Black & White Photographic Darkroom in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland

Workshops & Tuition



Cyanotype Workshops

Learn how to create beautiful blueprints using a simple and one of the earliest hands-on photographic processes. Cyanotype workshops are held as group sessions at Island Darkroom, get in touch to tailor a session for your group, or join our mailing list through the website/follow social media to get updates and times on the next open workshop.

2 hrs. £35/£25. Family discounts available, please get in touch prior to booking. All participants under 16 must be supervised by an adult. 

NEXT WORKSHOP DATES:

Thursday 14th November, 11am-1pm.

Please note, limited places are available so book your spot now to avoid disappointment!


Black & White Courses

  • Intro to Analogue Photography: Need a refresher on your old 35mm camera or looking to better understand your digital manual settings by getting back to basics? We’ll go through the settings of shutter speed, aperture and film speed as well as gaining an understanding of depth of field and composition. Along the way we’ll be looking at the work of different photographers as well as discussing favourite spots to shoot on the island.

1 hr. £40


  • Black & White Film Processing: With either 35mm or 120mm, learn how to develop your film by hand.

2 hrs. £50


  • Black & White Contact Sheet Printing: Perfect as a follow-up from the developing workshop, you’ll learn basic darkroom procedures and how to print a contact sheet of your negatives.

2 hrs. £60

Please note: Due to the space and equipment availability this workshop is best suited for individuals or groups of 2. If you would like to discuss workshops with a larger group please get in touch (prices per person).


  • Printing Your Images: Black & white darkroom printing with basic dodging, burning, filters and other printing techniques.

2 hrs. £75

Please note: Due to the space and equipment availability this workshop is best suited for individuals or groups of 2. If you would like to discuss workshops with a larger group please get in touch (prices per person).

All classes will be will be held with me, Mhairi Law at Island Darkroom in Achmore on the Isle of Lewis.

Black & White workshops are open to all individuals aged 16 or over.


Full course of 4 workshops: £200

To discuss dates for a full course of workshops, please get in touch.


Residential course

Hebridean Winter Retreat in Analogue Photography

Ideal for individuals or couples, this 3-day (2-night) photography course is a fantastic way to experience the beautiful winter light of the Isle of Lewis. Tailored to the individuals and suitable for all abilities, this course will guide you through the black and white analogue process of silver gelatin photographs, ending with you producing your very own hand printed darkroom prints to take home.
You'll be staying in the beautiful and unique Hebridean Bothy Pods which share a croft with Island Darkroom.

Day 1: Intro to Analogue Photography; starting with manual camera settings and tips in landscape photography and composition, we will venture out into the wild winter Hebridean outdoors to specially selected locations to shoot your first film. 
Day 2: We'll begin this day by processing this film by hand in the darkroom using traditional techniques. This will be followed by how to create a contact sheet from your newly developed film.
Day 3: You will spend this day learning how to select and print your newly shot photographs in the darkroom, learning dodging and burning, filters and other traditional printing techniques.

This course is led by Island Darkroom's experienced and award winning photographer, Mhairi Law.

What's included in the price?

- All materials and equipment required for the course will be provided by Island Darkroom, but if you have a specific 35mm or 120mm camera that you wish to use please feel free to bring it. 
- Self-catering accommodation is provided by neighbouring Hebridean Bothy Pod, Island Darkroom will not be providing food apart from tea and coffee in the classes, so make sure you bring supplies.
- Please bring sensible footwear and clothing for our photo-taking excursion.
- Participants must also provide their own transportation.
- Apart from the shooting of the film which rely's on daylight, timings can be flexible throughout the day to let you make the most of your stay.
- If you would prefer to arrive the night before or stay a night after our workshops, please book the Hebridean Bothy Pods through their website.

  • Price for an individual: £495

  • Price for a couple: £750

Dates can be flexible for the residential courses so to book or if you have any enquiry’s please get in touch.


The Processes

Island Darkroom Silver Gelatin Print

SILVER GELATIN

Island Darkroom specialises in archival quality silver gelatin prints. This is an analogue printing process that is relatively unchanged since its introduction in the late 1800s.

Typically, this process consists of exposing an image (through a camera, or otherwise) onto a material such as film or glass which has been coated in a light sensitive emulsion. After developing through 3 different chemicals, this creates a negative. An enlarger is then used to hold these negatives in place, and expose the image onto light-sensitive paper. The name silver gelatin comes from the mixture of silver salts and gelatin binder which coat the paper.


Cyanotype Feather Island Darkroom

CYANOTYPE

The cyanotype, or blueprint is a simple alternative photographic process. Using only a mixture of two chemicals and UV light, it's perfect for beginners as well as experienced artists to experiment in creating photograms and to develop their knowledge of darkroom photography.

In 1843, botanist Anna Atkins produced what is now widely considered to be the first ever photo book. She used the cyanotype process to illustrate her book of British algae, finding the photograms to be far more detailed and accurate that a hand drawing of the delicate plants.