Introduction to Practice in Wet Photography darkroom

  • Task Issued: Week 2, Term 1, 2020
  • Submission Due: Week 10, Term 1, 2020
  • 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 beginnings of photography and related 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, digital format or uploaded to your Google Classroom for this course.

Part 1A | History – Research: 'The invention of photography'

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

Key figures should include;
  • Mo Ti,
  • Al Hazeen,
  • Johann Schultze,
  • Carl Wilhelm Scheele,
  • Thomas Wedgewood,
  • Nicéphore Niépce,
  • Louis Daguerre,
  • Henry Fox Talbot,
  • Scott Archer,
  • Richard Maddox,
  • Sir John Herschel and
  • George Eastman
Key developments should include;
  • Camera obscura,
  • Camera lucida,
  • Silver chloride,
  • Silver nitrate,
  • Salted paper,
  • The first photograph,
  • Daguerreotype,
  • Calotype,
  • Hyposulfite of soda (fixer),
  • Collodion process,
  • Dry plate process,
  • Roll film,
  • Box Brownie.
Part 1B

Who’s who in 20th century photography: A timeline

Your timeline should be chronological i.e., 1900’s to now or thereabouts and should feature key photographers and developments in photography. The following are examples of possible inclusions in terms of key photographers and groups but not developments, (for developments see 'History of Photography' link)

Possible inclsions

Eadweard Muybridge, Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andre Kertesz, Lewis Hine, Alfred Stieglitz, The Photo Secession movement, Imogen Cunningham, Gallery 291, Paul Strand, Frederick Sommer, Edward Weston, Curtis Moffat, Dorothea Lang, Max Dupain, Olive Cotton, Man Ray, F64 group, Ansel Adams, Magnum Photo group, Colour film (dye emulsion), Garry Winogrand, Diane Arbus, Jerry Uelsmann, Rangefinder Camera, TLR, Canon, Nikon, Leica, Mamiya, Hasselblad, SLR Autofocus, Adobe Photoshop, Compact Flash Cards, 1st Camera Phone, Full Frame DSLR, World Press Photo, Richard Avendon, James Nachtwey, Annie Leibovitz etc

You may submit this as a Powerpoint, Word document or Adobe Spark Page

Part B | Composition and Design

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

Task 2a

Collect 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 2b

Complete 6 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

Surreal image inspired by Luis Douado


The following handouts and course notes are to be completed/stored in a folder in your professional folio.

  • 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 practice
  • Curate a selection of six (6) images from your classwork which best demonstrates your understanding of the skills and techniques required for the completion of the following tasks:
  • Image 1: Pinhole Photography (positive image)
  • Image 2: Photograms
  • Image 3: Sun Pictures
  • Image 4: Hand drawn acetate overlay
  • Images 5 & 6: Two examples of your response to contemporary collage techniques.
Created By
Gary Poulton