Learn Darkroom Techniques

Click here to Book a Darkroom Tuition Session

Dave Champion in the DarkroomIf you would like to learn darkroom techniques and how to print your own negatives, our senior printer, Dave Champion can provide “one to one” tuition lessons – on a full or a half day basis – as part of our darkoom hire service. Tuition sessions include all paper and chemistry required and we can supply you with a spotting brush and photo dye palette for print retouching.

Half day rate – “one to one” tuition: £100
Full day rate –  “one to one” tuition: £150
2 person full day tuition sessions available by special arrangement: £250
Weekend surcharge: +£50 

Please ask about our gift voucher option if you want to buy a tuition session as a present. Please contact us for further information.

Half Price Darkroom Hire
when you book a full day ‘one-to-one’ tuition session!

You will receive this special offer voucher when you complete your tuition session
with our senior tutor Dave Champion.

Film Developing

One Day Darkroom Tuition / Guidance Notes

Our senior tutor Dave Champion has written the following notes as a guide and introduction to your “day in the darkroom”
A beginner in the darkroom needs a solid understanding of all the basic techniques.
Assuming we start at about 10:00 and finish around 17:00 we should cover the following topics.

Film processing spirals

Morning Coffee.

  • Morning Session (10am to 1pm)
  • Discuss history and development of photography since it’s invention.
  • Health and safety considerations when working in the darkroom.
  • Types of film, benefits and disadvantages of different types / speeds of film.
  • How to load the film into a developing tank. Keeping the film clean and undamaged.
  • The importance of consistent and repeatable working.
  • Mixing chemicals, dilution ratios, achieving and maintaining the temperature.
  • Developing times and techniques, the importance of correct agitation.
  • Stopping the development, water or stop bath.
  • Fixing the film (important that we know it is fully fixed) testing methods.
  • Washing and drying, the best ways to dry without drying marks, removing drying marks.
  • Evaluating our negatives, exposure, consistency, possible changes / improvements to metering and exposure techniques.
  • Negative storage.

Lunch break – approx 30mins

  • Afternoon session (1.30pm – 5pm)
  • Preparing for printing, darkroom layout, mixing chemicals
  • How the enlarger works
  • Different types of printing paper, benefits.
  • Darkroom best practice for efficient and easy working.
  • Composition and focus
  • Making test strips to determine correct exposure and contrast.

Mid-afternoon coffee break

  • Developing techniques.
  • Fixing and drying.
  • Making the print.
  • Improving the print by ‘burning and dodging’, local changes to exposure and contrast.
  • Spotting technique for our finished print to remove any dust spots.
  • Tidy up, storage and disposal of chemicals.
  • Aim to finish at 5pm (flexible)

We also do gift vouchers – an ideal present for a friend?