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

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

For the student of photography, wet-process methods were the only way to create photographs for most of history.  To understand the challenges and choices photographers made prior to the digital era, you need to do wet-chemistry photography, just as you need to take a laboratory course to understand the science or a studio class to understand an art medium.

Film also offers a variety of hybrid analog-digital workflows. A film negative can be scanned to then be digitally processed and printed. Conversely, a digital capture can produce an inkjet negative used to contact print on light-sensitive photographic paper or burn a photopolymer plate.

Film photography also gives you the foundation to explore other alternative processes such as cyanotypes (a relatively easy process) to more challenging wet-plate processes such as wet-plate collodian, tintype, ambrotype, or salt albumin printing.

Photographers today continue to work in film and related wet-processes. The Madison Museum of Conterporary Art's Reconfigured Reality: Contemporary Photography from the Permanent Collection has works by Wisconsin's own Shimon & Lindeman, Alec Soth, and Paul Baker Prindle, who all choose to use large format film or other wet-process image captures.

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 The Great Film Renaissance Of 2017 .

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

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.

Mindful Monochrome: Fri - Sun, Oct 21, 22, 23, 2016

Instructors: Suzanne Rose. Suzanne's work was recently selected for the Wisconsin Triennial at the Museum Madison of Contemporary Art.
Dates: 9 AM to 4 PM Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 21, 22 and 23, 2016
Location: new PhotoMidwest location at 700 Rayovac Dr., Suite 212. ADA accessible.

From capture to conversion, partake in a disciplined post-processing workflow that will take RAW color captures to mindful monochrome. This concentrated study will wrap color in a monochromatic blanket of emotional intent so that only mood, metaphor and poetry remain.Participants will collectively work on RAW files provided by Suzanne for the lessons then all will ease into working on files of their own.

Printing high quality images will be the goal of this workshop. Print on a choice of Epson's UltraSmooth Fine Art, Velvet Fine Art, Hot Press Bright or Exhibition Fiber papers with an Epson printer using the Advanced Black & White print driver developed by Epson to bring out the deepest blacks for monochrome prints.

Larry Fink Master Class, Fri & Sat, Oct 7-8, 2016

PhotoMidwest Festival 2016 juror Prof. Larry Fink will give a class on the biennial PhotoMidwest Festival's opening weekend. This Master Class is an intense, extended portfolio review that will go deep with each participant and as group regarding the issues around image making and personal identity/expression as a photographer.

What's in the Attic? A look inside the Wisconsin Historical Society's Visual Materials Archive, Oct 7

What does a curator of visual materials do? How are materials acquired? How are they stored? Are they always scanned or photographed? How do you catalog for retrieval something that may not have a title or any words? And where on earth do you store all that stuff? Join Visual Materials Curator Andy Kraushaar to learn the answers to those and other questions in a behind-the-scenes look at curating visual materials at the Wisconsin Historical Society

Introduction to Portrait Lighting & Composition

Instructor: Debbie Borth
Dates & Time: 6 pm - 9 pm Wednesdays, Sept 7, 14 & 21 (three classes in three weeks)
Location: new PhotoMidwest location at 700 Rayovac Dr., Suite 212. ADA accessible.
Free convenient parking in our adjacent parking lot
Class size: limited to only 10 people.

Popular instructor Debbie Borth will be teaching a new class on portrait lighting and composition.  This class meets three times from 6 to 9 pm on September 7, 14, and 21 from 6 pm to 9 pm at PhotoMidwest on Rayovac Dr. Learn what is good lighting, using simple light modifiers, and when to use them both indoors and outdoors. Part of the class will have a model to help you learn composition and framing.

Street Photography: Theory and Practice

Instructor: Mark Golbach
Dates & Time: five 2-hour sessions, 7-9 PM every other week (Aug 23, Sep 6 & 20, Oct 4 &
Location: new PhotoMidwest location at 700 Rayovac Dr., Suite 212. ADA accessible.
Free convenient parking in our adjacent parking lot
Class size: limited to only 10 people.

Are you interested in "street photography" but never felt you could do it yourself? This class is for you. We begin with a discussion of street photography history, present state, and legal issues. Subsequent class will go over equipment, technique, and overcoming fear. There will be assignments every two weeks, one of which is the Willy Street Fair in September. We will then cover subjects, style, editing, printing. and planning for an exhibit.

Matting & Framing for Beginners

Instructor: Tom Miller
Time & Date: 9 AM - 4 PM Saturday, August 20, 2016
Location: new PhotoMidwest location at 700 Rayovac Dr., Suite 212. ADA accessible.
     Free convenient parking in our adjacent parking lot
Class size: limited to only 8 students maximum

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 $60.00 value.

