Do you sometimes miss shooting film photography? Or are you still shooting film photography on a regular basis and just want to learn more? Or maybe you have never shot with a film camera and want to learn now. Whatever the case, film photography is a rewarding format. This is why we put together this list of the best film photography classes to try today.
With a limited film roll, this type of photography requires us to slow down and be precise in what we shoot. We recommend that everyone try film photography at least once in their lives to discover the foundations of digital photography today.
Even more, shooting film is something that seems to be making a come back with young photographers. Beginners love taking a journey into the world of developing their own film, shooting in black and white, and learning how to create their very own darkrooms.
Here are our top 13 recommended classes every film photographer should take to learn this rewarding medium.
Course #1: Analog Photography: Shooting & Processing Black-and-White Film by Konrad Eek
Over 40,000 people have already taken this film photography class. Students learn techniques that only a film photographer would typically need including how to process black and white film and which inexpensive film cameras are widely available in thrift stores and secondhand shops. Film photographer, Konrad then takes students to the mountains of Arkansas where he teaches the fundamentals of shooting film including metering and the use of filters.
After watching Konrad take an array of pictures students head back to his place and watch him process the film using chemicals. Other content includes what chemicals to use to get reliable results every time. Lastly, students learn how to scan negatives and the process of making silver-gelatin enlargements. Konrad ends the classes by teaching you how to build your very own darkroom to develop your own images.
Course #2: The Essentials of 35mm Film Photography by Jeff Stefan
This is one of the top classes when it comes to the introduction of film photography. Each lesson teaches students of all levels a different part of film photography. Jeff Stefan started learning photography on a medium format camera over 40 years ago, which makes him an excellent teacher.
Stefan teaches students how to use 35mm film cameras, which film to use in different shooting situations, and how to measure light using a film camera. In addition, students learn how to put filters on their photos and how to compose photos in black and white vs digital photography in color. Finally, the class teaches students processing in Lightroom and Photoshop and what to look for when printing and choosing a lab.
Course #3: Introduction to Film Photography by Sandra Coan
Next up, this film class is an introduction to everything students need to know about the world of film. Photographers gain valuable knowledge as they look at how to shoot film while feeling comfortable, confident, and excited! First, photography teacher Sandra Coan walks students through camera equipment and how to choose the correct gear when shooting.
Next, students learn how to set their ISO, shutter speed, and other manual photography techniques. Lastly, photographers are introduced to all the resources for choosing the right labs to process their photography. Other topics include the differences and similarities between medium format and digital cameras. The class is a great introduction for students who want to learn all things related to film from top to bottom.
Course #4: Film Photography with Strobe Lighting by Sandra Coan
Just like with any type of photography, you need to learn how to control your lighting to have the best results. Pro photographer, Sandra Coan walks viewers through the steps of syncing their flash with their film camera. Students also learn how to meter the light and how to choose the best film to go with your lighting. This is the best course for photographers who want to learn specific lighting techniques for film photography.
Course #5: The Art of Film Photography & Basic Photography Skills by Dean Benstead
If you are looking to learn a more artistic approach to film photography this course is for you. In this course, you will learn how to create timeless photos and the core foundations of photography including how to set your exposure. You will also learn about composition and the different settings to use for portrait vs landscape shots. This course is for students who want to learn the basic rules of photography so they know how to break them later.
Course #6: Introduction to Black & White Film Photography by Daniel Gregory
Film photography gives the access to controlling the dynamic range and details in your black and white photography. In this course, photographer and artist Daniel Gregory will teach students how to get more creative using black and white tones. Gregory allows students to get more hands-on during the class by showing them how they can retouch and scan their own negatives. The class covers advance and basic techniques for those who love black and white photography.
Course #7: Analog Photography: How to Shoot Film in 5 Simple Steps by Christine Smith
This beginner course is designed to help students learn film photography in 5 easy steps. In just one hour you will learn everything about analog shooting including camera types, formats, ISOs, and tricks for loading film. This 1-hour class is a great teaser to the world of film shooting and is for those just starting to take an interest in the genre.
