Photograms by Stephen

Friday May 11 | 1840 Danforth Avenue

The darkroom is a magical space. Its Latin origin, “camera obscura” (darkened chamber or room), is based on the natural optical phenomenon of a reflected image or scene when projected through a small hole in a dark surrounding. Experiments with camera obscura effects and the study of light date back to at least the 6th century. Moving forward, this magical space has been the driving force behind photographic art practices since the 1830s.

In this workshop, Stef will share his print-making skills and revisit an old darkroom technique - commonly referred to as a Photogram - by creating a black and white print without the use of a camera or film. He will also guide the participants through the gelatin silver process and demonstrate how to properly setup exposures from a negative to produce exhibition-worthy prints.



Canadian fine art photographer, Stephen (Stef) McNeill, grew up in a small town near Toronto. At the age of 16, he enrolled in a photography course and was required to shoot a roll of black and white film for his first assignment. He borrowed a 35mm camera and fired off the film in his backyard.  Weeks later, the students were given a lesson on the solarisation technique. He was hooked.

To help fuel his passion for photographic art, McNeill moved to Toronto and began his apprenticeship training in the graphics industry as an imaging specialist in 1979. During this time, he branched out to the art’s scene and voluntarily took on photography assignments to gain experience. Throughout his career, McNeill’s had a deep affinity for black and white imagery and print-making. He is one of the few accomplished silver printers still working today. McNeill contributes his work to private collections, exhibitions, publications and educational/charitable institutions.