On Location
Santa Fe

SILVER: Black-and-White Film Photography

with Sarah Meghan Lee

Online registration for this program has closed. To check availability, find about about future dates, or if you would like further information, please call 505-983-1400 ext. 111. Also, get the SFW E-Newsletter for updates!

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Course Description

SILVER takes us back to the roots of photography, and this special week in Santa Fe takes you on a journey through the fundamentals of analog silver-halide photography. Film-based black-and-white photography slows us down and reminds us to enjoy each stage of the process. Each frame of a roll of 36-exposure film is taken deliberately, then we process our film paying close attention to temperature, agitation, and time, and finally we savor the moment our print begins to emerge on the white photo paper floating in the chemicals of the darkroom. During this magical week with Sarah Meghan Lee as your guide, we practice the art of mindfulness, patience, and persistence and separate ourselves from the digital world for a week of creating intentional b/w fiber prints.

We explore each step of black-and-white image-making from learning how to use a film camera in manual mode, to processing the film, to learning how to produce high-quality prints in the darkroom. We focus on honing our technical skills and boosting our creative vision with daily artistic exercises, location photo sessions, and group image reviews. We visit a different location each day to photograph some of the iconic sites of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico. 

The learning continues into the evening with lessons in darkroom printing and then time to print our new images with guidance from Sarah. Our exploration of analog photography is enhanced by short presentations on the history of photography as well as activities with cyanotypes, pinhole cameras, and photograms.

Join us in Santa Fe for a week exploring cameras, film, exposure, developing film, printing, and personal vision during this hands-on experience in a supportive environment.

Additional Information

COVID-19 Update: For all in-person workshops and trips in 2023, Santa Fe Workshops highly recommends that all participants, staff, and instructors attending be up to date with Covid vaccinations (per definition of the CDC).

Amateurs, Advanced Amateurs
What You Should Know:

No experience with analog black & white photography is needed. 


For the convenience of participants, recordings of each class session are posted privately for one month after the end of each session. Santa Fe Workshops takes the recordings down after one month to protect the intellectual property of our instructors.

Darkroom, One-of-a-Kind, Technical
Sarah Meghan Lee

Sarah Meghan Lee worked as a photojournalist for 15 years, first based in Rwanda and then in Mexico City. She has worked for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press. Sarah covered the refugee crisis in Rwanda, land struggles in Guatemala, the 10th anniversary of the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, public health in Haiti, and many other environmental, human rights, and economic issues. She won first place in Gordon Park’s 2005 Photography Competition for her work in Haiti. 

Sarah has taught photography with Santa Fe Workshops, National Geographic Expeditions, San Diego State University, and Fredric Roberts Workshops. In 2015, Sarah and her husband moved back to Santa Fe to raise their children in New Mexico. Sarah has taught darkroom photography at Francis Parker School in San Diego, Desert Academy in Santa Fe, and now at Santa Fe Preparatory School. 

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