Do's and Don'ts of Posing

Instructor: Debbie Borth
Dates & Time: 6:30 pm - 9 pm Wednesdays, June 15, 22, 29 (3 classes in 3 weeks), 2016.
Location: new PhotoMidwest location at 700 Rayovac Dr., Suite 212. ADA accessible.
Free convenient parking in our adjacent parking lot
Class size: limited to only 10 people.

This is a 3 class course, teaching the do’s and don’ts of posing techniques. All skill levels welcome. In this class we will cover how to pose people, and learn tips on how to get the best expressions and body language from your photo subjects. I’ll demonstrate how small changes make all the difference; and why, when, and how to make these adjustments. We’ll cover how to work with individual adults (business or personal), couples, children, and groups. These techniques will be useful whether wanting to take better photos of friends and family, or offer your skills professionally. During our final class, you will get to practice your new posing skills with your classmates.

Upon completion of this class, you should feel comfortable and confident in your ability to pose nearly any subject in a pleasing way.

Lightroom & Photoshop 101: basics for true beginners

Instructors: Suzanne Rose and assistant Sharky Plender.
Time & Dates: 9 am - 4 pm Saturday & Sunday, June 4 & 5, 2016
Class size: limited to 12 people.

Enter into the stream of working non-destructively in Photoshop. Take control of your editing workflow and begin to realize your creative vision. 

This class is designed for those who have never used Lightroom and Photoshop and currently work in Adobe Elements, process exclusively with on-line free editing tools, or have not entered into post-processing.

Seeing (photographically)

Instructor: Zane Williams
Dates & Times: First meeting 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Second, third and fourth classes at dates and times mutually agreeable
Location: 101 S. Franklin St., Madison, WI (downtown, approximately 4 blocks east of state capitol)
Class size: Limited to ONLY 4 PEOPLE.

“Seeing (photographically)”. What does that mean to you? Do you look for photographs? If so, what do you see in the process of looking for photographs? Do you see differently when your camera is not with you? Is seeing a revelatory experience for you? Do you pre-conceptualize how you wish to express yourself in your photographs?

This class will springboard from these larger questions... engaging others that arise. Our discussions will evolve as we spend time moving through ordinary everyday rounds. We will examine the ways in which you look at things large and small. We will pause when appropriate, in order to focus on this as an awareness practice. We may or may not take photographs. We will seek to refresh the way in which we see our world, our life.

There will not be a lot of formal critique in this class— rather mostly looking (“seeing”), listening, discussing, absorbing. Attendees could bring images (taken anytime, anywhere) on suitable devices for ad hoc discussion/review when it fits into the day’s session. The class is about being in one’s world and truly seeing it.

Intended Audience

This class is not designed with an advanced, intermediate, or novice orientation.  It doesn’t particularly matter what camera you use— just that you have reasonable familiarity with it and are open to the idea of conscious camera work.  It focuses on elements of perception necessary to photographers (and artists) all all stripes so that they have a better sense of when and where to release the shutter, or to simply be open to more meaningful process and experience as one moves through the world.

How to Get Better Photos from Your Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera

Instructor: John Lorimer
Dates & Time: Tuesdays, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, April 5, 12, 19, 26 (4 weeks)
Location: PhotoMidwest Studio/Gallery, 303 Paterson St., Madison WI (note: access by stairs only)
Free convenient parking in our adjacent parking lot
Class size: limited to 14 people.

Course Summary & Description

This class explores the use of advanced digital camera tools and techniques with high-end digital cameras that are capable of manual operation (e.g. dSLR and newer Four-Thirds and other "mirrorless" cameras). It is designed for those digital photographers who want to enhance their skills and abilities to produce high quality creative photographs beyond the basic “snapshot” type photo by learning to use all of the tools available in their digital cameras Through the use of video training materials, lecture, demonstration and hands on assignments, students will be challenged to use their cameras in new and more creative ways. Upon the completion of the course students will be able to use all of the controls available on their cameras to take high quality photographs of a variety of subjects in all kinds of shooting conditions.


Week One: Review of Basic Camera Controls - Advanced Camera Settings - Using the Manual Exposure Mode - First Assignment
Week Two:  Review of First Assignment - Getting the Correct Exposure (Metering, Exposure Compensation, Bracketing) - Custom White Balance - Selecting Focal Points - Choosing ISO Settings - Second Assignment
Week Three:   Review of Second Assignment - Achieving Camera Stability - Special Shooting Situations and Subjects (Portraits, Landscape, Sports and Action, Macro) – Creative Camera Techniques - Third Assignment.
Week Four:  Review Third Assignment – Composition – Shooting and Processing RAW Images - Lenses – Suggestions for further photographic growth.

