Exploring Film Cameras

Exploring Film Cameras

Rediscover the magical world of film, negatives and prints.  In this interactive workshop Master Photographer Dale Neill takes you back to the future and covers films, loading, manual controls, tips for processing, handling and archiving all with theory and guided practice sessions.  Learn how shooting with film improves your understanding of photography and get a critique of your prints.

Exploring Film Cameras is the equivalent of ‘slow-cooked photography’.

Camera shops and photo labs are reporting increased demand for film and processing.  Photographers are rediscovering the joys of film cameras.  Young photographers shooting film for the first time are learning and understanding the concepts of photography.

Exploring film cameras traces the origin of photography and exposes the work of celebrated film photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams and Helmut Newton.

The workshop compares film formats and types such as Kodak Tri X, Ilford FP4 and HP5 and the famous ‘bubble-gum’ film Fuji Velvia.  The most reliable makes and models of film cameras are discussed including the Nikon F100 & F3, Canon FTb & AE-1, the Pentax 67 & K1000, Rollei 35S, Leica M6, Hasselblad SWC, Rolleiflex TLR, Olympus A11, Ricoh GR1 and Yashica Mat 124G.

We look briefly at how film works, film layers including base, emulsion and grains of silver.  We also discuss the relative merits of home processing and lab processing.  Storage, preservation and archiving of film are also discussed as well as film scanning techniques.

The workshop explains how light metering is an integral part of accurate film exposure.  See how exposure and development variations are used to improve image tones.

The FILM V DIGITAL debate. We will examine the advantages and disadvantages of film as a medium.  You could be in for a few surprises.  Importantly the workshop also looks at the psychological effect film cameras have on photographers, their shooting styles and the development of fundamental photographic concepts.

Exploring film cameras is a workshop combining theory and practical shooting with your film camera.  The follow-up review evening gives you the opportunity to display your photographic prints and receive a critique.


  • Cameras and films
  • History of film photography
  • Celebrated film photographers – Cartier-Bresson, Capa, Newton, Adams
  • Film camera sizes – miniature, 35mm, medium format, view.
  • Film camera types – cassette, roll, sheet
  • Film types – B & W, Colour negative, colour positive, special purpose
  • Films – Kodak Portra 400, T Max 400, Tri-X 400, Ilford HP5, Fuji Velvia 50
  • How film is made – base, emulsion, layers
  • Film speed – grain size and ISO
  • What happen when film is exposed then processed
  • Light metering and exposure for film (Sekonic)
  • Loading, rewinding and protecting film
  • Practical – using your film camera to shoot a variety of subjects in class including architecture, portraits and landscapes.
  • The Film V Digital debate
  • Storage, preservation and archiving of film
  • Scanning film
  • The psychology of film photography – how film cameras modify how a photographer shoots

Although not a strict requirement, students would benefit from first completing one of Dale’s Beginners or Intermediate level courses or have a reasonable working knowledge of the manual controls of a digital camera.

Students need to supply

  1. Their own film camera in good working condition.
  2. One roll of black and white film ( 10, 12, 20 or 36 exposures)
  3. One roll of colour negative film ( 10, 12, 20 or 36 exposures)
  4. Tripod desirable but not essential
  5. The instruction manual for your camera is desirable but not essential

Please arrive with an empty camera.
DO NOT load film before commencing class.

Date: TBA
Location: UWA Extension
Cost: 0.00