“Photography is a way to capture a moment in time,” says Mary Beth Kelley, program manager of the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program studio-arts division. “A mood, a special event, a certain light—something historic, something personal.”
Traditional courses in film photography and darkroom work still exist, but digital cameras have expanded the boundaries of what you can do with your pictures. For more and more people, that means the “development” stage has moved to the computer.
The Smithsonian (202-252-0012; residentassociates.org) has a variety of classes, from darkroom courses to ones that take students out in the field. This fall, a photography trekking class—designed for adjustable digital or film cameras—will include hiking in the Shenandoahs and at Maryland’s Cunningham Falls State Park. General classes include “The Joy of Photography” and an introduction to black-and-white work, which is designed for film cameras. Prices range from $190 to $235.
In the Corcoran College of Art & Design’s continuing-education division (500 17th St., NW; 202-639-1820; corcoran.edu/ce) , the basic digital class ($230 for four sessions plus a $35 lab fee) teaches photography principles along with computer skills. Film-based classes are offered as well.
Washington Photo Safari (202-537-0937; washingtonphotosafari.com) conducts a half-day photo tour of the city, called “Monuments and Memorials.” Offered Wednesdays and Saturdays regardless of season or weather, it teaches architectural photography, outdoor portraiture, interior photography without flash, and other skills. The half-day class—for digital or film cameras—is $69. There is a full-day version ($119) as well as other offerings.
Glen Echo Park’s Photoworks (7300 MacÂArthur Blvd., Glen Echo; 301-229-7930; glenechophotoworks.org) offers classes, lectures, workshops, and portfolio critiques. For $7 an hour you can use its darkroom on Sundays and Mondays. Classes range from $50 for a one-day workshop to $500 for a four-month digital course.
The Art League School (105 N. Union St., Alexandria; 703-683-2323; theartleague.org) offers classes and weekend workshops. A night-photography class ($185) travels around shooting sights in DC and Northern Virginia; it includes critiques but not darkroom access. A 35-millimeter camera is required for that class; “Introduction to Photography” ($185) is open to both film and digital. Other options range from “Introduction to the Digital Camera” ($85) to a class focusing on film development.