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Beginners Photography - Film & Darkroom

Beginners Photography - Film & Darkroom

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Chris Ould


The course is suitable for beginners or anyone with a basic understanding of photography who would like to improve their camera handling skills, explore the many possibilities that a B&W darkroom has to offer, and develop a greater appreciation of the medium. 

Topics covered will include:

  • Composition & framing techniques
  • Creative camera control
  • Exposure & how to use a flash
  • B&W film development
  • B&W printing using resin-coated & fibre-based papers
  • Creating photograms & solarising images
  • Finishing techniques, such as toning & re-spotting prints

These will be supplemented by assignments set at the end of each session that encourage you to explore some popular themes in your own time and receive valuable feedback from your tutor.

While digital cameras and scanning colour and B&W film will be discussed, the practical part of this course will be dedicated to working with your own negatives in the B&W darkroom to explore printing techniques. By the end of the course you will have learnt new processes and discovered different ways of creating images by experimenting and making mistakes. You will have lots of photographs, a keen eye and a better understanding with which to continue your practice.
You should bring your own film camera to use, although the College has 35mm SLR’s that you may be able to borrow for the first sessions of the course. If you are unsure of what to buy you can wait for the first session, when the tutor can give you advice.

This course is for you if....

  • You are a complete beginner
  • You have some experience using digital cameras, but want to explore the possibilities that a B&W darkroom has to offer

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Chris Ould is an artist and experienced tutor who has worked within the photography department at Central Saint Martins college for over 15 years. Since graduating from the MA Fine Art programme in 1999, he has continued to make his own work and has taught across a broad range of short courses, BA and Post-Graduate programmes, as well as public and private institutions. He has also worked as a freelance lecturer, delivering talks and workshops that address photo-editing skills within the digital print arena to several fashion retouching companies, and has been a reviewer on several books on photography.


Please bring a film camera with you to the first session. This can be:

  • Fully Manual camera with a separate light meter
  • Semi-Automatic camera (light meter incorporated)
  • Automatic camera with a manual setting

Note: The College has 35mm SLR's that you may be able to borrow for the initial part of the course. If you are unsure of what to but you can wait for the first session, when the tutor can give you advice.

Available dates