View Full Version : Where can a person learn darkroom printing?

12-22-2008, 07:28 PM
I've been developing my own negatives for some time now, but I would really like to learn how to print my own pictures. I do have an enlarger, but honestly I don't feel comfortable using it on my own. Does anyone if classes are offered in Darkroom printing anywhere in the GTA?


12-22-2008, 07:41 PM
Henry Horenstein's book is what my students use to learn basic darkroom. http://www.amazon.com/Black-White-Photography-Third-Revised/dp/0316373052/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1229996216&sr=1-1

I recommend you get it.

Also look into local community colleges or community darkrooms that teach printing.



12-22-2008, 07:53 PM
I heard of one highschool in Toronto that does allow adult students. You can specialize strictly in photography. The classes are free - you just pay for the materials you use...I'm off to see if I can find out what that darned school is called.

brb :)


Central Technical School

It was recommended to me by a 50+ yr old photography enthusiast I met at this year's Toronto Camera Show. He was a student...apparently they have great facilities, he nearly talked me into going...but that would be a heck of a commute :)

12-22-2008, 09:04 PM
Check out Bob Carnie's Elevator shop in Toronto...they have workshops quite often.

In fact, Bob hangs out here.


12-22-2008, 09:59 PM
Thanks, everyone.. I'll take a look at the options available.

Mike Wilde
12-23-2008, 08:42 AM
Look into Toronto Image Works. I think they still have a wet darkroom option, but not sure about the tutorial options. The other option is to network a bit with people in the area. I sporadically attend the Brampton Photography Group meetings. The leader of that group has a whole basement set up for printing traditionally. While the focus of most of members is digital, I do not find that they bash my film based work or gear. The focus of the group is producing images, and getting better at doing so; the thechnology of the final print is immaterial, alothough it is cheaper for some to get comments on an image in progress on a laptop, but then they are doomed to hours of fiddling in Photoshop trying to tweak the final result to daeth.

I am in the south end of Mississauga, near QEW and Erin Mills, and I would be very happy to have you come down with your negatives to print in my darkroom, or at a second enlarger station I have set up in our blacked out laundry room. I would let you do your own thing, and be available as a resource to answer questions as you want to ask them. This arrangement could go on a for a few sessions, if we don't end up annoyed with each other right in the first session, until you feel you are ready to do your own thing.

PM me if you are interested. I will need to coordinate my schedule with what my kids are up to, or what my wife has on the go on any given evening or weekend. If you are around next week, I am planning a big darkroom session while I am on holidays, and could readily incorporate your efforts into the days.


Jan Normandale
01-25-2009, 08:28 PM
West Camera on Queen W @ Portland has a darkroom, I'm not sure if they provide classes. I'd check there and also ask if they know of classes if their answer is "no"

Jeff L
01-27-2009, 10:18 PM
This goes back years when I worked at a Brampton camera store, but there was a club called the Brampton Print Group. I have no idea if they're still around. Darkroom is what they did,if I remember correctly.

John W
01-27-2009, 11:19 PM
Having lived near Toronto for a time, my curiosity was piqued. A bit of digging around online indicates that there are some film and wet darkroom classes offered through the Toronto School of Art (http://www.tsa-art.ca/). It looks like these are held at the Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography (http://www.gallery44.org/), which has its own set of workshops, including black and white film work, and offers darkroom facilities rental.

It also appears that Ryerson University has a Photography track (http://imagearts.ryerson.ca/photography/courses.cfm?CourseSection=S) in its Imaging Arts program, and it seems that traditional work is involved..?? but I'm unsure as the information provided is quite vague.

I hope some of that is helpful. Good luck!

01-27-2009, 11:39 PM
When I wanted to learn how to print I ended up taking the continuing ed courses at Ryerson in photography. Twice a week, evenings...it was good. And I have to say, that although I learned a lot, it was not what I was expecting since the instructor had gone digital the semester I joined and was more interested in playing with his new toy than teaching us anything. Basically it was a lot of darkroom work and very little instruction or guidance. For those of us a little ahead of the game, that was quite good, but the beginners were really lost. But he was just one instructor, my impression was that the others were quite different in their approach.

I'd be sure to find out if the classes are strictly analog though. Although I was technically in a black and white (and later colour and advanced black and white) course, a lot of the students were allowed to shoot digitally and hand in inkjet prints, which sort of ran counter to the whole reason behind the course. That was a couple of years ago though, maybe things have sorted themselves out by now.

Rob Skeoch
01-30-2009, 04:01 PM
If you're willing to come out to Burlington I've held darkroom printing workshops in the past.
You can reach me through the website.

02-04-2009, 11:42 AM
Thanks for the response, everyone!
Mike Wilde gave me a lesson on darkroom printing. I've tried on my own, and my results were so-so, but ok for the first time.
I plan to post one of my pics shortly.

02-14-2009, 05:42 PM
As a casual member of the Hart House Camera Club, I have heard its executive council discuss ways to open the field of membership to people beyond students and faculty at the UofT, starting with at the very least students from nearby universities whose campus lacks a good darkroom (or is too far away from where they live). The last I heard them discuss this, though, was well over 6 months ago.

Considering how underutilised their multiple darkrooms are (at most, I've only been down there when one other person was similarly in another room, the single "digital darkroom" -- oxymoron, ha -- excepted), it's a wonderfully set-up facility with three individual rooms set up for b/w printing and a fourth with a colour enlarger. There's also a colour chemistry processing machine of some kind, but I didn't take out a colour chemistry membership owing to how horribly I'd do with that -- not without mentoring.

A few years ago, they added a multi-person training darkroom for seminar instruction, whose courses I think are open to non-UofT folk. It's still basically a brand-new room but I hardly ever see it in use. The main area has a central sink and everything which one would need to process film without the need of an individual room (a communal dark chamber makes this possible).

It would be great if they found a way to expand membership, because I kinda hoped that by becoming a member, I'd meet more people who are interested in film photography and could be able to share their experiences and tricks they've discovered along the way, and vice-versa. This hasn't really been the case. It could be a great networking tool if only more people were using it (and not the "digital darkroom", which does have its place, but not at the expense of the rest), but at best, I've seen a touch of insularity from the few people who make up the tiny circle of folk who keep the place operational.

02-15-2009, 12:10 PM
I used to be a student of U of T - I would definitely sign up to their Camera Club if they opened up the membership.

05-18-2009, 03:18 PM
The Burlington Art Centre (iroinically in Burlington) also does courses on a regular basis. They have a good sized darkroom there, the equipment is loaned by the Latow Photographer's Guild.

You can find the course program at: http://www.burlingtonartcentre.on.ca/

Marek Warunkiewicz
05-25-2009, 05:40 AM
Gallery 44 in downtown Toronto has occasional classes, but if you join, there are a number of AMAZING shooters there. I found that I learn a huge amount just by asking and listening. There isn't a person there who would not be glad to show you the way around a darkroom. It is quite inexpensive to join and the facilities are really good.

05-31-2009, 08:34 AM
I take it then, that Hart House requires that you be a U of T alumni, student, or faculty to join, correct?