Evening Courses

Alternative Darkroom 2 - Silver Paper Extended: Lith, Chromoskedasic & Chemigrams

10 April 2019 - 1 May 2019
18.00 - 21.00
Brittonie Fletcher

This course provides an introduction to darkroom printing processes which will extend students’ knowledge, abilities, and spectrum of darkroom printing. Black and white paper can be rendered in so many versatile ways, and during this course participants will explore 3 techniques to create stunning and unique prints. 

During the course you will have the opportunity to create a series of prints from a number of materials, personal or found images and objects and develop your own personal project with supervision. Many of the processes covered have been overlooked and pushed to the wayside but are now being taken up again by fine art photographers worldwide. 

There’s much to be learned from the present state of photography and throughout the course we will discuss a wide selection of photographs - from photography’s inception over 160 years ago through to its current state - in an informal capacity. 

This course aims to balance technical information and critical conceptual thinking with a relaxed yet engaging and fun practical class time. Open to all levels, it is recommended you bring or wear suitable clothes for darkroom use and/or an apron, smock, or lab coat. 

By the end of the course you will have: 

  • Learned more about silver gelatin printing and the wide applications beyond the traditional mainstream black and white print and of artists working with alternative darkroom techniques. 
  • Learned to mix chemistry 
  • Experimented with different alternative photographic printing techniques 
Course Outline 

Week 1: Introduction 

  • Overview of processes covered 
  • Health and safety 
  • Lab set up 
  • Chemical prep and mixing 
  • Initial prints

Week 2: Lith Printing
We will again make prints from negatives and or photograms which will produce a print with dark shadows, soft creamy bright highlights. This process can appear warm in tonality with an illustrative look which has been compared to charcoal drawing in feel. 

  • Printing
  • Redevelopment 
  • Tonal control 

Week 3: Chromo 
This session we will make prints from negatives or photograms and create ‘the poor man’s daguerreotype’ with a plated out silver print. This process is wildly exciting and unpredictable but adds an extra magic and glamour to any final print. 

  • Chemistry
  • Anticipation 
  • Documenting 

Week 4: Chemigrams
We will use a few different techniques and tools for applying chemistry and resists to create more unique prints with individual character ranging from graphic to painterly and abstract. Negatives are not required, but you are encouraged to bring some to experiment with. 

  • Different paper coating techniques 
  • Light and dark and everything in between 
  • Resists 


Courses are open to all individuals aged 16 and over. We cannot accept bookings for participants under this age.

Book Now  or call us on 0131 622 6200.

Please read our cancellation policy before booking


Hands-on-film: Process and Practise

2 May 2019 - 6 June 2019
18.00 - 21.00
Lydia Beilby

This six-week course explores the unique aesthetic and tactile character of photochemical moving-image film. Employing a DIY, hands-on-approach, this course will celebrate the wonderful qualities of film and ask, ‘what are the aesthetic and political reasons artists' continue to make work engaging these methodologies, in a climate of digital prevalence?’

Together, we will watch and discuss a number of groundbreaking films drawn from the historical canon of experimental cinema. Taking creative inspiration from this work, we will explore the beautiful tactile materiality of the analogue filmstrip through a series of practical activities and experiments. We will delve into artisanal, hands-on-techniques in order to shoot, hand-process and project the 8mm films we make. 

You will also cultivate an invaluable practical knowledge relating to the apparatus of the experimental practitioner; the camera and the projector. We will cover how to choose, operate and maintain this equipment, and we will look at creative and performative ways that the manipulation of the projection medium can enhance your work.

Course Outline

Week 1 - Introduction to the course and the structure
Screening of seminal experimental works followed by a discussion around analogue practises and processes. What is so special about analogue film? What is experimental film, and in what ways is it relevant today?

Week 2 - Cameraless Filmmaking 
Working directly onto 16mm filmstrip to create a collective, abstract film. Making in dialogue with a piece of music (translating sound into image) we will paint, etch and collage onto the celluloid, and engage creatively with the repurposing of archival material. 

Week 3 - Introduction to Super 8
Cameras, history, techniques, methodology
If you have your own Super8 camera in good working order, you are encouraged to bring it along to the session.

Week 4 - Shooting a cartridge of B&W Super 8 film
Working in pairs, participants will collaborate on shooting a short film in the historic old town of Edinburgh. We will explore different styles and techniques, with support on-hand to offer guidance and help troubleshoot as necessary.

Week 5 - Hand processing Super 8 film
Using a DIY approach, we will hand process our films in eco-friendly chemistry. This tactile method is a lot of fun, and offers the chance to really engage with the magic materiality of film! Often creating unexpected results and imperfect beauty, we will embrace the unique aesthetic features this technique affords.

