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Introduction to Darkroom Photography (intensive)

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

This course will introduce students to the basics of black and white photography using a 35mm analogue camera. Focusing mainly on technical processes in the dark room, students will be encouraged to consider aesthetic issues of composition, lighting and mood. Tuition will be one-to-one within the group, supported occasionally by illustrated talks and demonstrations as relevant.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

Suitable both for those with little experience in photography and those with more experience of analogue photography

Special Infomation

Art and Design Materials and Equipment

Materials and equipment provided for students as part of the course and included in course fee:

  • Use of photography workshops, darkrooms and labs
  • Processing and developing chemicals

Materials and equipment available for purchase during the course:

Estimated cost: £10 - £50 depending of usage

  • box (50 Sheets) Ilford Multi-grade Resin coated paper
  • rolls of 35mm black and white film Ilford HP5 or Ilford FP4 for hand processing )

Materials and equipment students will need to provide themselves:

Estimated cost: £100 - £300 depending on usage.

  • 35mm film camera preferably with manual settings
  • An A5-A4 sketchbook
  • Mount board
  • Negative files

Content of Course

The course will be comprised of an intensive 5 day teaching block under the supervision of the tutor, Monday to Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Class hours:

  • Day 1 - Gain an understanding of the manual functions of the 35mm SLR camera; appreciate photography within an art context - look at the work of professional photographers; understand film types, film speed, depth of field, and focusing. Shooting a roll of film outwith the Edinburgh College of Art building.
  • Day 2 - Hand process a black-and-white film; gain an appreciation of general darkroom procedures; learn how to make a contact print from negatives.
  • Day 3 -Learn how to select and enlarge an image to create a photographic print.
  • Day 4 – Start printing a series of exhibition quality photographic prints.
  • Day 5 – Learn how to mount photographs to exhibition quality.

Teaching method(s)

The teaching will be based and delivered in specialist art and design studios or workshops and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration. Over the five days, students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor. Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • use and handle a 35mm camera to deploy a range of picture taking techniques and genres;
  • show competence in processing and printing black and white photographic images;
  • show competence and selection skills in print presentation.


Core Readings

  • The Photographic Portrait, Robin Gillanders (optional)
  • Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes (optional)
  • Other books, periodicals and articles will be recommended by the course tutor and available during the course

Web Sources

Web resources will be provided during the course.

Class Handouts

Class hand outs will be provided during the course.

Student support

Please contact Art and Design Studies on 0131 650 4400 if you think you have any specific study requirements that may need to be put in place to enable you to study an Art and Design Studies course. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.