Introduction to Film Photography Course - Sydney Short Courses

Introduction to Film Photography Course

What you'll learn

Learn film photography with our photography short courses in Sydney!

Before there was digital photography, film ruled the imaging landscape. In the modern era, film photography is making a comeback. With a higher dynamic range film is better at capturing whites and blacks and those subtle details lost with digital. Film photography is a fun and creative alternative giving photographers the ability to shoot unique and authentic-feeling experiences that evoke a strong, personal style. This hands-on film photography course will introduce you to the basics of film photography helping you to understand the features of your 35mm or medium format film camera, how to use natural light and clever composition to capture beautiful images as well as how to get your exposed film developed and printed. If you're looking to learn film photography in Sydney utilising both theory and practice then this film photography course is for you!

Please note: This is an analogue course. It deals with film and physical prints only, not digital files. Should you choose to have scans made by the lab which develops your film in order to upload your images to social media later: fine. But this aspect is not part of the course.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this film photography course, you should be able to:

  • Analyse the work of some top film photographers at Magnum Photo in order to and understand their methods
  • Understand how to handle film properly: how to load roll film into your camera and unload it once it’s been exposed
  • Learn how to utilise natural light and compositional choices to take powerful photos. In both colour and black and white.
  • Capture street life, people, places and things using the 4XP's of Street Photography
  • Begin to develop your own style by making informed decisions about your subject matter
  • Understand the different options for getting film developed and printed
  • Understand the fundamentals of printing in the darkroom, as demonstrated by one of Australia’s most highly regarded analog printers

Course content

What will be covered in this photography course?

Lesson 1: Introduction/classroom session

  • Discussion around images by some top still photographers working with film
  • Film Types (B&W & Colour negative, 35mm and 120) and where you can buy it
  • Loading film correctly
  • Winding film on after each exposure
  • Unloading exposed film
  • How to operate your camera: the 3 key variables of shutter speed, film speed (ISO) and lens aperture.
  • Labs which sell film, develop it and scan it
  • Discover the 4XPs of street photography: perspective, proportion, people and paradox
  • One hour practice shoot in local streets

Lesson 2: Black & White location shoot in Newtown

  • Newtown/day/black and white

Lesson 3: Colour location shoot in Chinatown

  • Learn how to expose film correctly using your camera’s through-the-lens meter or a handheld light meter
  • How to utilise backlighting and other natural light effects
  • Try to include at least one of the 4XPs of street photography in each of your images so they’re dramatic, not just simple snapshots
  • Gain confidence in approaching people you would like to appear in your pictures

Between Classes 3 & 4

  • Identify a professional still film photo processing lab you would like to deal with. 
  • Have them develop your rolls of exposed b&w and colour film 
  • Order a sheet of contact prints from negatives for each roll

Lesson 4: Peer Review/classroom session

  • Students bring postcard-sized prints of their best five images to class.
  • Discuss the best 3 images shot by your colleagues (giving reasons why). They in turn discuss yours.
  • Tutor adds input
  • The cross-processing option. Check out the effects...
  • Students vote on the best black and white image and the best colour image from pix shot by everyone during the course
  • Discussion: Where to from here? Degree courses. Photo books, solo shows, free exhibitions, finding a curator

Intended audience

Who is this photography course for?

This course is designed for those who have not shot on film before. However, some knowledge of photo basics is assumed e.g. lens apertures, ISO and shutter speed. This film photography course is for anyone who wants to add analogue shooting to their kit of skills.

Course venue

Rozelle Campus

2A Gordon Street, Rozelle NSW 2039 (corner of Gordon St & Victoria Rd on the grounds of St. Joseph's Church)

Course materials

What to bring to class

  • Please bring to each class (including those in the classroom): your 35mm or medium format film camera plus 2 rolls of appropriate film (24 exposures, 400 ISO, 35mm or 120).
  • Lens of your choice (either a zoom lens or a fixed focal length prime lens).
  • This film photography course is not suitable for digital cameras and is only for analogue cameras that use loadable, roll film.
  • We do not provide cameras for students so please make sure yours is tested and working. If unsure of the suitability of your camera, please get in contact with and we will be able to direct your question to the course tutor.

Course tutors

Great reasons to enrol in a short course with us

Small classes

A personal approach means quality learning, so you can enjoy plenty of interaction with your instructor and the chance to ask questions.

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Enrol online 24/7 with a safe, convenient 3-step process, and you can change your mind up to 7 days before class starts.

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Our educators bring first-hand experience and knowledge, with up-to-the-minute practices from diverse industries.

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This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join waitlist for Introduction to Film Photography Course

This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join waitlist for Introduction to Film Photography Course