(Re) Discover Black & White Film: 9 am - 1 pm Saturdays, Sep 22 & 29 and Oct 6 & 13, 2018.

My work explores the frictional encounter of two opposites: digital image making, ... and the mysteries of the darkroom, which are sensual and beyond my control.

I like pushing the boundaries of photography. Nowadays, as digital takes over, many artists are returning to analog photography. It echoes what happened when photography took over painting’s role as a faithful recorder of reality. Painting literally took off in new directions. When one medium is replaced by another, it is set free and things start to happen.

- Baptiste Rabichon,
At Arles Festival, 7 Promising Photographers to Watch, N.Y. Times

Why is film photography, particularly black & white film, undergoing a resurgence? The reasons are many and you may want to enroll in (Re) Discover Black and White Film for any of them.

Wet-process methods were the only photographic method for most of history. Learning wet-chemistry photography helps you understand the challenges and choices photographers made prior to the digital era, just as a lab class helps you understand a science or a studio class helps understand another art medium.

Film photography gives you the foundation to explore  alternative processes such as cyanotypes (a relatively easy process) to more challenging wet-plate processes.

There are also hybrid digital-analog workflows. A film negative can be scanned, digitally processed, and printed. Conversely, a digital image can make an inkjet negative for prints using light-sensitive photographic paper, a photopolymer plate, or a photo-emulsion silkscreen.

Photographers today continue to work in film and related wet-processes. PhotoMidwest's (Re) Discover Black and White Film class will start you on your journey and give you the training to use one of the few wet darkrooms in Madison.

For more about the resurgence of film photography see:

  1. The Great Film Renaissance Of 2017 on B&H's website.

  2. This Is Why Film Photography Is Making a Comeback on Time magazine's website.

  3. The increasing popularity of film classes in high schools, High School Darkrooms, Shedding Light on a Vintage Craft.

Matting & Framing for Beginners: 9 am - 4 pm Sat, Jul 28.

Learn how to mat & frame your work with PhotoMidwest's equipment


Participants will learn the basics of matting and framing photographs through active learning.  Information will be provided on the equipment and supplies needed to cut mats and frame one’s own photos.  Participants will learn to cut single mats, secure photo to mat and foam core, install and secure matted image and glass in a wooden frame, finish back with paper (if desired), and complete with hanging wire.

You will leave the class with your own photo, custom matted and installed in a 16" by 20" wood frame, including installed glass and hardware; a $55 value, plus the knowledge of how to use PhotoMidwest's matting and framing equipment.

The Artist Book, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Tuesdays, July 10, 17, 24, & 31

Do you want to know what is involved in creating your own handmade photo book or publishing one? Books and other publications are a great way to promote your projects and network with professionals in the field of photography but getting started can be overwhelming. From self-publishing online, creating handcrafted books and approaching publishers with an idea–learn the processes behind creating the artist book.

Color Management & Printing: 9 am - noon Saturdays, July 7 & 21, 2018

Did you ever make a print that was too dark or had the wrong shade of color? This class covers the basic information you will need to make a digital injet print that will thrill you.

You will calibrate your laptop display and print images using custom paper profiles on our PhotoMidwest printers. You will leave the class with a handful of beautiful prints and, most importantly, the confidence to make your own prints which you will happy to exhibit. The enrollment includes $15 of printing on PhotoMidwest's printers.

Introduction to Lightroom class starts 6:30 pm Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Do you want a hands-on introduction to Adobe Lightroom, the powerful but comparatively easy to use post-image capture processing software? Veteran PhotoMidwest instructor John Lorimer will guide you on how to use Adobe Lightroom including pitfalls to avoid. The class is limited to a maximum of 10 students to ensure the best learning experience. The four class meetings start on Tuesday, May 1.

This was a very popular class in 2017, nearly filling two class sections. We are only able to offer one class section this year, so do not delay enrolling if you want to take this class.

Color Management & Printing: 9 am - noon Saturdays, Mar 10 & 17, 2018

See  description above when this class was held again on July 7 & 21, 2018.

Black & White Film, Master Class: Begins 9 am Saturday, Feb 24, 2018

  • A six-month master class which meets monthly for four-hour class session.

  • Subsequent class meetings to be determined by the class.

  • Students are encouraged to contact the instructor outside of class with their questions, frustrations or concerns.