Alternative Bookmaking Methods

Instructor: Angela Johnson
Date & Time: 9 am to 3 pm Saturday, Jan 16, 2016.
Location: PhotoMidwest Studio/Gallery, 303 Paterson St., Madison WI (note: access by stairs only)
Free convenient parking in our adjacent parking lot
Class size: limited to only 12 people.


2016 starts out with a new class taught by Angela Johnson, Alternative Photo Book Making Methods. This class explores a variety of non-traditional image transfer methods to create images that can then be incorporated into a book. The one day workshop is for a wide range of artists, from photographers to scrapbookers to anyone interested in learning more about bookmaking.

Angela Johnson is an M.F.A. candidate at the U.W. Madison. She has had several local solo shows and her work is in several local permanent collections.

Why Black and White?

Instructor: Don Mendenhall
Dates: Tuesdays, 6:00-8:00 PM every two weeks; Nov 3 and 17; Dec 1 and 15, 2015
Location: PhotoMidwest Studio/Gallery, 303 Paterson St. Studio
Class size: limited to only 12 people.


This class will provide insight and confidence for those who want to center more on black and white (B/W) photography as well as for those who want to enhance their color work. B/W seeing prompts increased attention to the play of light, mood/emotion, tonalities, textures, balance, contrasts, and shapes. Most importantly, it allows a unique pathway to capturing the essence of subjects. The four sessions are scheduled with a preparation week in-between; giving time for assignment work.

Topics Covered

The central question this class will explore is; Why think in black and while capturing? Note: Color photography has been around since the 1930s, so why is black and white photography still used in so many ways today?

  1. Approaches to B/W photography.
  2. How the play of light, contrast, and luminosity are keys to strong B/W photography.
  3. How using B/W “seeing” strengthens the overall photographic capture and workflow.
  4. Example foundational workflow demonstrations for converting raw color into b/w.
  5. How capturing in B/W enhances the use of negative/positive space, presence, story, authenticity, luminance, layering, lines/shapes and composition.
  6. Attention to how B/W photography can enhance color work.

Teaching Approach

  1. visuals
  2. mini presentations/demonstrations
  3. ‘salon style’ conversations
  4. on-site and photo captures
  5. self and shared critique

Intended Audience

This is an intermediate to advanced armature level class. Students should have a confident understanding of their camera equipment and with setting and using manual exposures.

Class limited to 12 participants.

Everyday Inspiration: Developing Photographic Projects

Instructor: Brad Baranowski
Dates: Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 PM Tuesdays every two weeks; Oct 27, Nov 10, Nov 24, Dec 8, 2015. Last date to be determined.

Are you in a creative slump? Thinking that you need to buy a new lens or travel to a far off land to take more interesting photos? Don’t. Developing a photography project is a better—and cheaper—way to find inspiration and overcome your artistic malaise. To help you tackle such an endeavor, this course will explore the basics of photographic projects, from conception to exhibition.

Students will develop a project of their own based on a readily accessible and local theme, issue, place, or people. In-class discussions will cover a variety of topics. Weekly assignments will guide students in developing their own projects. Each student will then present said project at the last class along with an artist statement describing their work. The first class is on Tuesday, October 27.

Child and Family Photography

Instructor: Debbie Borth
Times: 6-9 PM Tuesday July 14 & 21 and 2-5 PM on Saturday, July 25, 2015

This is a 3 class course in mastering the art of child and family photography. Whether your goal is to take better photos of your children, friends and family, or you are planning to offer your services professionally, this class is for you. We’ll cover recommended camera settings and equipment for child and group family photos both as it applies to indoor and out natural and artificial light sources, We will discuss; how you can choose the perfect location, how to keep kids’ attention and convey everyone’s true personality in a photo, ideas for posing and composition.

Mindfulness and the Art of Photography

Instructor: Paul Thoresen
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 PM,  June 9, 16, 23 & 30, 2105

Mindfulness. Rooted in the wisdom of Buddhist psychology and spirituality, this practice of living more fully in the present moment brings significant benefits for health and well-being. It can also profoundly impact the quality of our photography.

In this class we will explore and experience the realms of mindful, Zen and Miksang contemplative photography. We will learn how these approaches can enhance the quality of all phases of our photographic activities, from initial seeing to the final presentation.

Given the high interest in this sold-out class, we plan to repeat it in 2016 and may offer a related class later in 2015.

