Undergraduate Degree




DP2009 Advanced Black and White Photography

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: DP2000; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

To introduce students to the practical and theoretical basics of the classic analogue black and white darkroom print.


The ability to make a traditional black and white darkroom print is a complex practice that requires a knowledge of many different skills. Students will learn the basic principals of the Zone System, film exposure and development controls, alternative formulas for both film and paper developers, archival processing and finishing methods.

Course Outline




• Intro to course

2 - 6

• The Zone System, introduction.

• Film Speed test, introduction to test’s rational.

• Nature of film and light relationship

• Evaluating tests and lecture on artificial light testing procedure.

• Various Film types and formats explored. 

• How to alter results and change the look of final images.

• Darkroom work with developers created outside of class time.


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Toning for archival permanence

• Toning for colour change, “split-toning”.

• Papers available and their characteristics.


• Final review of assignments

Learning Outcome

The students will have been introduced to the practice-based essentials of traditional black and white photography. The students will have acquired an understanding of tone (black and white values) that will constitute an essential component of their technical and creative toolset. The students will have acquired a comprehensive overview of film, photographic chemistry and camera use.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 30%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 70% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


  1. Ansel Adams, The Print, Little, Brown and Company

  2. Steve Anchell, The Film Developers Cookbook, Kindle Edition

  3. Steve Anchell, The Darkroom Cookbook, Kindle Edition

  4. Minor White, The New Zone System Manual, Morgan and Morgan

  5. Phil Davis, Beyond the Zone System 4th Edition, Focal Press

  6. Henry Horenstein, A Technical Manual, Beyond Basic Photography , Little, Brown and Company

  7. Ansel Adams, T​he Negative, Little, Brown and Company