Instructor is Master Katherine Gillis

30 years as a Traditional Retoucher & Spotter for Analog Photographers and Ansel Adams Special Edition Yosemite Prints

Hi, I'm Katherine Gillis, a photographer and master traditional retoucher and spotter for 3 decades. I attended the Veronica Cass Academy of Photographic Arts and worked in several color labs from Colorado to New Mexico. I met Alan Ross, a master photographer chosen by Ansel Adams to be the printer of his Yosemite Special Edition Prints. I continue to be the exclusive spotter of these prints. The opportunity to share my years of knowledge and experience with veteran photographers and novices to eliminate the fear of retouching and spotting with this course is exciting.  Anyone taking this course will save time, money, frustration and allow you to charge more for your work because it will be better.  It is a one-of-a-kind course created with dual expertise in seeing that these skills are not lost forever and that every analog photographer can benefit by knowing how to do it properly.

  • 3 decades retouching and spotting for individual photographers and large companies
  • Completed every single course taught by the original master, Veronica Cass
  • Continue to be the only spotter for the Special Edition Ansel Adams Yosemite Prints
  • Retouch negatives, B&W and color with my special Adams Retouching Machine with binocular lenses
  • Collaborate with another long time colleague to do rare restorations
  • Have worked with hundreds of photographers nationally and internationally
  • Continue to work with prestigious photographers from around the world and novices who prefer me to retouch their most difficult photographs

Essential Training for Analog Photographers

  • Finish Your Prints Like a SuperHero

    Master Traditional Retoucher shows you all the skills and techniques you need to professionally finish your B&W prints.

  • Rare Step-by-Step Visual Real Time Traditional Retouching

    Loaded with how to videos and before and after retouching and spotting. You'll finally know the tools, the techniques, what to do in what order so your work will always stand out.

  • Resources and Connections

    One-to-one access with Katherine Gillis, live Q&A webinars to interact with her and discussions with her and peers within the course. It's about YOUR success in delivering work to be proud about always.

Students' Comments

Eric Bryan

"This course was worth every penny! Thank you so much for offering it. I have learned so much, and I've come to really enjoy spotting and retouching. Sometimes I have to force myself to stop. I never thought I'd say that!"

Stephen Hartsfield

"Thanks for sharing. I shoot film and digital, film for dedicated black and white. I will get a backup image on digital just to make sure sometimes. Either approach requires a learning curve, and it is a good time to get into analog because there is so much used equipment going for far less than the original cost out there. There is always the hybrid approach, scan your film and process electronically, but I would miss the darkroom and those beautiful prints that result."

JB Harlin

"The Wet-Dry brush is worth its weight in gold! No one has ever explained that before. Thanks!"

Pei Te Kao

"I want to tell you how amazed and thankful I am for this class!!! With what you are teaching I feel a whole new world of possibility opened up for me. Spotting/retouching is not being taught in wet darkroom classes, or taught very little. Definitely didn’t feel I had much confidence these last 15 years. When you offered your class, I was excited. Now I feel I will have the right foundation to go on and to use this in the tool kit for artistic creativity. You just opened up a whole new creative world for me. A big thank you to you and Carol. I will keep going back to the videos and audios, and like it can be worked around my schedule. Most importantly, the nature of having the master like you as a resource for questions/advice, a one-on-one session, with updates being added is a big WOW!"

Kathy Kostelec

"I was hoping for such a course for a long time and so happy I found out about you - from Alan Ross. I learned many things, especially about palette set up, color wheel and chart that will be very helpful from now on. Many thanks! Additionally (referring to a particular retouch) That looks better than anything Photoshop could do, especially on the textured fabric and the light hairs. So you are better than the digital process of cloning, healing, and smoothing."

Professional Photographers' Comments

Alan Ross Photography

Alan Ross

"For anyone looking for an amazing retoucher/spotter, Katherine has been the EXCLUSIVE spotter for the Ansel Adams Special Edition Prints for over 25 years! Bravo Katherine!" - excerpt from APUG and "I find that for many, working with film, print spotting (retouching) is a huge pain, or they aren't very good at it. Katherine Gillis also does a lot of my work. Katherine Gillis is wonderful and responsive! If anyone needs careful work done on print specks and clutter, she's great!" - excerpt from Looking Glass Magazine Alan Ross is a renowned photographer whose unique vision combines traditional photographic methods with today's technology. He worked side-by-side with Ansel Adams as his photographic assistant, and was personally selected by Ansel to print his Yosemite Special Edition negatives. Alan is a sought after teacher who inspires professionals and amateurs to prepare their minds for the moment when light, beauty and chance, define opportunity."

