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Darkroom Photography night class


Dunedin School of Art (P block, Riego Street)

One class per week for eight weeks: Tuesdays, 6.00-8.00pm

On campus 

Term 1 - 15 February 2021
Term 2 - 3 May 2021
Term 3 - 12 July 2021
Term 4 - 13 September 2021
You can apply anytime by clicking the light blue APPLY button (directly above the fee shown to the right of your screen). This will take you to our Eventbrite page where you can apply and pay online.

Want to learn about darkroom photography?

This course is great for people wanting to learn about the darkroom or for those who have had basic darkroom experience in the past but need a refresher. From developing your own black and white films to printing enlargements in the darkroom, this class covers the basics of the darkroom.

Please note: Maximum of 10 participants 

2021 term dates  

Term one

15 February - 16 April

Term two

3 May – 25 June

Term three

12 July - 3 September

Term four

13 September - 5 November

Please note: There will be no classes on Otago Polytechnic holidays or public holidays. No classes during Easter week of 5 – 9 April. 

What if I want to attend the same course next term?

If you want to repeat this course, you will need to apply and pay for each term separately via our Eventbrite platform (by clicking the APPLY tab in the top right corner of this page).

Learners under 16
  • We welcome learners under 16 but they do need parental consent to take this night class. 
  • If you are a learner under 16, please do the following:
    • ask your parent or guardian if it's okay for you to do this night class 
    • apply online and tick the box during the application process that says that you are under 16 
    • ask your parent or guardian to send an email to (Art Night Class Administration) letting us know that they're happy for you to take the night class. 

The Darkroom Photography sessions will be presented by Karl McNamarra.

You will study
  • How to use your film camera
  • Health and Safety in the Darkroom
  • How to develop a black and white film (standard process)
  • How to set up/pack up the darkroom
  • Photograms
  • Printing a Contact Sheet
  • Printing an Enlargement
  • Grading
  • Dodging and Burning.

Please note: You will need to shoot film outside of class.

Equipment required 
  • 35mm Film Camera
  • 35mm Film (standard process)
  • Resin-coated Silver Gelatin Paper
  • Notebook and pen
  • A4 Clearfile or Ringbinder

Optional equipment:

  • A4 Ringbinder Film Sleeves (optional)
  • Developing Tank and Reels (optional)
  • Darkroom Tongs (optional)
  • A4 sheet of glass, 3-5mm thick (optional)
  • Loupe (optional)

Please note: For the first class, you only require your camera. The remainder of the required equipment will be explained to you during that first week, and you can buy this after the first class.


What type and how much film should I buy? What does standard process mean?

On your first week, your tutor will cover the type of film and paper you will require for the course. You will be expected to shoot a film before your second week but you can purchase a film from the Photography Department.

What paper should I buy and how much?

Like the film, the paper will be explained in your first week.

Where can I buy my paper and film from?

There are a few options from where you can purchase your equipment for class. Both international and local options will be covered as part of the first week.

Do I need to buy chemicals for the class?

No, all the chemicals are covered as part of the course, you will only need to purchase film and paper.

How much does the extra equipment for the class cost?

This will vary depending on what equipment you want to purchase and where from. Please note that the extra items are optional and not necessary to complete the course. 

Some suppliers of darkroom equipment include Photo Warehouse, B&H Photo and Video, and Freestyle Photographic Supplies (a quick online search so allow you to ascertain what film and paper costs). 

Please don’t buy any equipment before the first class. You will not need it in the first week and what you need to purchase will be explained. 


I have old darkroom paper; can I use this for the class?

Absolutely! You will possibly need to purchase some additional paper depending on the age and if it has potentially been exposed to light. Please note you will only be able to use black and white resin coated paper as part of this course. If you are unsure what type your paper is please bring it along to the first class.

Can I develop and print colour film as part of the course?

Unfortunately, we don’t have the facilities or the chemicals to process colour or dye based black and white film. The two different types of black and white films will be covered in the first week.


All classes are held in the Photography Studio at the Dunedin School of Art. Please click here for a map. 

Go to the main entrance of the Dunedin School of Art at 19 Riego Street (off the Anzac Avenue end of Albany Street). The Photography Studio is on the first floor, halfway along the main corridor. 


For enquiries, please email


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.