Short courses


Low-Tech Photography (Summer School Short Course)

  • 30 hours
  • 5 days


This one-week introductory course gives you the opportunity to learn and experiment with photographic techniques and mediums, and darkroom processes.

The emphasis is on using historic photographic technologies for creative exploration and as a way to trigger imagination.

The course runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm each day. You'll also have the option of attending extra-curricular events such as talks and exhibitions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

This course is part of the annual summer school run by the Slade School of Fine Art at UCL.

Course content

You'll create alternative optical devices from scratch and experiment with these fundamental technologies in practical and imaginative ways.

You'll investigate the creative potential of photography: from camera-less techniques to the creation of photosensitive surfaces. 

The course will cover: 

  • darkroom techniques - basic and experimental processes
  • creation of photographic devices
  • photograms, chemigrams and lumigrams
  • salt prints, cyanotypes, dichromate gum prints, anthotypes (chlorophile) and photo emulsions

Who this course is for

The course is suitable for beginners as well as experienced photographers and artists. You don't need any previous experience of photography.


You can request an attendance certificate after completing the course. These can only be supplied during the year you take the course and can't be produced retrospectively.


This one-week course costs £400.

A 10% discount is available for UCL current students and staff. You'll be asked to enter your UPI number (available on your UCL ID card) when booking.

Course fees must be paid in full at the time of booking.

Only basic materials will be provided. Once you've been accepted onto the course you'll be sent details of the materials you'll need.

Slade Summer School

The Slade Summer School offers a unique opportunity for you to work within the studios and vibrant atmosphere of the Slade - a world-renowned school of fine art. 

You'll become part of a wider community of artists and will have a real sense of studying in an art school environment among Slade students and alumni. You'll test your abilities while learning new skills and different approaches to making art.

You can take part in a lively range of extra-curricular activities, including: 

  • art history lectures and artist talks introducing the varied contexts and histories of fine art
  • exhibition openings and talks by Slade undergraduate and postgraduate students about their work
  • a series of artists' projects run by Slade tutors, alumni and recently graduated student residents - you'll be invited into these studio spaces to discuss the works with the artists 

Evening events take place at 5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

Take an extended programme of multiple courses

Many different one, two and three-week courses are available. You can build a personalised programme of study by taking a series of short courses over the ten-week period. 

Please call the Summer School team if you'd like to do this - they have detailed knowledge of the curriculum and can help you plan a programme.

All the Summer School courses available are listed on the Slade website.

Further information

Read more about this and other course on the Slade website, which provides information about booking and cancellations.

Course team

All tutors are practising artists

All tutors are practising artists

Course leader: Alfonso Borragán.

Learner reviews

"Alfonso was enthusiastic and an inspiring course leader. It was a pleasure to participate in this group. I thoroughly enjoyed it."

"I really found the course helpful in motivating me whilst also giving me confidence to develop and experiment with my amateur practice. It was great having the freedom and enthusiastic encouragement to experiment with alternative darkroom practices in an organised group setting."

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:00