and if you’ve never been out to Photoworks before, please come check it out, it’s a lovely facility in the terrific (and photographically ripe) setting of Glen Echo Park, which is part of the National Park Service!

For more information about the park and its cultural, social and educational activities for people of all ages, here is a link to the park’s website:
Glen Echo Park

11:00 11:30 Barbara Maloney Intro/Temperaprint/Photoetching/Cyanotype
11:30 12:00 Scott McMahon Gum bichromate
12:00 12:30 Scott Davis Platinum/palladium
12:30 13:00 Sheila Galagan Lith Printing
13:00 13:30 Andrew Currie Tintype
13:30 14:00 break
14:00 14:30 Grace Taylor Vandyke brown
14:30 15:00 George Smyth Bromoil
15:00 15:30 Keith Williams Monobath/IR/UV
15:30 16:00 Richard Pippin Lith Printing

Upcoming classes/exhibits/jurying

I’ve gotten some further confirmation, so I can post more information about this now:

I’ll be showing work at PhotoWorks in Glen Echo, Maryland as part of PhotoWeek DC 2011. I’ll be displaying my platinum/palladium prints and talking about the process as part of a show-and-tell event on Sunday, November 6. I’ll update with links when they have a schedule of events published. I’ll also probably be doing a process demo some evening that week or the following weekend, November 12-13, and a full-fledged workshop in the spring of 2012.

On a separate note, I’ve been asked to be a judge next weekend at the Howard County Fair’s Home Arts department photography contest. If you’re going to be in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello and see the entries in the contest.