Mariana Cook Studio

Trellan Smith

Trellan Smith, Assistant to Mariana Cook at Mariana Cook Studio, wrote this note to me. We had just begun working together. "Thank you, Katherine! You are a Master!! T."

Timmy Hord Studio

Timmy Hord

"When I first met Katherine in the mid-90's, I had just earned PPA's Master Artist Degree and I was in awe of her abilities. I quickly gave her all the retouching projects on my images for my studio. Katherine Gillis has a rare talent and the knowledge, mostly forgotten in this digital age, to enhance traditional photography. The entire photographic community will benefit from her vast expertise shared in this course. I have always referred to Katherine Gillis as the 'retoucher's retoucher.' Timmy Hord has a long history as an artist, confident with many media in her native city of Charlotte, N.C. Her original art, portraits, and photographic restorations complement many area homes and offices since 1979.

Why Invest in You With This Course?

  • Learn how to apply dyes to B&W prints fearlessly (without destroying them)
  • Learn the setup and tools necessary to create your studio
  • Learn how to pick out a brush
  • Learn how to mix your dyes
  • Learn how to remove dyes when you've gone too far (too much dye)
  • Learn how to practice to be perfect

Become a Fearless Traditional Retoucher & Spotter Curriculum

    1. How to Use this Course

    2. A message from the instructor

    3. Before we begin...

    4. Peaches and Paint in The Beginning

    5. Goal of this course

    6. 9 Benefits of Taking This Course

    7. Course Description

    8. Shipping and Packaging Tips

    9. Katherine Gillis opening a large crate of Photographs

    10. Certificate of Completion

    11. Testimonials and Publicity

    12. Feature on Katherine

    13. Looking Glass First Full Page Article on Katherine Gillis

    14. Hand Painting Article Katherine Gillis in Looking Glass Magazine

    15. Veronica Cass Academy of Photographic Art

    16. Your Best Quote

    17. Recap of Module One

    18. FREE Quick Slide Presentation About "Become a Fearless Traditional Retoucher & Spotter"

    1. Studio at a Glance

    2. Ergonomics

    3. Color Corrected Light

    4. Palette

    5. Glasses and an Optivisor

    6. Micro-fiber Cloth and Cotton Gloves

    7. Air Purifier

    8. How to Pick Out a Brush

    9. How to Clean & Store Your Brush

    10. Plain Processed Photo Paper and a Color Wheel

    11. Easel

    12. Test your learning

    13. Serve Your Vision Quote

    14. Module 2 Recap

    1. Mixing of the Wells

    2. Palette Setup

    3. Making a Color Chart

    4. How to Make and Use a Skewer

    5. How to Make a Wet-Dry Brush

    6. Test your learning

    7. Good vs Great Quote

    8. Module 3 Palette Setup Recap

    1. Spotting Professionally: The Difference between spotting and retouching

    2. Landscape Before and After Photos and Videos

    3. People Before and After Photos and Videos

    4. Brush Techniques: Stippling or Painting

    5. Painting

    6. Video real time blending of a highlighted area

    7. Video real time removal of distracting weed in water

    8. Video real time removal of highlighted areas around rocks

    9. Video of real time removal of small cloud

    10. Glasses Glare

    11. Video glasses glare

    12. Video real time retouch of dust spots and lines

    13. Video Platinum and Palladium retouching demo

    14. Video Carbon Transfer Retouching

    15. Before and After Paper Repair

    16. Test your learning

    17. The Real Voyage Quote

    18. Module 4 Applying Dyes Recap

    1. Going to the Dark Side #1

    2. Going to the Dark Side # 2

    3. Going to the Dark Side # 3

    4. Going to the Dark Side #4

    5. Going to the Dark Side #5

    6. Going to the Dark Side #6

    7. Going to the Dark Side #7

    8. Going to the Dark Side #8

    9. Going to the Dark Side #9

    10. Test your learning

    11. Experience Quote

    12. Module 5 Going to the Dark Side Recap

    1. Module 6 Resources and Bonuses

    2. Easel Blueprint

    3. Etching Demonstration and Technique

    4. Negative Retouching

    5. FREE Tools and Resources Checklist

    6. Color Wheel Comments

    7. Medical Grade Cotton

    8. How To Be Fearless and Successful Quote

    9. Closing Remarks from Katherine Gillis

    10. Before you go...

    11. Congrats! Now What's Next?

About this course

  • $425.00
  • 81 lessons
  • 1 hour of video content

Completed Every Course Taught by Veronica Cass Academy of Photographic Arts

Considered the best photographic artist ever

Glimpse of Featured Article on Katherine Gillis

Looking Glass Photo Magazine

Looking Glass PHOTO Magazine

Featured on Analog Websites and Magazines

Forums Want You to Know This Course Is For You

Featured 3 times in

Pricing options

Priced with professionals and students in mind

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