FA22 Thursday Black & White Photography Workshop

Day/Time: 10 Thursdays starting September 22, 6:00-8:30pm

There is no class November 24. 

Location: SAA Darkroom (W20-426)

Instructor: Jacob Geiger

Russell Lee, Children at the Farm Security Administration Camelback Farms inspect the photographer’s camera, Phoenix, Arizona, 1941.


This course is for students who have some prior darkroom experience developing film and making prints. Students may take this course more than once. Please contact the instructor if you are unsure whether you have the prerequisite experience for the course.

Students will produce black-and-white silver gelatin prints through the course of the term, participating in regularly scheduled critiques to refine their technique and personal vision. Students may enter the class seeking to refine an existing project, begin a new one, or simply explore ways of image-making through prompt-based assignments. Students will also study images and texts from photographers and critics to deepen their understanding of how these techniques can be used in the service of their own personal visions.

The course will also cover the use of medium- and large-format cameras, including sheet film development, pushing/pulling film, and the use of view camera movements. (These sections are optional for students who have already covered the topics in a previous course.)

120 and 4×5 format cameras will be available for check-out to students on a rotating basis. Materials will be discussed on the first day of class and may vary depending on the format. Students should secure film and 35mm cameras before the first class; other supplies will not be needed until the second class:

– A 35mm camera with manual focus and exposure modes.*
– 50 sheets fiber-base (FB) multigrade black and white photo paper, 8×10 inches, pearl or glossy.
– 35mm/120-format/4×5 film, HP5 or Tri-X**
– A box or 3 ring binder to store negatives
– An 8″x10″x1″ proof box to store prints
– [Optional, recommended]: 10 sheets 11×14 or 16×20 FB pearl/glossy paper
*Note: The SAA has a limited number of 35mm cameras available for check-out, but students in introductory courses are prioritized for these cameras. Contact the instructor if you are interested in reserving a 35mm camera from the SAA. Medium- and large-format cameras will be checked out to students on a rotating basis during the course and do not need to be purchased.
**Note: Ilford HP5 or Kodak Tri-X are recommended as medium-speed, standard options, but other film types are acceptable.Places to buy materials:
– Locally: Hunt’s https://www.huntsphotoandvideo.com/. There is one located in Cambridge and one near Kenmore sq.
– B&H and Adorama have large online stores (and brick-and-mortar locations in NYC) that are often cheaper than Hunt’s. B&H offers an educational discount if you create an account with your MIT email. http://www.bhphotovideo.com / http://www.kmcamera.com
– KEH sells used cameras and lenses and offers a student discount: https://www.keh.com/
– It is also possible to purchase cameras and lenses over eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace, but these can be riskier methods that offer little recourse if something is wrong with the equipment. Consultation with the instructor is encouraged if using these sites.


  •  September 22, 2022 - December 17, 2022
     6:00 pm - 11:55 pm
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