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In focus: our photography facilities

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By studying BA (Hons) Photography, Video and Digital Imaging or MA Visual Practice: Photography at the University of Sunderland, you’ll have access to well-equipped photographic and studio facilities at the Northern Centre of Photography (NCP).

In September 2021, the NCP moved from its location at City Campus to its new home in the David Goldman Technology Centre, over at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus, St Peter’s. The new space includes facilities such as:

  • Black and white dark room and processing room: A well-resourced facility for the production of black and white chemical prints
  • Digital print studio and print finishing area: Equipped with 24” M1 iMacs; Epson A2 and A1 inkjet printers; Imacon film scanners; laser printer; a cutting table; and a large 4k display screen
  • Two large pro studios: Equipped with Bowens digital flash lighting and a range of attachments, as well as high-end tethered shooting with 100mp Phase One XF medium format digital cameras and iMac Pros
  • Pixel lab: A large digital darkroom studio, fitted out with a suite of 24 inch M1 iMacs running Adobe Creative Cloud; flatbed film and print scanners; and large 4k display screen
  • Social/Learning zone and NCP gallery: An open-plan space to meet, study and socialise, with magnetic gallery walls to present work in progress or final outcomes

As well as access to the NCP’s fantastic facilities, you’ll benefit from opportunities for peer sharing and social learning in architect-designed breakout spaces and will also be able to access the Digital Incubator, which aims to support students who may wish to explore freelance work. Plus, the proximity of the NCP’s new home to the mediaHUB and National Glass Centre means you’ll become part of a vibrant creative hub with students from other creative degrees.

A large photography studio in the Northern Centre of Photography

Large Studio

The black and white darkroom in the Northern Centre of Photography

Black and White Darkroom

The black out studio in the Northern Centre of Photography

Blackout Studio

The processing room in the Northern Centre of Photography

Processing Room

The Digital Print Studio in the Northern Centre of Photography

Digital Print Studio

The Pixel Lab in the Northern Centre of Photography, a classroom set up with several desktop Macs

Pixel Lab

The Creative Space Seminar Room in the Northern Centre of Photography

Creative Space Seminar Room

Creative industry links

As well as our excellent facilities, we also host the North East Photography Network (NEPN), the region’s professional development agency for photography. Through the NEPN, you’ll be able to meet and learn from many visiting international photographic practitioners. You'll also get opportunities to meet a range of artists and practitioners across the industry through guest speakers and visiting professors. Recent speakers have included: Peter Fryer, Paul Wenham-Clarke, Ida Taavitsainen, Maria Kapajeva Eileen Perrier, Susan Derges, Crystel Lebas, Malcolm Dixon, Shahidul Alam and Kuba Ryniewicz.

Student perspective

Photography graduate, Iam Burn, studied both his undergraduate and masters degree at the University of Sunderland. Here, he explains how he found the facilities at the NCP's previous City Campus location:

“In the early part of my degree, I was given access to darkroom facilities for both black and white and colour film developing and printing. I was able to use high quality medium format cameras for the first time. This opened up a wide range of creative possibilities for me and allowed me to experiment, helping me to find and develop my creative voice. I still use film within my practice today as a result of this. I was also exposed to alternative printing methods, including cyanotypes – something I still enjoy today.

Having access to studio space and lighting allowed me to stretch my experimentation further. I created a body of work titled “Six of the best”, which featured in the National Portrait Gallery’s “Picture the Poet” project. I would have not attempted this work prior to my time at the University of Sunderland.

Having access to the Digital Darkroom certainly helped my studies. Being able to use high quality printers, professional film scanners and Apple Macs with the latest Adobe software allowed me to test out ideas, marry up my interest in film photography with digital output and print on a wide range of media to understand which worked best for specific pieces of work. These facilities would have been prohibitively expensive for me to fund personally.

The photography facilities at the University of Sunderland definitely played a positive and significant role in both my studies and my photographic practice.”

Learn more

To find out more about our photography courses, check out our course pages:

Or join us at our next Open Day.

Published: 7 March 2022