Course #8: Film Photography: The Ins and Outs of Going Analogue by Antonio Castello
This class is full of insight and teaches a more quirky experimental side to film. Antonio Castello has spent his career shooting pop-style photos with film cameras. Few photographers have the same style and enthusiasm as Castello.
The one-hour class breezes through the history of Lomography then takes students into an introduction of how to use a Lomo’s user-friendly camera. Even more, the lessons are shot around New York City and provide students with the principles of shooting film with a more artistic approach. It’s especially ideal for mobile photographers eager to go beyond smartphones and digital photographers eager to learn more about film when taking a photo. Lastly, if you want another class from Castello, also try his classes on how to take multiple exposures with a film camera.
Course #9: Aperture, Shutter Speed & ISO: The Basics of (Analog) Photography by Jahan Saber
This class is for students who don’t feel confident setting their cameras manually when shooting analog. Jahan Saber teaches the class step by step in each video. First by covering a different part of shooting manual. Students learn aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Also, Saber offers videos about how he used film pictures to create self-published books and a zine. Many students say the class exceeded their expectations, even for those who already knew how to shoot manual, it was a great refresher class.
Course #10: Beginner’s Guide to Retouching Old Photographs in Adobe Photoshop by Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand
The perfect class for students who want to learn how to retouch and restore old film images. Photographer Dominic Righini-Brand has a passion for chemical photography. In this course, he covers everything students need to know about how to take their old family photographs, dirty scanned negatives, or digital pictures and showcase them proudly online.
Lessons cover retouching in Photoshop and are designed for beginners who really want to focus on retouching and restoring images using Adobe Software. Also, the class is suitable for anyone who is interested in digitizing Lomography photographs. Lastly, it’s a great class for students who have been experimenting with chemical photography and now want to go digital.
Course #11: Film Photography: Developing & Digitising Black & White Film at Home by Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand
A class great for the black and white film photography enthusiast. Each course covers how to shoot as well as how to develop your film after. Additionally, the class covers which chemicals you will need to invest in. Even more, students learn safety tips for negatives. The final lesson shares images in Photoshop as you watch them become clean, retouched, and enhanced. Ending with a great lesson on how to store the images online so you have access to them forever. If black and white photography is your true passion, this is the class for you.
Course #12: Film, Images & Historical Interpretation in the 20th Century: The Camera Never Lies by Dr. Emmett Sullivan
If you are more interested in the history of film photography, this may be the class for you. Each video covers the historical interpretation of film during the 20th century. The class is offered by the University of London and it gives students insights into photojournalism using film only. Once you have completed the class you will understand why film photography is so important in history its limitations. The class also offers insights into how people over the centuries have manipulated images to change the world’s perceptions about past events. No one will leave the class feeling the same about how we view the history of photography.
Course #13: Analog Photography: Setting Up a Home Darkroom by Konrad Eek
This is one of the top film photography classes for students because it helps them not only learn how to scan their film photos to their computer but also how to make their very own darkroom. This class is the most in-depth when it comes to the full understanding of how to develop your own film. Once, your scan your roll of film into your computer, the next step is to get to work in your darkroom. Konrad Eek builds more information into this class by talking about the steps, techniques, and chemicals that go into making your own prints.
Conclusion for Film Camera Photography
We hope you enjoyed our top picks for film photography classes! Whether you are a beginner or pro there is something for everyone on the list. If you are still stuck on which camera to invest in for your film photos we recommend the canon ae 1, Pentax K1000, and canon eos 3. Also, if you are wondering about which scanner to use for your next roll of film to paper, consider the Epson V600.
At first, film may seem a little intimidating but consider it a great way to discover the origins of photography and the real workings of your camera today. Shooting analog is like taking a trip back in history to test out the photography of the great masters throughout history. Lastly, if you want to study some of the first photographers to ever exist in the birthplace of photography, check out our article on famous French photographers!