Alan Ross: Crafting the Fine Silver Print

Intensive darkroom printing workshop with Alan Ross, master printer and Ansel Adams assistant. In cooperation with Sun to Moon Gallery Photography Workshops.
Upcoming Workshops

No workshops currently scheduled

Alan Ross knows traditional darkroom and master printing techniques perhaps better than any other photographer today. Under his patient and expert guidance, you will immerse yourself in the magic and methodology of the traditional darkroom—just as Alan practiced side-by-side with Ansel Adams—learning tricks and techniques for crafting an image that expresses your vision. 

Left: Alan Ross assisting Ansel Adams in 1976. Right: Reviewing prints during a recent workshop in Ireland

During this two and a half day intensive hands-on workshop, Alan will discuss, explain and carefully demonstrate the way he approaches printing to achieve an expressive, tonally rich, fine print. In turn, you will have access to an enlarger to practice with your own negatives under Alan’s guidance.

In addition to reviewing your existing prints, which you are encouraged to bring, Alan will provide continuous support to each attendee, personally helping you improve your photographic darkroom skills during our workshop. 

Among the Topics Covered:

  • Evaluating a negative
  • Relationship between film development and contrast
  • Effects of different types of enlarging light sources on paper contrast
  • Tactics for choosing paper contrast and exposure, and subsequent refining of the selected options
  • Controlled, creative dodging and burning as practiced by the masters of the West Coast aesthetics 
  • Timing
  • Graduation
  • Tools, including wands, cards, shutters, and color filters
  • Introduction to selective masking for complete control of image tones
  • Pros and cons of various processing chemicals
  • Selenium toning and processing for permanence
  • Additional techniques that would be relevant for your shooting style and subject matter

Examples of hand-drawn masks used to control local density

Anyone with a working knowledge of darkroom fundamentals and some experience and who also wants to improve his or her silver-gelatin printing technique. 


  • All chemicals will be provided but you will need to bring your own paper.
  • Processed negatives, either film or digital negative, medium format to maximum size 4×5. We have three 4×5 enlargers and seven 6×7.

  • This 2.5 day workshop is held at DCP from Friday, February 28 to Sunday, March 1.
  • Cost per person is $590 early registration (ends January 29 at 11:59pm), $650 late registration.
  • Workshop price includes a $20 lab and chemistry fee.
  • Please note meals are not included in the cost of registration.
  • On Friday doors open at 6:15pm and we will start at 6:30pm for class introductions and a review of each person’s work.
  • On Saturday and Sunday doors open at 8:45am. Workshop starts promptly at 9am and ends at 6pm with a lunch break approximately at 1pm.
  • Advance registration and payment is required.
  • Maximum number of students is 10, minimum number to make a class is 6.
  • This workshop is presented in collaboration with Sun to Moon Gallery Photography Workshops.

If you’re coming in from out of town please check our FAQ page for some information about Dallas.

This workshop has special terms and conditions that supplement and/or replace the general terms found elsewhere on the DCP website.

The early registration discount is in effect up to 30 days before the workshop date and ends January 29 at 11:59pm. We must have a minimum of 6 participants by the early registration deadline for the workshop to make.

If you cancel more than 31 days before the workshop begins we’ll refund any payments made less a $100 processing fee. If you cancel from 22 to 31 days before the start date of the workshop we will refund all money received to date minus a $200 cancellation penalty. If you cancel less than 21 days before the start date of the workshop you will forfeit 100% of the total workshop fee. If you can’t attend you are welcome to send someone in your place. In some cases we may be able to find a replacement for your empty seat if the workshop is already sold out in which case you will receive a partial refund minus the $200 cancellation fee.

Dallas Center for Photography reserves the right to cancel a workshop at any time for low enrollment or for other reasons and will promptly refund all payments made to date. In the event of a workshop cancellation, DCP is not responsible for reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets, hotel reservations and other travel arrangements. If you’re coming from out of town we recommend that you purchase travel insurance.

Alan Ross

Alan Ross has earned an international reputation as a specialist in the art of black-and-white photography – as an artist, educator and master printer. He was Ansel Adams’ Photographic Assistant in Carmel from 1974 to 1979, and integrally involved with Adams’ books, teaching in Yosemite, and production of fine prints. Ross is the exclusive printer of Ansel Adams’ Yosemite Special Edition Prints, an assignment Adams personally selected him for in 1975. He makes each print by hand from Adams’ original negatives using traditional darkroom techniques. 

As a photographic educator, Ross specializes in helping photographers at any level to realize and express their photographic vision. He has led workshops in Yosemite & across the United States, Ireland, Italy, Australia and China. 

View full bio

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have cancelled or rescheduled all in-person classes, events and gallery shows. We are now offering online classes here and will be adding more soon!