Introduction to Darkroom Printing (Black & White)


How it works: Book an appointment via purchasing the workshop hours here on the website, but please also wait for our team to contact you about the exact time – our lab is extra busy during the summer and we’d need to confirm the free time.

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SKU: introduction-to-darkroom-printing Categories: ,

Introductory Darkroom Printing Course

Course Goal

Aims to introduce people to the darkroom from zero knowledge to the point they can reliably make decent straight prints and are aware of further possibilities of the artform.

Course Content

  • Welcome and look at some prints on different papers, and printed differently (high/low contrast, basic dodge/burn comparison)
  • Discussion of tonal range of an image and deciding how to print an image
    • Discussion of how the print might differ from the scan
  • Introduction to the darkroom.
    • Excludes film development. That’s a different workshop.
  • Developer, Stop Bath, and Fixer – what are the chemicals for? How do they work?
  • Setting up the enlarger
  • Focusing and use of focus finder
  • How to open a box/packet of paper
  • Finding the emulsion side
  • Making test strips and how to choose the best size for the image
    • Making a test strip from 4:5 ratio paper when printing 3:2 for pennypinchers
  • Making a normal contrast test strip
  • Writing quick notes for remembering exposures
  • Process of development of that test strip
    • Mention removing from developer by inspection and why it is useless for multiple prints or reliable matching to a test strip. For one off art prints only without deep blacks.
  • Evaluating the results
    • Evaluating exposure
    • Evaluating contrast
  • Use of the easel to get the print where you want on the paper and for consistent paper/print placement and borders
  • Exposing the full sheet and processing it
  • Print washing
  • Hanging to dry and where to find the dry prints the next day
  • Demonstration of making a contact sheet and what to look for.
  • Alternative processes and crazier ideas like:
    • Photograms use the skills learned in this course
    • Contact printing from digital negatives
    • Multiple exposures of different negatives per print
    • Painting and splashing developer
    • Possibilities of toning prints