From Film to Print

Film to print work shop.
I was born and bred in the wet darkroom era and worked for many years in that environment, until around 8 years ago I went fully digital. Many files and prints later the lure of film has drawn me back to this time honoured and wonderful medium.

I believe there are many people who would love to try the "film experience", its strange how some people try to emulate the look of film in digital, why do that when you can shoot film.

In this high tech world many might feel that using film is stepping backwards, believe me when I say it's not, if anything it is a massive step forward in the production of wonderful prints.

Film is the authentic medium and has been for many decades. Film cameras never age in reality as they are just a means to an end, film and chemicals are the key to the process, the wonderful tonal curve of film, especially in the highlight values which can be adjusted in development is what makes it special.

So when you see an image captured with film and the resultant print has that "film" look compared to digital, what you are seeing is its enormous dynamic range, wonderful tonal transition plus an organic feel and look that at this moment in time Digital capture cannot compete.

For serious fine art black and white photography large and medium format film capture is still king. The approach of the workshop is to show how simple the whole process really is and take all the mystery out of it.

Mixing Film with Digital technology, the best of both worlds.
I truly believe that digital capture is an amazing invention, and would never knock it however using Large and medium Format film cameras is the true way of learning the art of black and white photography. Digital and Film work together wonderfully well, using the analogue way of capture and the chemical process to produce a negative, then the modern way of digital scanning the negative is used instead of the wet darkroom, the computer and its software is used to work seamlessly with the negative to produce stunning Black and White images and prints

The workshop will teach you about film capture, I will show you the basics of handling and shooting using my 4x5inch Field and 6x7 Rangfinder medium format cameras, how to take light readings using a 1 degree spot meter, and a brief explanation of understanding the gray scale, (Zone System), how to load 4x5 sheet film, after exposure putting the exposed sheets into a daylight development tank.

We will then move on to the actual development process, developing the negatives, not in a darkroom but on a sink top that all of us have in our homes.

The timing of the workshop is important, we have to take a photograph and develop the negatives first, they will need a couple of hours to dry, this time will be used to show you the mythology and simple workflow of Contrast Grading and explain the use of coloured filters used in film photography.

When the negatives are dry I will show how to scan them using a 4x5 flat bed scanner and dedicated Nikon 9000ed Film Scanner.
We will then move on to Contrast Grade the scanned negative files.
After the scanned negative files have been edited in Photoshop the final part of the workshop shows you how to prepare the file for print output, and the actual printing process.

The reason for using Large Format
4x5 view camera technique fosters creation of exceptionally expressive and well thought out individual images. In part, this is due to the photographer's desire to be more involved with the entire photographic process. Experimenting with a 4x5 field camera is easy, fun and inspiring. In fact, many photographers find that working in the 4x5 format improves their creative concentration and technical understanding of photography in general. The principles involved are timeless, straightforward and can be universally applied, the same applies to a lesser extent using medium format cameras.

This is a day you will not forget, it will be informative, exciting and most of all great fun, mixing ultra modern and old methods in harmony.

I am based in Otley in Wharfedale West Yorkshire, 12 miles from Leeds City Center

Below are a few pictures of the equipment you will be using.

Ebony LF Field Camera

Under the dark cloth view

4x5inch film scanner

The 1 degree Spot Meter

Daylight development tank and 4x5inch film holder

What you get

Expert advice derived from over 40 years of experience in monochrome

You will go home with a Matted picture, {you will cut your own Matte}.

The edited images burnt to disc for your own future use and reference.

The Contrast Grading 2nd edition video FREE

Sandwich and drink

Once you arrive, chill out and let Martin do all the work, the day will start from 10.00am and aim to finish around 4pm, times are approximate

The cost for one day tuition for one person will be £250.00
The cost for one day tuition for two people will be £190.00 per person

Attendees will need to make their own arrangements for travel, breakfast and evening meal.

Fill out the form at the bottom of this page, when your inquiry has been received I will contact you to discuss available dates

Hi Martin

Thank you for the workshop. It was excellent and well worth the
journey from South Devon. You made me feel completely welcome and I
learnt a huge amount. It was a perfect balance of practice and theory
to help someone like me, still wanting to get the most out of film and
needing to jump into the world of digital processing.

Giles Forsyth

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise with me on two occasions now. Once on your "Contrast Grading" workshop and lately on the Large format "Film to Print" workshop.
On both occasions the experience has been worth everything too me.
Being able to see at first hand how recognized experts achieve their results is worth every penny spent, because the time saved in the long run is invaluable to me at least.
Keep up the good work.
Alan Jones

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