Explore the world of texture, shape, and light in the traditional black & white darkroom. Experience the resurgence of doing it in the dark.

Student Image by: Kelley CrawfordThis course is for the examination of the world without the distraction and embellishment of color—a world of texture, shape, and light—as can be shown through the basic techniques of manual photography and the darkroom. 

Students learn how to use their camera, lens, and tripod. They are shown how to select the right film and use a light meter to determine exposure, as well as how to control basic density and contrast for both the negative and the print. And they prepare the chemistry for and undertake the development of their own film. 

The class discusses how to make the best possible negatives and prints with full tonal range and explores basic darkroom procedures, safety, printmaking techniques, burning and dodging, toning, archival processing, and print presentation.

Students are encouraged to explore artistic questions concerning composition, framing, light, tone and texture, gesture and moment, along with their own personal responses to the visual world and events around them. This course is a stepping-stone to the great world of photographic images, from its foundation to the many possilities it offers. 



Kari Wehrs

© Mark Edward Dawson

Kari Wehrs is a photographer and educator currently living in Tempe, AZ and attending Arizona State University for her MFA in photography.

As a child, Kari spent hours flipping through her Grandmother's family photo albums that dated from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s. The photographs were compiled neatly, often with handwritten notations, which suggested to her that they were precious objects. Wanting to see the details of each image, Kari often examined the photographs with her Grandmother's magnifying glass. She found the idea that time could be recorded and "held" in photographs to be truly fascinating.

Originally from Minnesota, Kari attended the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse for her undergraduate education, and soon after attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, in the fall of 2007. Kari has been associated with the Maine Media Workshops + College in Rockport, Maine, since 2008, having taken on various positions such as photography labs manager and teaching assistant for the college program. She has been a Maine Media Workshops instructor since 2012.

Kari has a deep interest in the techniques, technology, and history of the photographic medium. While embracing multiple methods in her own work, her most recent series is portraiture employing the 1850s wet plate collodion process (tintypes). She has become captivated by the tintype process and sees the tintype image as a personal and intimate memento. This working process appeals to Kari's desire to make images that survive as a photographic object and record, while also referencing her documentary roots.

Course Dates

Jul 3 to Jul 9



Class Size