Beginner Darkroom

Learn to process your own black and white film, make contact sheets and work with an enlarger. Using chemistry and light you'll create unique prints, completely hand made by you.
Upcoming Series
Upcoming Workshop
May 12
2019-05-12 Beginner Darkroom: $265
EARLY BIRD PRICE (expires 05/05)
One Day Workshop: 9-5pm @ DCP - Early Registration: $265 - Late Registration: $290
“The workshop was very informative and there was always assistance when needed.“
— Nick Meineke / Beginner Darkroom / February, 2018
“Loved the workshop. I thought David was a thoughtful instructor and was very informative.“
— Jill Blancher / Beginner Darkroom / February, 2017
“Taught by an experienced photographer & darkroom artist. He never spoke over my head; he explained everything as he went along.“
— Gerry Burns / Beginner Darkroom / February, 2017
“Was happy that I could make several prints to take home.“
— Richard Carter / Beginner Darkroom / February, 2018
“So incredibly helpful! I knew nothing about film development coming into this class, but feel like I'm leaving with all the information I need to practice at home.“
— Mallory Rosen / Beginner Darkroom / February, 2017
“I had no clue about how to use the enlarger. That was fun.“
— anonymous / Beginner Darkroom / September, 2018
“Very in depth, but easy to understand. Hands-on is the best way to learn.“
— Eric Karvonen / Beginner Darkroom / February, 2018
Topics covered in the series or one day workshop

Darkroom 101

Class series • Full-day workshop
An overview of the darkroom setup and minimum tools and materials needed to develop film and make prints.

Darkroom 102

Class series • Full-day workshop
A step-by-step demonstration of film processing; and participants developing their own rolls of film.

Darkroom 103

Class series • Full-day workshop
You'll make a contact print of your negatives and select a frame for a full size print. Hands-on printing by participants!

Photography can be so much more magical than pixels trapped behind a glass screen. Liberate your images into the real world! You’ll learn to process your own black and white film, make contact sheets, select the best frame for printing and work with an enlarger. Using chemistry and light you’ll create unique prints, completely hand made by you.

This introduction to black and white darkroom is for only two kinds of people; those who have worked in a darkroom and want to get back into it and those who haven’t done it yet! It’s the perfect blend of science and art and as close as you’ll get to alchemy.

Our new darkroom facility was custom built just for teaching small groups. We have a film processing area, a printing darkroom with 10 enlarger stations, custom sinks, ample air conditioning and ventilation systems, and wise teachers to help you develop your skills.

What to bring: One roll of exposed 35mm or 120 Kodak or Ilford black and white film. No XP-2 or similar C41 process film. If you aren’t sure, write us and ask!

This beginner class is offered in two formats: a 3-part evening series and a full day workshop. We’ve found that some people enjoy the intensity of an all day workshop while others prefer to have the material spread out over several classes.

  • Minimum of 6 people, max 10 people
  • $250/275 for class series
  • $265/290 for full day workshop (lunch included)
  • Classes may be held in the upstairs classroom, up one flight of stairs, no elevator access.
  • We will provide aprons and non-latex gloves for those who may have heightened sensitivity to the chemistry
  • Registration price includes $20 material fee:
    – Film and print processing chemistry
    – Archival storage sleeve for processed film
    – Up to 10 sheets of Ilford RC printer paper

Q: Will we learn how to use film cameras?
A: No, we won’t be covering basic camera operation or shooting concepts.

Q: I’m under 18. Can I take the classes or workshop?
A: Yes, but only if an adult registers to take the classes with you.

David Brown

David has 40+ years of experience in the darkroom doing both monochrome and color film processing and printing. He’s been a wedding and commercial photographer and has worked as a full-time darkroom technician.

He taught high school briefly after college before being employed by a security surveillance company that used 35mm film. David maintained over a hundred cameras, designed an in-house darkroom for the company, and processed, printed and archived tens of thousands of feet of film. Now retired from his “day job” as an analyst for the Department of the Treasury, he maintains a working darkroom for personal work. While using state of the art digital for color, all black and white work is done with film and silver gelatin printing.

View full bio