Large Format Silver Workshop

Discover shooting and developing in large format in this intensive workshop. All levels of experience welcome!
Upcoming Workshop
Nov 18

EARLY BIRD PRICE (expires 10/28) Members get up to 20% off
1.5 day workshop: Thursday, November 18 from 6pm-8pm and Friday, November 19 from 9am-5pm

What does it mean when you hear people say they shoot large format, and why do they do it? In this 1.5-day workshop, discover what it’s like to work with a large camera, beautifully crafted out of metal or wood, that holds sheets of film from 4×5 all the way up to 11×14 and beyond.

Compared to shooting quickly with a digital camera, large format cameras require a lot more time and patience to set up and use, but that kind of deliberate process can invite more creativity, more connection to the subject than shooting quickly with a smaller camera. Large format practitioners often talk about how they become more intentional with the format, that it slows them down.

This workshop is for all levels of experience! It is a great opportunity for those looking to dip their toe into large format, as well as those comfortable with the format and want some guidance on the creative and technical side.

You must wear a mask during this full-day workshop. There are no exceptions. If you don’t plan to wear a mask, then please don’t register for this workshop. If you register and don’t have a mask with you, we have one for you. If you won’t wear it, you’ll be asked to leave and there will be no refund. Please view our COVID policies and procedures here. When you register, you will need to sign our COVID policy agreement and waiver.

The first evening we will discuss using and composing with a large format camera. Instructor Lisa Elmaleh will walk you through how to set up the tripod, what it entails to shoot one frame at a time, and how to focus under a dark cloth while looking at a dark, upside-down image of the subject. We’ll also load film into your cameras to be ready for the next day. In this workshop, we’ll be shooting with 4X5 or  if you own your own camera, with up to 8X10 film.

On the second day, we’ll shoot on-location in the morning and then develop and make exhibition-quality 4X5 or 8X10 contact prints in DCP’s darkroom in the afternoon. It is a waiting game before the negative image is seen; and that time gap, which doesn’t exist in the digital world, is part of the intrigue and connection to the format. Each frame is a bit of a surprise.


We have several loaner 4×5 cameras available on a first come basis. You must make the request when you register or call first to make sure one is available. Otherwise, students will need to bring their own 4×5 or 8×10 cameras. All students must provide their own film for this workshop and will shoot and process up to 6 sheets.  Our processing will be standardized to Ilford HP5 or Kodak Tri-X films only. Film can be bought locally from Don’s Photo Equipment, just a couple of blocks from DCP. Tell Todd we sent you.

  • This 1.5 day workshop is held at DCP. The class will meet from 6pm-8pm on Thursday, November 18 and then 9am-5pm on Friday, November 19.
  • Cost per person is $375 early registration (ends October 28 at 11:59pm), $425 late registration.
  • Instructor Lisa Elmaleh is also teaching an Introduction to Wet Plate Photography and Advanced Wet Plate Photography workshops.
  • Please note meals are not included in the cost of registration.
  • Advance registration and payment is required.
  • Maximum number of students is 10, minimum number to make a class is 6.
  • Workshop price includes a $50 lab and materials fee which covers chemistry, paper for contact prints and safety equipment.
  • Students are expected to use their own cameras or rent if needed. Any size up to 8×10 is acceptable for this class.
  • We have several 4×5 cameras and film holders available for student use on a first come basis. Please contact us before registering.

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 21 days before the workshop date and ends October 28 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.

Lisa Elmaleh

Lisa Elmaleh’s work is a photographic exploration of rural America. Elmaleh is an analog photographer living in Paw Paw, West Virginia.  She is a traveling educator, often teaching wet plate collodion workshops out of the back of her truck for various workshops across America. Elmaleh’s Everglades work was published as a monograph (Everglades) in 2016.

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