Week 6 - Introduction to projection equipment and beyond…
Preparing film for projection. 
Screening of our work (silent or with any soundtracks)
Expanded cinema; how we might challenge viewers expectations through the presentation of our work. 
The concept of ‘live cinema’.


Courses are open to all individuals aged 16 and over. We cannot accept bookings for participants under this age.

Book Now  or call us on 0131 622 6200.

Please read our cancellation policy before booking


Video Compositing with Adobe After Effects CC

11 March 2019 - 15 April 2019
18.00 - 21.00
Andrew Mckelvey

Adobe After Effects CC is the industry leader in video compositing software, offering an exciting and versatile array of applications for the creation of professional moving image work. On this course you will learn a range of visual effects and animation techniques, working between Photoshop and After Effects to create videos which explore text based motion graphics, character animation, green-screen compositing, 3D landscapes, motion tracking and lots more in-between. Alongside technical exercises the tutor will screen and discuss relevant artists, designers and filmmakers, providing both the technical skills and inspiration to create your own professional motion graphics work, filmic special effects or experimental artists video. Computer experience is required.  

Course Outline

Week 1

This week we will create a short video that combines text, still image and video layers. Through this exercise you will learn how to:

  • Navigate the workspace on After Effects
  • Set up a project and select a video format
  • Introduce video to the timeline and split layers
  • Change the position and scale of layers
  • Introduce basic text
  • Use selections in Photoshop to create a still image composition 
  • Import this composition into After Effects to create a composite video   

Week 2:

This week we will look at basic animation techniques. Through a series of exercises, you will learn how to:  

  • Use Photoshop to great multi-layered elements for animation
  • Import these Photoshop elements into After Effects 
  • Work with key-frames and interpolation
  • Add motion blur
  • Duplicate and pre-compose animated elements
  • Create a parallax effect to give the illusion of depth 
  • Apply blending modes 
  • Work with the puppet tool to create moving joints for an animated character

Week 3:

This week we will look at converting 2D photographs into a 3D virtual space to provide depth and movement. Through a series of exercises, you will learn how to: 

  • Convert a 2D image into a 3D space.
  • Set up a multi-layered diorama in Photoshop 
  • Import this into After Effects and position the layers within 3D space 
  • Create an animated camera move through 3D space 
  • Apply depth of field 

Week 4:

This week we will look at working with green-screen compositing to place a live action figure within an animated backdrop. Through a series of exercises, you will learn how to: 

  • Work with the Keylight filter 
  • Adjust colour balance and tone 
  • Composite the figure against an animated background 
  • Introduce shadows and highlights 
  • Use the green-screen figure to create a silhouette 

Week 5:

This week we will look at applying masks to footage to create cutouts, as well as exploring different applications for effects. Through a series of exercises, you will learn how to:

  • Work with masks 
  • Use the Roto-mask tool 
  • Apply time re-mapping 
  • Work with ‘Particle Playground’ and similar effects

Week 6: 

This week we will look at working with the paint panel to create animated drawings, as well as using motion tracking to attach a text element to a moving point within a video clip. Finally, we will cover how to output your final project, adding sound effects and applying a basic edit. Through a series of exercises, you will learn how to:

  • Create text based motion graphics (kinetic typography)
  • Apply motion tracking to live action footage
  • Render your project 
  • Add sound to your video

Courses are open to all individuals aged 16 and over. We cannot accept bookings for participants under this age.

Book Now  or call us on 0131 622 6200.

Please read our cancellation policy before booking



Design Layouts and Graphics for Print (Adobe InDesign & Illustrator CC)

14 March 2019 - 2 May 2019
18.00 - 21.00
Martin Elden

Gain a grounding in commercial design techniques, creating layouts and graphics to achieve stylish creative outcomes. Use the skills and techniques learned in this practical, design-led course to improve your portfolio or personally devised print project from annual reports to magazine layouts.

Course Outline

WEEK 01 (Introduction)

Introduction to the development of layout, graphics and design by looking at a brief history of print design through to contemporary work and designers. Analyse and understand what creates great spreads.

Introducing InDesign:

  • Pre-planning
  • Tools and panels
  • Creating a document
  • Working with a document

Create a poster from supplied elements in a step-by-step led tutorial giving you hands on experience of the software.

Revision and assignment.

