The Analogue Darkroom


This workshop series presents an opportunity to reconnect with the roots of the photographic medium and experience the magic of the chemical process.

img067 Led by Melbourne based photo-artist Brian Potts who has more than two decades of teaching experience around the world; this workshop series is meant for enthusiasts and professionals alike and offers participants the unique opportunity to dive into traditional photographic processes from the absolute basics of developing a roll of black and white film, making contact prints and enlargements through to alternative processes such as cyanotype and paper negatives.

Brian will led 3 workshops, open to 6-8 participants each. We encourage participants to register for multiple workshops so as to gain a holistic experience of working in the darkroom. Please see our combination pricing at the bottom of the page.

Each workshop includes the materials required for participants to go through all the workshop exercises. Additional materials will be made available for participants to practice further. A list of inclusions is mentioned for each workshop.

All classes will be held between our studio in Kotivakkam and our fully equipped darkroom facilities in Thiruvanmiyur and Anna Nagar, Chennai.

Workshop 1: Black & White Darkroom Basics

Dates: Oct 18th to 20th 2015

Location: The Darkroom @ Thiruvanmiyur

The 3 day program will cover the basics of developing Black & White negative film and basic printing from the negatives.

Students will be receive two half-rolls of film and guided on creating a perfect exposure, learn how to develop exposed film and make contact prints as well as enlargements.

The workshop will include group sessions where Brian will introduce students to the basic darkroom procedures and processes. This will be followed by hands-on darkroom sessions where participants can explore the process.

Supervision, support and lab assistance will be provided through all the sessions and students may request to use the lab outside class hours to practise.

Topics Covered:

  • Loading bulk film into cassettes
  • Exposing correctly for B&W film
  • Loading film rolls onto plastic reels in the darkroom
  • Mixing chemistry and preparing for processing
  • Developing times & Agitation
  • Fixing & Final washes
  • Drying and safe storage of negatives
  • Contact printing from negatives
  • Selecting a negative from a contact sheet
  • Creating a work print – exposure, contrast, dodging, burning
  • How to create a basic home darkroom & where to source materials
  • Inclusions:

  • 2 B&W 15-20 frame rolls (Ilford HP5)
  • 2 archival negative storage sleeves
  • 10 sheets of Ilford RC Deluxe enlargement paper(8×10)
  • All required chemicals and equipment


    Day 1

  • 9am to 12noon – Lecture & Slideshow – How to see in Black & White. Exposure for B&W film. Location: Madras Atelier, Kottivakkam.
  • Noon to 3pm – Break for lunch. Go out and shoot one roll.
  • 3pm to 4pm – DEMO – Mixing chemistry & loading film for developing. Location: The Darkroom by Thriuvanmiyur beach
  • 4pm onwards – load and develop your rolls of film

    Day 2: Location: The Darkroom by Thiruvanmiyur beach

  • 9am – Sleeve your negatives
  • 9:30am – DEMO – Photograms & Contact Printing
  • 10:30am to 1pm – Make your own contact prints
  • 1pm to 2:30pm – lunch break
  • 2:30pm to 4pm – DEMO – Printing & Contrast Control
  • 4pm onwards – make your own work prints | go out and shoot your 2nd roll

    Day 3: Location: The Darkroom by Thiruvanmiyur beach

  • 9am to 11am – Develop your 2nd roll of film and work on printing
  • 11am – DEMO – Dodging & Burning
  • 12 noon onwards – Work on your final print
  • 6p to 7pm – Group gathers with final prints for feedback.

    Workshop fee:

    Regular: INR 10,000
    Students*: INR 7,000

    Combination pricing available. Please see the bottom of the page for details

    Workshop 2: Advanced Black & White Printing

    Dates: Oct 29th to Nov 1st 2015

    Location: The Darkroom @ Anna Nagar

    The Black and White print has endured from inception as the ‘grammar’ within the photographer’s visual language. As Ansel Adams put it “the negative is the score, the print is the performance”.

    This workshop will explore the magical possibilities of Black and White printing. From choosing the right paper, enlargement procedures, handling the equipment, hand printing technique, contrast control, using filters, paper development and toning through to the production and presentation of a master print. Brian will give students hands-on guidance on the proper use of enlargers and the finer aspects of printmaking, guiding them on a journey to developing their own unique printing style.

    Supervision, support and lab assistance will be provided through all the sessions and students may request to use the lab outside class hours to practice.

