Introduction to Wet Photography darkroom practice

  • Task Issued: Term 1, Week 2, 2017
  • Task Date: Term 1, Week 9, 2017
  • Weighting: 25%

On completion of this module you will be assessed on your ability to address Syllabus outcomes:

M1, M2, M3, M4, M5 M6, CH1, CH2, CH3 CH4

Refer to Photography, Video and Digital Imaging course outcomes for further details

Content Focus

The purpose of this assessment task is to

  • Learn about the origins of photography and associated inventions
  • Introduce students to the practice of wet photography.
  • Offer students the opportunity to explore, through critical and historical investigations, advances in the field that affect the nature of photographic practice and interpretations of the world.
  • Look at design based approaches to image construction
  • Gain an understanding of darkroom processes, camera-less imaging and appropriate WH&S.

Note |........

  1. Practical photographic work is to be submitted in your HSC Portfolio.
  2. Research tasks can be submitted in either hard copy or digital format

Part A | History – Research: 'The invention of photography'

1. In approx 250 words outline the key events and mention the contribution of significant philosophers / scientists / photographers (from 5BC - 1890's) who were significant figures in the early development of photography.

  1. Key figures should include; Mo Ti, Al Hazeen, Johann Schultze, Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Thomas Wedgewood, Nicéphore Niépce, Louis Daguerre, Henry Fox Talbot, Scott Archer, Sir John Herschel and George Eastman
  2. Key inventions should include; camera obscure, camera lucida, silver chloride, silver nitrate, salted paper, first photograph, daguerreotype, calotype, sodium thiosulphate, collodion process, roll film, Box Brownie.

Part B | Composition and Design

Investigate elements of composition and design, structure, framing etc by completing a series of design works.

Task 1

Collect a range of photographic images from magazines / websites / books etc that best illustrate the following camera compositional devices: (provide at least 2 examples)

  • Camera viewpoints – high, low etc
  • Abstract patterns, textures etc
  • Center of interest – the dominant subject
  • Rule of the Thirds – traditional structured design
  • Unusual angles of view – breaking the rules

Task 2

Complete 5 design based collage activities using your own themes & ideas. The process for these will be demonstrated in class and may include: (your teacher will outline these for you)

  • Weaving – Create two artworks. Artwork one, you will mesh/weave two full sized images together. In artwork two you will use different pictures, select only one section of your image to weave. Inspired by the works of Tintin Cooper
  • Images with cut aways' of black & white or colour spaces. Inspired by Max-o-matic
  • “Surreal” designed image (dreamlike or make believe image), made from a collection of found images. inspired by Sarah Eisenlohr.
  • Cutting & re-assemblage images for impact. Inspired by Matthieu Bourel

Task 3


The following handouts and course notes are to be completed/stored in your folder in your professional folio. These will be required revision for your mid course exam:

  • Using the enlarger – label diagram
  • Darkroom layout
  • Safety in Photography
  • Darkroom equipment
  • Chemical steps and processing ratios
  • Print processing steps – worksheet
  • Test-strips – examples and worksheet
  • Pinhole camera – examples and worksheets
Darkroom practices

– your best examples of the following techniques are to be submitted, all are to be attempted – as demonstrated in class:

  • Sun pictures
  • Chemograms – using fixer
  • Chemograms – using developer
  • Photograms – negative & positive prints
  • Surrealist design & contact prints - 1 negative and 1 positive print from a photocopy of your surreal design.
  • Pinhole camera – negative print
  • Pinhole camera – positive print
  • Acetate - drawn overlay on plastic and contact print.
  • Photo mosaic/grid – using four of the above techniques create an abstract mosaic using 8x8cm squares or shapes. A minimum of 9 squares/shapes are required.
Created By
Gary Poulton

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