WEEK 02  (InDesign - Getting to grips with type)

Working with InDesign editing capabilities:

  • Changing fonts, sizes
  • Type on paths
  • Text wrapping
  • Using glyphs
  • Loading fonts

Make alterations to your existing poster incorporating this weeks features. Discussing personal projects.

Revision and assignment.

WEEK 03  (Introducing Illustrator)

Further look into illustration in design and layout. Making the decisions between using illustration, photography or combinations. Understanding vector images.

  • Tools and panels
  • Creating a document
  • Pasteboard
  • Creating shapes
  • Introduction to vector images
  • We will create a vector based image that will be incorporated into our created poster.
  • Planning personal projects.

Revision and assignment

WEEK 04  (InDesign - Grids)

Theory behind grid management

  • Using and changing margins, columns and gutters 
  • Master pages
  • Pagination (printers pairs etc)
  • Start your personal project.

Personal project

WEEK 05  (Colour Theory)

InDesign and Illustrator

  • Looking at swatches
  • Adding and mixing colours
  • Working with tints and gradients 
  • Working with transparency
  • Work on personal project.

Personal project

WEEK 06  (Digital Drawing - Line Theory)


  • Drawing with lines and curved paths 
  • Learning about Bezier points
  • Curves and corner anchor points
  • Brushes and effects
  • Work on personal project.

Personal project

WEEK 07  (Design Tweaks)

InDesign and Illustrator

  • Creating bespoke type
  • Troubleshooting software issues
  • Work on personal project.

Personal project

WEEK 08  (Preparing for Export)

InDesign and Illustrator

  • Understanding linked images
  • CMYK over RGB
  • Preparing your document for print
  • Understanding Preflight and collecting your project for print
  • Creating PDF’s
  • Work on personal project.

Personal project

Courses are open to all individuals aged 16 and over. We cannot accept bookings for participants under this age.

Book Now  or call us on 0131 622 6200.

Please read our cancellation policy before booking


Video Editing with Premiere Pro CC

21 January 2019 - 25 February 2019
18.00 - 21.00
Andrew McKelvey

Edit your own short film using Adobe editing software Premiere Pro CC. The course will cover the practical techniques and expand upon the creative possibilities offered by Premiere Pro. You will learn how to edit your video and sound and apply simple titles and effects alongside digital file management for a smooth and easy editing process.

The course will highlight the range of applications Premiere Pro offers in the production of professional and experimental video. Computer experience is required. 

Course Outline

Week 1: In the beginning... Introduction to Editing and Premiere Pro

  • A short history of editing – analogue to digital
  • Getting to know the layout of the program
  • Working with clip bins and creating sequences
  • Making selects from the rushes and sound files by creating in and out points
  • Introducing the clips to the Timeline and making a simple edit with music
  • Understanding rendering for smooth full quality playback

Week Two: Making Editing Easy - Offline Editing – Organisation of project and breaking down footage

  • Transcoding - converting the footage into an editable file and understanding codecs and meta data
  • Understanding the importance of scratch disks
  • Video ingest – importing and organizing clips
  • Organising and breaking down rushes using annotated markers and sub-clips
  • Introducing audio and music to the timeline, cutting and leveling
  • Re-linking lost footage
  • Basics of the effects and motion settings

Week Three: Story Telling – Building narrative and understanding the power of editing in film and documentary

  • Learn different editing techniques to build a comprehensive narrative
  • Sync video and sound by timecode and clapper board
  • Work with footage with sync-sound shot for the medium of film and documentary to create a flowing piece of dialogue
  • Using cut-aways and non-sync footage to build narrative and experimenting with subverting the conventions of these formats

Week Four: Sound and Soundtrack - Understanding the importance of sound design and music for narrative and atmosphere in film and experimental video

  • Learn how to enhance your film with sound and music
  • Laying down music and cutting the footage to fit
  • Building sound design around an existing edit with sync-sound and SFX.
  • Learn how sound can change the mood of a piece by creating a comedy and drama version of the same edit.
  • Building sound and video together to create an experimental piece
  • Mastering the audio and making sure that it is all leveled
Week Five: Art Attack! Online Editing - Applying simple effects, titles and compositing basics
  • Adjusting scale and positioning and using motion keyframes to create movement over time
  • Adding titles and animating them
  • Applying transitions and various stock video effects
  • Layering tracks and using opacity and different layer blending effects
  • Creating masks and using motion tracking
  • Working with green-screen footage, creating mattes, mask filters and working with multiple layers

Week Six: Delivery - Colour correcting, mastering video and sound, exporting project and uploading online
Learn what is required before ‘delivering’ or exporting your final film

  • Using Lumetri Colour Effects, the colour correcting function within Premiere Pro CC
  • Working with tracked masks to isolate certain areas within your image to colour correct
  • The best ways of exporting your film for online
  • Conforming your project if working with offline proxies
  • Compressing video and uploading online


Courses are open to all individuals aged 16 and over. We cannot accept bookings for participants under this age.