  • 10 sheets of Ilford RC Deluxe enlargement paper (8×10)
  • 10 sheets of Ilford Fiber Classic enlargement paper (8×10)
  • All required chemicals and equipment


    Location:Pyro Cat, Anna Nagar

    Day 1

  • 9am to 12 noon – Lecture & Discussion – Seeing in B&W (Advanced) – Examining negatives and visualizing final prints
  • 1pm to 3pm – Demo on Advanced Printing Techniques – Contrast Control – Multiple filtration
  • 3pm to 6pm – Printing with feedback

    Day 2

  • 9am to 11am – Demo on Toning
  • 1am to 6pm – Printing with feedback

    Day 3

  • 9am onwards – Printing with Feedback
  • 6pm – Assessment & Final Feedback

    Workshop fee:

    Regular: INR 15,000
    Students*: INR 10,500

    Combination pricing available. Please see the bottom of the page for details

    Workshop 3: Intro to Alternative Photographic Techniques

    Dates: Oct 24th to 26th

    Location: The Darkroom @ Thiruvanmiyur

    Images created using early photographic techniques have an undeniable ‘poetic’ or ‘sensitive’ quality; evoking both emotions and atmosphere. The spirit of exploration is integral. Not only rewarding for creating of a unique object, it both informs and challenges current photographic practice and creativity.

    The process of making these images not only influences the result in terms of the aesthetic and origins of art, but has an integral affect on the theme or concept. Also we will walk you through how to continue practicing some of these techniques at home.

    Techniques we will explore:

    1. Cyanotype
    2. Salt Prints
    3. Paper Negatives


  • 2 x Pictorico Transparency (8×10) for digital negatives
  • 15 x High-Quality Watercolor Paper for printmaking
  • 5 x sheets of Expired B&W Paper for Paper Negative
  • Chemistry & Lab Fees included
  • Supervision & Support by lab assistant at all times


    Day 1:

  • 9am to 12noon – Intro to Alternative Photographic Techniques – Making a digital negative – handling a large format camera
  • 1pm – 3pm – Demo on paper negative
  • 3pm to 6pm – Shoot & Develop paper negatives

    Day 2:

  • 9am to 11am – Demo on Cyanotype printing
  • 11am to 6pm – Create your own Cyanotypes

    Day 3:

  • 9am to 11am – Demo on Salt Printing
  • 11am to 5pm – Create your own Salt prints
  • 5pm to 7pm – Assessment & Feedback

    Workshop fee:

    Regular: INR 11,000
    Students*: INR 7,800


    Combination Pricing

    Workshop 1 + 2

    Regular – Rs 20,000
    Students – Rs 14,000

    Workshop 1 + 3

    Regular – Rs 16,000
    Students – Rs 11,200

    Workshop 2 + 3

    Regular – Rs 21,000
    Students – Rs 14,000

    ALL 3 – Intro to Darkroom (Level 1 + Level 2) + Intro to Alternative Photography

    Regular – Rs 26,000

    Students – Rs 18,200


    The Spaces

    The Madras Atelier, Kotivakkam

    Studio Hours: 11am to 7pm

    The theoretical sessions of both workshop 1 & 3 will be hosted at the Madras Atelier which is a shared creative workspace. Reading material on photography along with self-help coffee and tea will be available at this space through the duration of the workshops for participants to gather in their down-time from the darkroom.

    On request, Elinchrome strobe-flashes and backdrop cloths can be rented for use within the studio environs.

    The Darkroom @ Thiruvanmiyur

    A compact, yet fully-equipped lab space sits in one corner of the lovely Gupta family residence at the corner of Thiruvanmiyur beach. Equipped with 2 enlargers capable of negatives upto 4×5, a large sink for washing, a separate wet-area for print washing as well as the necessary accessories and storage materials for a clean darkroom workflow. An inside storage room doubles up as a completely light-tight film loading and drying area.

    The Darkroom @ Anna Nagar

    This apartment converted into a studio and darkroom is a haven for creative thought. Explore the collections of photography books and resources while you wait your turn for your negatives to dry. Equipped with 4 working enlargers and a separate wet area as well as a separate print washing room, this space is perfect for intense printing. The main hall doubles up as a studio complete with interchangeable backdrops and strobe-flashes which are available for rent.



    To Register, please select from the options below. Once you have made a selection, you will be redirected to our payment partner, DoAttend, to complete the payment process. You may use all major credit/debit cards as well as internet banking to make the payment.

    For combination pricing, please select one workshop, you will then be given an option to add on one or more workshops at the next screen.

    Students, please write to us at with a scan of a valid student ID – we will provide you a discount code using which you can avail our special student pricing.