(Re) Discover Black & White Film

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(Re) Discover Black & White Film


Only $145 for PhotoMidwest members; enter the $15 discount code Film2018 at checkout in the Coupon box in lower right corner. See Store Help for details or if you have any problems making a purchase. This class was completely filled with a waiting list when it was held last spring. Note that the Shopping Cart icon is very small and located in a much larger black pill-shaped rectangle in the upper right.

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Instructor: Herb Nelson
Dates: Saturdays 9 am - 1 pm, Jan 13, 20, 27 & Feb 3, 2018. January 27 & Feb 3 are for enlarging and printing with only half the class printing on each of the days
Location: PhotoMidwest, 700 Rayovac Dr., Suite 212, Madison WI. ADA accessible.
Free convenient parking in our adjacent parking lot.
Class size: limited to only 6 people for an exceptional amount of personal instruction. Minimum enrollment of 4.


Want to learn (or re-learn) how to get a different look to your photography by using film instead of digital? This class will take you through the complete process from loading film into a camera, properly exposing it, developing your film (with or without a darkroom), and finally printing from a film negative. Black & white film enjoys a niche in fine art photography and is a gateway into using older alternative processes such as cyanotype and collodion wet plate photography.

Film cameras are readily available at a small fraction of their original cost and processing your own film does not require a darkroom. This class provides an introduction to all three phases of using film: exposing, developing, and printing. Cameras are available if you do not have a suitable one.

Student evaluations when this class was offered before:

The instructor was effective because "experience, good at explaining & clarifying'"   "... comprehensive coverage."
Student satisfaction with the instructor was "10" on all evaluations, the highest possible rating!

Saturday, Jan 13, 2018: Camera and Film

  • Camera functions
  • Aperture – Depth-of-field
  • Shutter speed – Freeze or blur
  • Metering – how they work together for proper exposure
  • Camera handling
  • Film loading

Saturday, Jan 20, 2018: Film Development

  • Processing demo
  • Loading film on reels in tanks
  • Film processing in tanks
  • Film drying
  • Negative sleeves

Saturday, Jan 27, 2018: Printing day #1

  • Printing demo
  • Contact printing
  • Enlargement (for half the class)

Saturday, Feb 3, 2018: Printing day #2

  • Printing demo
  • Contact printing
  • Enlargement (for other half of class)

Cameras: A number of Nikon and Canon 35mm autofocus cameras and lenses are available for use during this class: (5) Nikon N6006 AF and (2) Canon Rebel XS cameras plus lenses. These cameras are very similar to digital cameras and should be less confusing to use. Students may bring their own cameras if they are functioning properly.

Supplies needed: Ilford Multigrade IV MGD.1M Black & White Variable Contrast RC (Resin Coated) Glossy Paper 8x10"-25 Sheets Value Pack (with 2 Rolls of Film) SKU: 1858468. At The Camera Company for $34.52. As of September 13 The Camera Company is SOLD OUT of this value pack. You should be able to buy the film & paper from them separately for a few dollars more. Alternatively, the value pack is available from several online vendors (e.g. B&H, Freestyle Photo, Ritz Camera). If you are unable to get a Value Pack, PhotoMidwest will supply the equivalent for the same price.

Course Requirements: To get the most out of this class it is helpful to have experience using a digital or film camera.

If you must pay by check, please complete THIS FORM and promptly send your check to PhotoMidwest.

Instructor Bio


Herb Nelson

Herb Nelson has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He was a faculty member in the College Transfer Art program at Madison College teaching fine art B&W film photography.




All student cancellations will incur a $10.00 processing fee, which will be deducted from any refund remitted. Cancellations more than thirty (30) days before the start of the first class session are refundable, less the above processing fee.

Cancellations at thirty (30) to fourteen (14) days before the start of the first class session will result in refunding half (50%) of the fees except for some classes where this is not feasible due to contractual arrangements with the instructor(s) and/or venue. Such exceptions will be noted in the listing of those classes.

Cancellations less than fourteen (14) days before the start of the first class session will result in the loss of all fees. You may arrange to have someone else fill your slot in the class but we must be notified of this substitution as soon as possible.  PhotoMidwest will have no involvement in any transfer of funds related to such substitutions.  If the slot in the class is not used, we will consider it as a donation to PhotoMidwest and as such, it may qualify as tax deductible.

In the rare case an entire class must be cancelled by PhotoMidwest, all students will receive a full refund. Partial cancellation of a single class session will typically be addressed via a rescheduled session, not a partial refund of fees.


By enrolling in this course, you consent to PhotoMidwest taking and publishing photographs of the course, which may include you, in its promotional materials to communicate what our classes, events, and/or facilities are like to potential members. To clarify, PhotoMidwest will never publish photographs YOU took without your specific written permission.