8 x10 camera

ULF Cameras









       Large format photography should not be viewed as a mysterious medium. Once some relatively simple skills are learned, your freedom of artistic expression can be greatly enhanced. Unlike the 35mm or medium format camera, the film plane and lens planes move independent of each other. This freedom of movement allows you to control perspective, distortion, focus, and depth of field. The added advantage of the camera is that each exposures is on an individual sheet of film, film exposure and development can be controlled sheet by sheet; giving great control over the outcome of each photograph.

    The workshops are designed for all levels of experience. From the novice with thoughts of exploring large format photography, to the large format owner who wants to more deeply explore the capabilities of his or her equipment and materials.


Up coming Workshops

Large and Ultra-large Format Photography with

Gary Samson, Richard Ritter and David Speltz
Thursday - Sunday, September 27-30, 2018  

For our third year of this popular workshop, we are adding options for those who have been through the basic workshop or are experienced and want to take their LF skills to a new level. Basic and Advanced LF photographers will be together on Thursday afternoon for briefing and dinner and again on Sunday morning for photographing in downtown Portsmouth, reviewing work and having a Camera Commons supplied lunch.

Bring your own equipment or Camera Commons will supply equipment at no additional cost.

Option #1 Basic, Thursday - Sunday includes four days of basic and essential skills, including camera movements, lens selection, film selection and handling, exposure settings, and field work that includes seashore, landscape, architecture, and basic portraiture. This is our introductory course for those either new to LF photography or those wishing a complete refresher course.

All students, Basic and Advanced, should arrive between noon and 4PM on Thursday, Sept 27 at which time we will review equipment needs, refresh ourselves on camera movements, lens use. We will test meters, discuss plans for the long weekend, and then head to dinner. Students in Option #1 Basic will work together as a group the full four days.

Option #2 Advanced: Thursday - Sunday: Students who have taken the basic workshop in the past may elect to re-take Option #1 Basic or any part of it as well as select one or both of the advanced options Abandoned Places and Portraiture on Friday and Saturday as described below.

Abandoned Places: One full day on Friday of photographing “Abandoned Places.” This includes both exterior and interior photography including advanced issues such adjusting for reciprocity failure, advanced camera movements, and lens selection for smaller interior spaces. It will include interior lighting using strobes where appropriate. Students must have taken option #1 in the past or be fully competent in the use of a LF camera.

Portraits with Gary Samson: One full day of portraiture on Saturday, September 29, led by Gary Samson, former chair of the photography department of the NH Institute of Art and currently the NH Artist Laureate. This will include natural light, studio lighting and include professional models. Students must have taken option #1 in the past or be fully competent in the use of a LF camera. There will be an additional model fee of about $300, split between the photographers.

Costs: the cost for the four day workshop is $895 (there will be a modest lab charge for film 11x14 and larger and the model fee for those in the portrait option). Credit and debit cards are accepted. There is a $100 fee to hold a place and the balance is due September 1, 2018. the $100 fee is refundable provided there is a wait list and we can fill the slot that has been canceled.

Discounts: For students who have attended prior LF Workshops at Camera Commons, there is a discount of $100 of the four day course fee.

For more information please contact David Speltz
Camera Commons LLC A Creative Community for Photographers
Office: (603) 842-4713
Cel: (l617) 571-8000

We have access to both the Camera Commons 4000 square foot facility in Dover, NH with all the tools you may need as well as classrooms, a studio with Profoto lighting in case it rains, and perhaps best of all, the New Hampshire and Maine Seacoast with classic landscapes, 17th century building, and good food and accommodations.

Our Camera Commons associates will process your film for you while you are working in class or in the field. You will take home a 12x18 archival inkjet print of the negative of your choice.

For significant others, Portsmouth, NH is a destination venue for many and considered one of the nations top destinations for a holiday. With a population of 20,000 and restaurant seats numbering 24,000 there is no shortage of shopping, eating and entertainment.


Personal Coaching

Does your black and white printing need a tune-up? Do you still feel a little uncomfortable with large format equipment and materials? Have you always wanted to learn the Zone System in depth? Do you want help with composition?

 Do you just want a guided tour of some of the lovelier places to photograph in New England? 

I'll work with you to design a program that uses teaches what you wish. Personalized, one-on-one coaching can be arranged for as little as one day, or as long as we agree it might take to accomplish what you want. 

I can help you design a program to meet your individual needs for increasing your comfort and confidence with photography. For most topics, you won't need more than a day or two with us. Expect to work hard, and expect to have a long day.

Personal Coaching costs $300 per day, plus expenses. Lodging is available nearby. Or, we can come to you (perhaps most useful for darkroom tune-ups), for the same daily rate plus travel and living expenses.

Personal Coaching is also available for small groups rates available




For more info contact
R T Ritter

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