H e l i o s E l e m e n t a l

life is film and film photography

For a full week Helios Elemental Black & White Photography Workshop will take place in the Kefalonia Island in the Ionion Center for the arts.

Masterclass led by Enrique Verdugo

The workshop is inspired by the iconic English photographer Eadweard Muybridge and his ‘Helios Flying Studio’ based on experimentation and improvisation. Further to the idea of the flying studio, we will move around the island, receptive to the light, perceiving the land and seascapes and its people. We will interpret the elements to produce work, and we will learn how to create a basic temporary Darkroom that will allow us to work anywhere our interests take us.

Image and Imagination

Stepping into a meditative path, visualising an image and slowing down, pausing before pressing the shutter in the picture making. Choosing the moment, the instant which will lead us to the final ‘image’.

During the first three days, participants aim to be out on location and begin with familiarisation of their surroundings, exploring, finding and creating scenes for practices.

You will learn how to interpret a camera meter, adjust shutter speed and aperture to obtain a balanced image. An awareness of daylight colour and its effect on the palette of panchromatic emulsion, becomes translated into shades of grey.

Process and processing

Splitting the week, the following three days will consist of an overview, of familiarizing with the developing process, and its different possibilities. Developers and chemistry allow us to choose and achieve different results. Understanding heat and chemical dilution, developing time, and how these factors mix and combine to take form in the density of the film negatives. We will archive our films, make contact sheets from negatives which will help us to choose our images. Onto the enlarger, we will learn how it works, hone basic printing skills, and understand grain and contrast. Consideration of the aesthetics of the print will be discussed in terms of paper type, cropping, enlarger factor size, etc.

This Black & White photography workshop will encompass the idea of developing an overall sense of how to produce a photograph, from the time of mental visualisation, dissecting reality into the photographing act. The moment becomes a ‘latent image’ that will follow the ‘atomic chemical reaction’ of the film and the chemistry becoming negative and then positive, in the final Print making.

The final cut

You will participate in discussion about your work, while being encouraged to explore and play with your curiosity. The aim will be on images reflecting the personality of each participant.

You will be encouraged to choose a subject/topic for your project to have a sort of unity with your images.  You will develop working methods and themes within your peer group. The final outcome will be an exhibition of the work created by you.
We will share work in progress, interchange our experiences and ideas, to nourish each other. At the end of the day we are always learning! 
Hopefully we will have time to watch films and be Introduced to the work of inspiring artists.
We are open to suggestions and sharing. 

Let’s feel the morning breeze and have a coffee in the sun, make friends and share our common interest and ideas about photography. During the week we will discover the basics and the magic of ‘film’, the analogue world and who wants to develop further knowledge to discover the alchemy and the beauty of taking a leap into ‘the darkroom’.. What does it take to make a photograph…

The week workshop will start by choosing a theme of work and scouting locations and subjects by exploring our surrounds on the island. Once participants have taken their rolls of films, we will learn how to load film into a processing tank and mix chemicals to develop the films, and explore the realm of possibilities film has.

W o r k s h o p s t r u c t u r e

Introduction to the analogue camera

  • Thinking about film, exposure and taking light readings.
  • Shutter speed settings from still to moving objects.
  • Apertures (f-stops) and depth of field.
  • What is film emulsion and how does it react to light? (iso/asa)
  • Discuss composition and lighting, creative approaches to different subjects.

Introduction to basic darkroom skills:

  • Processing a film, rinse and dry, archive negatives, making a contact sheet
  • Preparing and mixing developers, temperature versus timing and dilution.
  •  Analysing negatives in the light box. The first impression of our images.
  •  The equipment and how it works.

Making prints:

  • Introduction what is an ‘enlarger’ and how does it work.
  • Negatives and their contrast, in relation to fix grade papers and variable paper grades.
  • Making your first test print and visualizing the final print.
  • Dodging and burning and timing.

Project presentation:

  • Group discussion of why you have made the work?
  • Speaking about your images in order to discuss and share with the group.
  • Final discussion of outcomes of the course.
  • The collective exhibition of the work produced.

  • Materials:   35mm photographic camera, two rolls of any blank & white 100iso film, 24 or 36 exposures. One photo paper envelope preferably Ilford multi grade paper 25 sheets, or a fix grade3 size 20 x25 cm, (8x10inch). Chemistry provided by workshop.

The week workshop will start by choosing a theme of work and scouting locations and subjects by exploring our surrounds on the island. Once participants have taken their rolls of films, we will learn how to load film into a processing tank and mix chemicals to develop the films, and explore the realm of possibilities film has.

We will talk about the different black and white films, chemicals and paper available on the market today, which chemicals to choose according to our image expectations.  Infrared, panchromatic etc.

The week will culminate in a final exhibition of the works in the Ionion centre by participants. and sharing our experiences.”Under the red glow of the darkroom, producing the first contact sheets from negatives, the magic begins.”

A seven day program with:

Enrique Verdugo lives and works in London. He was born in Santiago de Chile. His practice combines photography, video and sound. His work explores people and their habitats, the blend of objective and fictional narrative takes a hybrid form in his work. Interested in our ever-changing environment, the aftermath of dystopias inflicting change on people and their landscape. 

In his previous work, Enrique had an experimental approach with these mediums. Part of his photographic work has explored the portrayal of ‘time and motion’ using the human body as a canvas, in his ‘Body and Flux’ series.

His films have been shown at the Edinburgh Alchemy Film Festival, Alcine Festival Spain, Les Inattendus Festival in France, and other festivals and platforms in Europe and the UK. Enrique was shortlisted for the Berindo ‘Hariban Award’ in Kyoto Japan for his black and white photography in 2019. He is currently working on self-publishing projects, as well as producing short documentary films and experimental video works.

Program information

Organizer:  Helios Elemental program is hosted by The Ionion Center for the Arts and connected to the Timeless Light Symposium.

This workshop is for someone interested in the fundamentals of photography, from a perspective which related film and photo chemistry process.

Workshop Dates:

Session 1: July 20th-27th

Session 2: September 20th- 26th

Organiser contact and information: ionionartscenter@gmail.com

Any queries relates to workshop please contact Enrique at baobad@tutanota.com

Location: The Greek Island of Kafelonia and Ithaca.