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Adult Opportunities

Landscapes in Black, White, and 50K Shades of Gray

Explore the process of producing powerful black-and-white images of natural landscapes.

Content Detail

This four-session course focusing on black and white landscape photography will cover the skills you need to translate natural scenes into black, white, and all shades of gray in between. You’ll also learn to see the potential of converting images you’ve already captured in color to captivating black-and-white scenes. 

Join your instructor Dan Pollack for classroom and field sessions, during which you will learn and practice photographic concepts including:

  • Scene previsualization, described by famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams as “the single most important factor in photography.“
  • Digital capture, using proper exposure to record all of the shadow and highlight detail that is important to the scene and produces the best base image. This class will explore all aspects of exposure including histogram management, exposure adjustments, the use of camera filters, and filters applied in postproduction software.
  • Postproduction techniques to convert images to black and white. Software can be overwhelming, but the class will learn of straightforward approaches that are easy to use. 
  • Ways to apply darkroom techniques through the use of software tools that can enhance images to their fullest potential.

Appropriate for any photographer who is comfortable with the manual controls of their DSLR cameras, this class will both challenge students proficient with black-and-white imaging and develop students who have never experimented with black-and-white photography.

This program meets in person at The Morton Arboretum.

Instructor: Dan Pollack, nature photographer

Age: 16 and older


Dan Pollack, nature photographer

Dan Pollack has been a photographer since 1983. In 1985, he began a successful commercial photography studio and his work was featured in advertising campaigns for several Fortune 100 companies. His stock photography has been chosen for advertising campaigns worldwide.

In 1998, Pollack narrowed his focus to the subject matter he loves most, landscapes and wildlife. Since then, he has been an instructor for courses in black-and-white darkroom techniques, large-format camera techniques, digital capture, and postproduction image processing. View his photography and learn more about his career on his professional website.

What to Know

This is an intermediate course; comfort with the manual controls of your DSLR camera is required.

Bring your fully charged camera to class.

Saturday sessions will take place outdoors; dress for extended time in cold weather.


Program Schedule

Thursdays, January 19 and February 2, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Saturdays, January 28 and February 11, 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Thornhill Education Center


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