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Developing Film with Plants w/ BEATRICE THORNTON

June 11, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 4:30 pm

$60.00 – $72.00

Experience the world around you in a different light…

…and learn how to develop film sustainably without traditional darkroom chemistry. In this workshop, participants will take photos with black-and-white film, learn about local native and invasive plants, and develop film with low-toxicity, homemade, plant-based chemistry.

The workshop will be composed of three parts:

1. An introduction to process: the instructor will give a brief presentation of her work and experiments with sustainable developers

2. Photo walk and foraging for plants to use in developers: wandering individually or as a group around the grounds of OHCA or down the street in Cascade Canyon.

3. Darkroom: making developers and developing the film.

No prior darkroom experience is necessary, but please inform the instructor if you do have any experience with film developing. Participants are also welcome to bring their own 35mm or 120 cameras and developing tanks. A selection of cameras, film, and all other necessary materials will be provided.

The instructor will also offer to perform any tasks for participants — aside from actually taking the pictures. These include loading film in cameras, loading film in tanks, and mixing chemistry. The instructor will offer to scan film afterwards if this is desired. If film is dry by the end of the workshop, this can be done quickly, or participants can pick up film and scans will be emailed at a later date.

A selection of pre-brewed plants will be available should anyone want to use these for developers. Chemicals used for developing, stopping, and fixing include: washing soda, Vitamin-C, steeped plants, water, and EcoPro Fixer. All chemicals will be disposed of safely by the instructor.


$72 or $60 OHCA member

Materials fee $20 paid to instructor day of workshop

Attendance Limit: 8

Register by Friday June 9, 2:00 pm

About the instructor: 

Beatrice Thornton is an Oakland-based artist who grew up in Mill Valley. She works primarily in black-and-white film photography through the lens of bioregionalism, engaging in awareness of our role as humans in our environments. Since returning to her home state from New York in 2018, she has been building an art practice centered around sustainable analog photographic processes.

Beatrice develops film and prints in her home darkroom, creating developer recipes and using ingredients that include foraged plants, rainwater, and low-toxicity household ingredients in place of traditional darkroom chemicals. Her evolving photographic style mainly depicts her local landscape, often through in-camera double exposures. She frequently pairs developers with plants featured in or that grow within the landscape pictured.

Beatrice sees developing with plants as a circular process where the art she produces is as much about process as it is the final objects. Her work is a continuous practice of learning about photography and about native and invasive plants.

Image of Beatrice Thornton at Sea Ranch


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June 11, 2023
12:00 pm - 4:30 pm
$60.00 – $72.00
Event Category:


OHCA Staff
(415) 388-4331


Beatrice Thornton
OHCA Member Price
Regular Price
Materials Fee
$20, paid to instructor