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03-06-2016, 06:30 AM   #1
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Bruce Barnbaum or John Sexton Workshop or other

Hi All
I am new to the forum. I have recently started to shot and develop MF using Pentax 67. I have been using a community darkroom but would like to improve my darkroom skills. I was wondering if anyone had first hand experience with either BB or JS workshops. All reviews I could find on Internet are 10+ years old. I am worried that these workshops may be biased towards large format. JS course is 4 1/2 days and BB is 5 1/2 days. Anyone have any first hand darkroom workshop experience? BTW, I am reading all the books I can get my hands on. I am looking for a workshop to get in person feedback of what I am doing. Thanks

03-07-2016, 11:18 PM   #2
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I took 3 darkroom workshops with John Sexton - two weeks in Snowmass at Anderson Ranch, a second year of two weeks at Anderson Ranch, and then Fine Tuning at his home in Carmel Valley. (and several two week long trips on rafts down some major canyons in Utah). Its been many years, and at that time I was using both the Arca Swiss 8x10 (and Pentax 6x7).

John's focus is large format, but in each of the classes there was always at least one attendee that was only using either medium format or 35mm format film. Regardless of film format, John's focus was getting the most out of your prints through exposure, development and printing. He always told those not using large format that they would get the same out of the workshop as anyone using LF, but that their development opportunities were more limited -- you obviously can't develop individual exposures to the targeted individual plus/minus development when dealing with roll film-- it results in a compromise. That being said, you will get still learn tons of learning from his workshop. (one method I used with P6x7 was to have a separate body loaded for -1, 0, and +1 development -- developing entire rolls whereas in sheet film I targeted each sheet).

Workshops at John's house never included you actually doing any printing/developing (unlike Anderson Ranch), but you will expect to have many hours of learning in both a classroom, and an in-the-darkroom-with-John printing. My best advice to you is to bring some means of recording what John is saying - you won't regret it. It will allow you to focus on what is going on rather than making notes.

The Fine Tuning workshop is a followup to the first level workshop, and when I took it we were loaned a negative to print and share (same negative for all, in this case a streamside scene from somewhere other than Yosemite).

John has a wonderful sense of humor, and you'll learn a lot from his critiques if you bring a portfolio printed and mounted. You'll get a thorough review of your printing/developing - expect to learn a lot as John will help you with ways to improve your craft. Perhaps Anne will also give her critique as well -- she is an outstanding photographer and print maker.

I think you won't go wrong with taking a Sexton workshop with your P67.

I have not taken a BB workshop - never saw the need after taking the JS workshops. I have several friends (LF) that took BB's workshop, and they generally report learning a lot. Perhaps someone that has taken one can give you more details.
Best regards
Don Nelson
03-08-2016, 09:32 AM   #3
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I am taking a Bruce Barnbaum workshop this spring. I was thinking of taking a couple of 67s to shoot with. Being old enough to remember using film in fair quantities, I think it might have been Chris Ranier, in a article on Tibet who stated, with roll film to overexpose by one stop and underdevelop by 10%. Cover your bases. Or use 3 bodies.
03-08-2016, 10:36 AM   #4
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I am scheduled to be at a JS workshop at the end of this week for 3 1/2 days in NOLA. It is a digital Monochrome workshop. Can leave feedback next week once back.

03-08-2016, 07:20 PM   #5
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Thanks Algrove, looking forward to hear how your workshop goes. Hsteeves, let me know how your BB workshop goes. Thanks Don for your comments, it gets me excited about a JS workshop. Regards, Tim
03-13-2016, 04:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tsc777 Quote
Thanks Algrove, looking forward to hear how your workshop goes. Hsteeves, let me know how your BB workshop goes. Thanks Don for your comments, it gets me excited about a JS workshop. Regards, Tim
Just wrapped up the Sexton workshop. What a great and patient guy. Very interesting to hear about and print using his workflow techniques as well as capture techniques.

He said he does not have workshops much so best to contact him direct for your info about what might come up in the future. I liked it so much that I would go back for like a 4 day printing specific opportunity. Richard Sexton uses many systems which he considers the best for the specific job.

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