Tillman Crane and I will be teaching a class on soft focus at the Maine Media Workshops August 4th-10th. Unlike classes we have taught before, these will not be limited to large format and will include 120, 35mm and digital cameras. It will also cover a broader looks at soft focus and in addition to rare arcane lenses, will include pinhole, zone plate, plastic lenses, etc.

As always, I will be bringing lenses and cameras from my collection for students to examine and use: Pinkham & Smith Semi-Achromatic, Pinkham & Smith Visual Quality, Pinkham Bi-Quality, Struss Pictorial, Dallmeyer-Bergheim, Bodine, Plasticca, Imagons (incl. pre-War), Veritos, Hyperion, Kodak, Sigmar, Port-Land (for Ansel Adams fans), Graf Variable (for the Edward Weston wanna-be), and smaller format Pentax 120mm, Mamiya 145mm, both Canons, the very rare Tamron 70-150, Minolta Rokkor, Pentax 85mm manual, etc, etc, etc. If you're enrolled and interested in a specific lens not on the list, PM me and if I own one, I'll bring it for you. The only limit is how much will fit in my car.

The class will include history, theory, and lots of practice. Tillman and I will work with you in the field to develop your soft focus skill set and then critique the results with an eye toward your specific aesthetic viewpoint whether traditional or modern. We'll discuss which lenses are easiest/most difficult to use in the studio and in the field and which view cameras are best candidates for mounting soft focus lenses. An aspect rarely discussed is appropriate printing methods for soft focus images - but we'll cover that, too. You'll do lots of shooting and we will build new strengths based on group critiques.

My doctoral dissertation will serve as a jumping off point for some aspects of the course. I'll happily answer any questions you have about the contents. With any luck, it will be a book in a year or so with some sections greatly expanded.

If you know us, you know this will be a relaxed, informal and no pressure type of workshop where you can work at your own speed and level. We're there to help you achieve your vision, not push you into our ay of thinking.

Russ Young, PhD. FRPS