Alternative Darkroom: Lith, Chromoskedasic & Chemigrams


25 November – 16 December 2021
Thursday evenings,  6—9pm

Black and white paper can be rendered in so many versatile ways, and during this course participants will explore three of these techniques to create stunning and unique prints.

Tutor: Brittonie Fletcher

This course provides an introduction to darkroom printing processes which will extend students’ knowledge, abilities, and skills in darkroom printing. Black and white paper can be rendered in so many versatile ways, and during this course participants will explore three of these techniques to create stunning and unique prints. During the course you will have the opportunity to create a series of silver gelatine prints from your choice of materials; black and white negatives, objects for photograms or digital negatives.. 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.

This course aims to balance technical information and critical conceptual thinking with a relaxed yet engaging and fun practical class. No previous darkroom experience is necessary but can be helpful.

Course Outline

Week 1
We will look at a small a small sample of chemigrams and then head straight into the darkroom where you will be introduced to the space and the equipment and chemistry being used for the course. There will be an instructor demonstration followed by student exploration with possibilities of making unusual and unique works with photographic paper and chemistry and resists. Chemigrams are painterly, often colourful and abstract.

Week 2
We will look at a small selection of first pass lith prints before discuss some terminology, chemistry and set up. We will then have an instructor demonstration of the first pass lith print followed by a printing session with instructor assistance. Lith prints may display delicate, soft, warm toned highlights and mid tones and cool, gritty and harsh shadows. This process can appear warm in tonality with an illustrative look which has been compared to charcoal drawing in feel.

Week 3
We will discuss the difference between first and second pass lith prints and why one might choose one over the other. We will compare the differences between actual prints made each way. We will set up the chemistry as a group and enjoy a printing session with technical assistance troubleshooting and working out ideas.

Week 4
We will talk about the Chromoskedasic printing process while looking at some real examples. We will discuss some of the things we learned or noticed technically and aesthetically through the course and how these might work with this final process. We will set up the final chemistry and have an instructor demonstration followed by time actively learning ways to apply this final process. This process can result in colour in tonal shifts but the main excitement is the metallic plating which yields prints into a gold/bronze and sometimes silver print. We will use a few different techniques and tools for applying darkroom and household chemistry and resists to photographic paper in order to create 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.

By the end of the course you will have:

  • Had a brief intro or refresher into the most basic part of black and white printing
  • Created chemigrams
  • Learned both first and second pass Lith printing
  • Made metallic plated prints “poor mans’ daguerreotypes” with the chromoskedasic process
  • A more vibrant understanding of the extended ways one can push black and white prints and use of the darkroom


Please read our cancellation policy before booking.

Students, anyone over the age of 65, and those in receipt of any form of benefits can claim the concessionary price, offering a 10% discount on the full course price. Valid proof of eligibility must be produced on the first day of the course. Please use the code CONCESSION when prompted at checkout.

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