Black & White Film, Beyond the Basics

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Lightbox, Loupe, Air & Carrier, Re Disc B&W Film, 2017-10.jpg
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Lightbox, Loupe, Air & Carrier, Re Disc B&W Film, 2017-10.jpg

Black & White Film, Beyond the Basics


Only $150 for PhotoMidwest members; enter the $15 discount code Beyond2019 at checkout in the Coupon box in lower right corner. See Store Help for details or if you have any problems making a purchase.

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Instructor: Herb Nelson (Phone or text) 608-332-1728; (Email)
Dates:  Saturdays 9 am – 1 pm September 21, 28 and October 5, 12, 2019.
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.


  • Provide students with more in-depth darkroom experiences printing 35mm negatives.

  • A four-week, four-hour class supplemented with additional darkroom time outside class time.

  • Provide more in-depth in-class critiques of their finished prints.

  • Introduce 120mm roll film and sheet film if you have a 4x5 view camera.

  • Introduce fiber-based paper printing and processing for archival printing.

  • Students will work independently in the darkroom outside of the class meetings.

Students Experience Level:

  • Completion of (Re)Discover B&W Film class or equivalent B&W film class.

  • A basic knowledge of camera functions of metering exposure, shutter speed and lens aperture.

  • Students determine what they want to learn in the class (camera formats, fiber paper, etc.).


Students should have access to film cameras and knowledge of essential functions.

Supplies needed:

  • Appropriate B&W film (NOT Kodak or Ilford C-41 color film for B&W prints).

  • Appropriate B&W RC variable contrast photo paper. B&W fiber paper will be supplied for students.

  • Miscellaneous supplies, e.g. negative sleeves, etc.

Class Description:

Saturday, September 21: Introduction.

  • Discussion of what each person wants to learn in the class.

  • Review of camera functions: how shutter speed and lens aperture control exposure.

  • Discussion of lens focal length and its affect on the image.

  • Appropriate film selection for the subject matter.

  • Natural light photography: window light, time of day, time of year, hard vs. soft.

  • Review of student work from previous classes.

Saturday, September28 : Introduction to fiber printing.

  • Darkroom equipment orientation.

  • Processing of your film.

  • Fiber print processing demo.

  • Discussion of printing issues to improve print quality, e.g. dodging and burning, etc.

  • Darkroom printing time.

Saturday, October 5: Problem solving.

  • Darkroom techniques; e.g. multiple exposure prints, the Sabattier effect (solarization).

  • Selenium toning fiber-based paper.

  • Darkroom printing time.

  • Critique of student work.

Saturday, October 12 Problem solving.

  • Introduction to large format cameras.

  • Introduction to SLR and twin-lens medium format cameras.

  • Darkroom printing time.

  • Critique of student work.

Instructor Bio

Herb Nelson. All rights reserved.

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.