Landscape Composition: Examining the Effects of Light, Color and Negative Space

Instructor: Don Mendenhall
Times: Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:00 PM, April 28th - May 19th, 2015

Is it the subject matter or the compositional approach that makes the difference between a good photograph and a stellar image? Even more telling is the importance of relationship quality between the photographer and what is being observed. 

The question this class will explore is how compositional style in landscape photography can enhance authenticity coming from within the artist photographer.

  • Approaches to Landscape Photography
  • Developing a Stronger and Confident Sense of a Unique Direction 
  • Creating a Portfolio
  • Ways of Seeing (Negative/Positive Space, Presence, Story, Authenticity, Luminance, Layering, Incorporating the Five Basic Lines/Shapes)
  • What about those Compositional Rules?
  • Location (Grand Canyon or Back Yard!
  • Making Known Your Work (choosing a exhibit or publishing venues)

Through visuals, mini presentations, ‘salon style’ conversations, and on-site and photo captures, participants will test/self critique a variety of approaches and styles in landscape photography.

Macro Photography Basics with Don Parsons

Instructor: Don Parsons
Time: Saturday, May 2, 2105, 9:30 am - 1:30 pm

PhotoMidwest member Don Parsons presents an overview of macro photography. These techniques are useful in many types of photography, ranging from scientific/technical images of insects or coins to abstract fine art images of flowers or other objects from a new point of view.

This is an intermediate to advanced-level course intended for anyone who has a basic understanding of their DLSR or interchangeable lens camera and wants to explore macro photography techniques to create their images.

Don Parsons has practiced and taught macro photography during his career at the CDC/Rocky Mountain Lab in Montana and Mt Sinai Hospital in Milwaukee. He has participated in BugShot macro photography workshops in Missouri and Florida. Don is also a Florida Master Naturalist and worked as an eco-tour guide at the “Ding” Darling NWR on Sanibel Island Florida.  Recently he has made the first photographs of live specimens of several ant species at the University of Wisconsin at Madison

Photographing Intangibles: A Course to Push Your Boundaries and Extend Your Vision

Instructor: Patricia Delker
Times: Tuesdays, March 24 - April 21, 2015, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Photographs can transcend mere documentation, and photography is more than seeing and equipment. Photographing intangibles means creating pictures that transmit emotion, points of view and personal statements.  Weekly class assignments will utilize your camera (digital or film) plus viewing contemporary photographic work, short readings, discussions and reviews of your work. You will expand the way you think about photography and investigate your subjects in an intense, personal way.  We discuss the role of metaphor, self-awareness, the power of observation and point of view to make meaningful, evocative photographs.

Patricia Delker has taught photography classes for UW School of the Arts at Rhinelander,  Door County's Peninsula School of Art and PhotoMidwest/CPM. She has curated exhibits of the work of historic Madison photographer, Angus McVicar, as well as "Accidental Art: Collecting Found Photography" which celebrated vernacular photography.

Minimalist Digital Flash Photography

Saturday, 02/21/2015 12:30 - 4:30 PM
Saturday, 02/28/2015 12:30 - 4:30 PM

Whether it is recording family celebrations, weddings, event photography or portraits, the use of flash is often required and desirable. But taking good flash photos with a digital camera can be a real challenge for many photographers. This class will focus on getting good flash photographs using both the built-in flash on your camera and external speedlights for off-camera flash. 

This class explores the equipment and techniques necessary to take great pictures with small flash units, including:

  • adjusting flash output
  • understanding guide numbers and calculating exposure for flash
  • fill-in flash outdoors
  • external flash off-camera
  • use of multiple flash units
  • using flash in manual, auto and ttl modes
  • use of flash modifiers

Adobe Lightroom 5: An Introduction to Organizing and Developing Digital Images

Mondays, Jan 19 - Feb 16 6 PM - 9 PM, 2015

This 5-week course helps students establish a foundational understanding of the Library and Develop modules of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, a professional-level software application for organizing and developing digital images. Upon course completion, students can expect to be comfortable importing images into Lighroom, managing an image library, and using the software independently for creative and practical purposes. Students will learn Lightroom's essential components, including file import and export, image organization and labeling, and basic photo development techniques and strategies, and develop a workflow to take their photographs from camera to finalized digital image.different from the original representational image, is called the "Interpreted Print."

The workflow takes students from the visualization of the image through digital darkroom techniques creating variations of mood, light, presence, color saturation, hue manipulation and abstraction.photographic practice to the next level.    

This workshop is especially designed for those looking to not only expand their personal knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw and the TK panel but to also establish a high-quality personal capture and post-processing workflow.