Darkroom Photography: Intro to B&W Weekend


17 & 18 August 2024
Saturday & Sunday, 11am-5pm

Discover the magic of Black & White Photography and learn some of the secrets the masters use to make stunning photographs.


Tutor: 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 35mm SLR camera we have a limited number available for use during the course – please make your selection from the dropdown at time of booking.

Day 1
Morning: 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! You will be given one roll of B&W film to shoot over lunch utilising the Manual functions of your 35mm SLR camera including aperture, shutter speed, film speed and metering. Lear about depth of field, composition and creative photo-making techniques and appreciate photography within an art context – begin to look at the work of other photographers

Afternoon: 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. Appreciating photography within an art context-Sally Mann.

Day 2
Morning: Contact Printing
Gain an appreciation of general darkroom procedures;understand how to set up your enlarger and make a contact print using the traditional analogue method; learn how to make 8×10″ work prints using the single filter printing method. All paper and chemistry will be provided.

Afternoon: 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 and make a series of final prints.


Please note: This course is the same curriculum as our Darkroom Photography: Introduction to Black & White evening course, but offered over one weekend to facilitate differing schedules.


Courses are subject to minimum enrolment. Please register early, within five days of the start date, to reduce the likelihood of course cancellation.

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.

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 visit the Health and Safety section of Ilford’s website for further information.


General Guidance Notes for Pregnant and Breast Feeding Women and Asthmatics:

From a risk assessment standpoint, provided all necessary control measures (such as good working practices, adequate ventilation, and the use of appropriate PPE) are in place then pregnant and breastfeeding women should be able to continue to work safely with photochemical products.
Inhalation is the main route by which fumes and gases enter the body, making good ventilation a high priority. Exposure to irritant chemicals that would not affect most people may provoke an asthma attack in a person who already has asthma. For example, low levels of the gas sulphur dioxide can be produced by some ILFORD PHOTO processes. Most individuals would be unaffected but asthmatics may suffer adverse affects.
  • ILFORD PHOTO products include no known human carcinogens, and no substances to which phrase R46 (May cause heritable genetic damage) or R64 (May cause harm to breastfed babies) applies.
  • Most ILFORD PHOTO developers use hydroquinone, and their classification therefore includes 
R40 (Limited evidence of a carcinogenic effect) and R68 (Possible risk of irreversible effects).
  • Some ILFORD PHOTO chemicals use boric acid or borates. These substances are classified as toxic for reproduction. As a result, the classification of some of the powder developers includes R60 (May impair fertility) and R61 (May cause harm to the unborn child).

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