  • Student input will determine class topics!

  • Class time is supplemented with additional student darkroom time outside class meetings.

  • Students will work independently in the PhotoMidwest darkroom. Darkroom time outside of class time can be reserved and paid for online by the student at $5/hr via the PhotoMidwest website Store.

  • Provide students with more in-depth camera and darkroom experiences.

  • Provide in-depth in-class critiques of their finished prints.

  • Provide instruction on operation of 35mm SLR or rangefinder cameras, SLR or twin-lens 120mm roll film cameras, and 4x5 or 5x7 view cameras.

  • Provide instruction on fiber-based paper printing and processing for archival printing.

Black and White Film, Beyond the Basics: 1 - 4 pm Saturdays Jan 13, 20, 27 & Feb 3, 2018.

Take your black and white film developing and printing skills to the next level. This class provides more in-depth darkroom experiences printing 35mm or larger negatives. Classes are supplemented with additional darkroom time outside class time. In-class critiques of their finished prints will be in more depth.

You will be introduced to 120mm roll film and sheet film, fiber-based paper printing, and processing for archival printing. Students will work independently in the darkroom outside of the class meetings.

Students Experience Level: Completion of (Re)Discover B&W Film class or equivalent B&W film class. Knowledge of camera functions, e.g. shutter, aperture, etc. Students determine what they want to learn in the class (camera formats, fiber paper, etc.).

(Re) Discover Black & White Film: 8:30 am - 12:30 pm Saturdays, Jan 13, 20, 27 & Feb 3, 2018

See above, more recent description of this class.

(Re) Discover Black & White Film: 9 am - 1 pm Saturdays, Sept 30, Oct 7, 14, & 21

See above, more recent description of this class.

Scanning Your Prints, Color Slides, & Negatives: 9 am - 12 pm Saturday, August 19, 2017

Do you have family or other important photographs, color transparency slides, or negatives that you want to preserve and share? If so, this class is for you. After completing this class you should be able to use PhotoMidwest's scanners to make your own high-quality scans.

PhotoMidwest president and professional photographer Sean Lamb will review the issues in reflective vs transparency scanning, file formats, and scanner resolution. Learn how to use VueScan, a low cost but full-featured scanning program that supports 100’s of different scanners, including some that are no longer supported by the scanner’s manufacturer.

(Re) Discover Black & White Film with Herb Nelson: May 13, 20, 27 & June 3, 2017

See above, more recent description of this class.

Introduction to Architectural Photography with David Erickson: April 25 & May 2, 6, 9

I control what I call, the visual acoustics.
                               Julius Shulman, 2008

PhotoMidwest is excited to offer our first architectural photography class in several years. Architectural photographer David Erickson is the Third Thursday speaker for March and will teach a four session introductory class on architectural photography starting on Tuesday, April 25.

Learn the history and nature of architectural photography, its technical requirements, and how to meet them. Consider how your intent affects the the way you compose your photograph and how you light it. The class includes an in-the-field class photographing the exterior and interior of a building.

David is a member of the Association of Independent Architectural Photographers and has contributed to architectural journals, magazines and international architectural exhibits. He has also been treating, restoring and digitizing architectural drawings at the Wisconsin Historical Society for about 6 years, processing about 4,000 drawings so far. His website is ericksonstudio.net.

Masterwork Salon with Don Mendenhall starts March 15, 2017

This year-long class class is for photographers ready to discover what a ‘masterwork’ means to them and how it applies to their current and future work. Each session begins with a presentation and video tutorials to prompt discussion and dialogue. The full scope of your photography workflow will be an integral part of this class. Upon completion of each class session, you will have 30 days to work on the next session’s agenda. All goals and assigned work will deal directly with your primary direction and focus.

Introduction to Lightroom: Two class sections

Do you want a hands-on introduction to Adobe Lightroom, the powerful but comparatively easy to use post-image capture processing software? This January veteran PhotoMidwest instructor John Lorimer will guide you on how to use Adobe Lightroom including pitfalls to avoid. Each class section is limited to a maximum of 10 students to ensure the best learning experience.

There are two class sections. The Monday section meets 6:30 pm - 9 pm Mondays, Jan 2, 9 and 16, 2017. The Tuesday section meets 6:30 pm - 9 pm Tuesdays, Jan 3, 10 and 17, 2017.