If 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: £125
Full day rate – “one to one” tuition: £175
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.
One Day Darkroom Tuition / Guidance Notes
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.
- 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)