Last week, I subbed for the b&w/darkroom photography class at Nebraska Wesleyan while their teacher, Sarah Berkeley, went to Queretaro, Mexico for a Global Faculty conference. It was awesome, I really had a great time with the students, teaching them how to develop film, make contact sheets and start printing from their negatives. Super hard to cram all that into three days, let alone get them up to speed to think about more ideas than technical ones. But still, every night I came home full of ideas and presentations I wished I had time to share with the class. A new project I'm working on, portraits - again:) This is Katelyn, a super cool young gal who let me photograph her. Painstakingly, with a 4x5. With my workflow for weddings and commercial, even if I use film, the images end up on my computer. Raw files are imported, negatives are scanned, all images retouched, manipulated and adjusted so I can ftp them to my lab and send professional prints to my clients in a timely manner. Even my personal work with my ziatypes, I'm creating digital negatives for contact printing. With Katelyn's photos, I scanned the negatives like I always do, but then just wasn't that happy with the results. They just didn't grab me. There was no depth or subtlety to them, I didn't feel a connection to the subject or feel like it told me anything I didn't already know. So they sat on my computer for a few months while I tried to figure out what I was missing. After one of the classes at Wesleyan last week, I decided to use their sweet 4x5 enlarger and print my favorite image of Katelyn on Ilford fb matte paper. I was blown away with how delicate the tones were, how beautiful it looked on the paper, and I realized that for this project, this is how the images are meant to be reproduced. It's really exciting.