Book Now  or call us on 0131 622 6200.

Please read our cancellation policy before booking



Darkroom Photography: Intro to Black & White

26 February 2019 - 19 March 2019
9 April 2019 - 30 April 2019
18.00 - 21.00
Morwenna Kearsley

Any good photography is a successful synthesis of technique and art.” Andreas Feininger

Discover the magic of Black & White Photography and learn some of the secrets the masters use to make stunning photographs. Explore the fundamentals of light and time and no longer be a slave to the Auto setting. Master the manual functions of your 35mm SLR film camera and unlock its true potential. Get to grips with the complete darkroom workflow from processing film to printing your own black & white photographs.

Perfect for those with no experience or those looking for a full refresher. If you don't have a SLR camera we have a limited number of available for use during the course - please ask about availability at time of booking.


Course Outline

Week 1 Capture, technical notes, discussions, art context.
Understand the fundamentals of light and time in balancing an accurate exposure; No longer be a slave to the Auto setting! Know how to utilise the Manual functions of their 35mm SLR camera;Understand film types, film speed, depth of field, different lenses and how to use them creatively; Appreciate photography within an art context - Begin to look at the work of other photographers.

Assignment: You will be given a project and one roll of B&W film to be shot for the second week 

Week 2 Film processing:
Learn how to process B&W film by hand in Stills’ darkrooms. We will discuss different film types and chemistry, as well as best practice procedures for film handling.  Appreciate photography within an art context - Look at the work of photographer Nan Goldin

Week 3 Contact printing:
Gain an appreciation of general darkroom procedures; Experiment with photograms, learn contact printing and printing from negatives. All paper and chemistry will be provided

Week 4 Darkroom printing:
This last session will allow participants to keep on printing with some one to one attention. We will also explore some basic dodging and burning and other printing techniques to get the most from your negatives.

Stills uses ILFORD PHOTO chemicals on this course that can potentially pose a risk to pregnant and breast feeding women and asthmatics. 

 We take every care to ensure good working practices and adequate ventilation in our darkrooms. If you feel you may be adversely affected, please see below for links to the Safety Data Sheets on the relevant chemicals you will be using during the course, or visit the Health and Safety section of Ilford’s website for further information.

Courses are open to all individuals aged 16 and over. We cannot accept bookings for participants under this age.

Book Now  or call us on 0131 622 6200.

Please read our cancellation policy before booking



Digital SLR Photography (Wednesday)

13 March 2019 - 3 April 2019
18.00 - 21.00
Bastian Thuesen / Kat Gollock

Master the camera and post processing skills required to produce an end result that matches your creative vision and expectations. This practical and fun course enables participants to fully explore the essential camera and Photoshop skills you need to produce stunning digital photographs. Experienced tutor Kat Gollock helps you harness your creative potential in four engaging and empowering sessions. De-mystify the technical jargon and unlock your DSLR camera’s full potential. Learn Photoshop from a photographer’s perspective and the essential skills you need to really make your images shine.

If you don’t have a digital SLR we can often provide one for you - please let us know at time of booking to confirm. You can also use your interchangeable or fixed lens system, mirrorless or rangefinder camera on this course.
Bridge cameras without interchangeable lenses can be used too, but please note that they may not allow the full range of camera controls.

Computer experience is beneficial.

Course Outline

Week 1: Camera. 

You will be guided through the manual settings of your Digital SLR camera, fully exploring how to capture light and time in a single image. Learn how to generate accurate exposures through aperture and shutter speed control, and how to read digital histograms of the results. Understand and feel confident using ISO and colour balance settings, focus modes and depth of field, and how/when to apply them creatively.

Week 2: Creating. 

Put into practice all the camera features discussed and demonstrated in Week 1 on a walk around town. You will then return to the gallery for a demonstration of Photoshop techniques. 

Week 3: Composition. 

After some time to practice editing images in photoshop, Week 3 will introduce you to photographic composition, history and appreciation.

Week 4: Critique 

Continue applying relevant editing techniques learnt during the course to the images shot over the course duration. On completion, the group will have an informal and supportive discussion and feedback session provided by the tutor and peers. 

Courses are open to all individuals aged 16 and over. We cannot accept bookings for participants under this age.

Book Now  or call us on 0131 622 6200.

Please read our cancellation policy before booking


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