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Workshop: Introduction to Photography (Beijing)

Beijing Academy of Creative Arts (BACA) focuses on innovative arts and design education for contemporary young creatives. BACA will run a workshop in Beijing on Fine Art Photography suitableFOR ANY STUDENTS, WHETHER beginners and those wanting to improve their techniques.

What to EXPECT during the course?

• Participants will learn how to use camera equipment (digital and film), process film, and developing black & white photography in the darkroom.
• In addition alternative and ‘camera-less’ photographic techniques such as Pinhole, Camera Obscure, Cyanotypes and Photograms will be explored.
• We will also try out light sculptures and other movement techniques, and studio lighting.

The philosophy and aim of the course is about the PRINT, to get images from the camera or off the digital screen to produce a series of images to be exhibited at the end of the workshop.

The workshop will have TWO MODELS and you can choose from one of them:

1) One week intensive: from 03/02 to 07/ Protected content , 10:00am to 4:00pm.
2) Five weeks part time: from 15/02 to 15/ Protected content , Saturday only, 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Venue: A602, Yonghe Mansion (雍和大厦), 28 East Street of Andingmen, Dongcheng District, Beijing

Price: 6,500.00RMB (Materials included)

The Programme:

Day 1

Introductory lecture
What is expected from the course and what we should achieve. Discussing questions like ‘What is Fine Art Photography?’ Discovering ideas and inspirations while encouraging a broad discussion on contemporary fine art photography, facilitated by a power point presentation on the history of photography; from the birth of photography to what is seen in contemporary art galleries and international art fairs today and what we might expect in the future. What equipment the various types of photographers and artists use.

Introductory practical lessons
An introduction to the equipment we shall use over the week including Cameras, Lens, Flashes and Tripods and how they work. Discussing what film is and how to load a film camera. Using darkroom enlargers and film processing equipment. Learning to expose using the shutters and the aperture. Learning what is Depth of field and what is composition.

Camera Obscure
We will turn a room into a ‘Camera Obscura’ this is a perfect introduction to the basic science of the camera. Making a window into an outside lens and the room into a giant camera. Students can try and repeat this experiment at home.


This is a good practical introduction and a health and safety induction about the chemicals used in the dark room. Photograms are where objects are placed on photographic paper and exposed leaving a ghost like shadow. Beautiful images of a translucent quality and delicate objects can be made.

Day 2

A Continuation of photograms with objects brought in from home.

Black and White Film
We will then venture out with our film cameras and with personal projects and assignments in mind: the choices of projects are ‘Time and Movement’ or ‘Patterns & Form in the City’. We will use the tripods and long exposures and movement of light. Student will be learning to compose an image correctly with understanding of focus and depth of field. As a film only has 36 shots we will learn how to edit and to be economical with the shot.


Film Processing
By this time the student should have a film exposed and ready to process.
Learning how to load a film into a processing tank in complete darkness! Make up chemicals to the correct ratio and temperature and processing the film in the accurate amount of time.

Contact Sheet
Back in the dark room: Using the same principle as a Photogram to see your negatives as positives. This is a good way of selecting the best shots you have taken. Preparing for printing.

Day 3

Developing and Darkroom Skills
Using the enlargers we can now print our negatives. Learning techniques such as ‘Burn and Dodge’ and also the various grades of contrasts.

Day 4

Digital as an alternative!
We shall now go out and use our digital cameras. All digital cameras are welcome from the latest Canons SLR to phone cameras. We will learn how to use them to their full advantage and develop the chosen assignments.

Light Sculpture
We can create ‘Light Sculptures’ - the movement of light to make beautiful shapes and patterns.


Studio Lighting
An introduction to studio portraiture using studio flashes and backdrops.

With our collection of images we can then edit and print on acetate making large negatives to then print as Photograms or Cyanotypes.

Day 5

Editing and Exhibiting

Now with new skills and images we can edit, print and discuss our projects. Finishing off our best shots for presentation at our end of course exhibition and encouraging the group to support each other and advise and critique each other.

Developing titles and text/statements to accompany images

About the Teacher Protected content Dutton

Charlie is a British artist and gallerist in London (Charlie Dutton Gallery). He graduated from Central Saint Martins College with BA (Hons) Fine Art and Postgraduate Diploma Photography and teaches photography and lectures at various prestigious schools, collages and galleries in London about the art industry, exhibiting and curating.
His art practice uses predominately photography but also other media such as paint and alternative photographic techniques.

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Thanks a lot!