Phytography on Film with Karel Doing [Online] - July 2021

Saturday, July 3, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Follow-up sessions:
Wednesday, July 7th, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM and Saturday, July 10, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

A virtual, hands-on workshop co-sponsored by The Interbay Cinema Society Educational Initiative and Northwest Film Forum.

Sliding scale. Please pay what you are able to support the work and make the workshop accessible to all. 

Instructor: Karel Doing


***This workshop and the waitlist are full – please sign up for our newsletter for updates on future workshops.***

Explore the rich possibilities of phytography with Oxford, UK-based inventor, theorist and filmmaker Karel Doing!

Co-sponsored by The Interbay Cinema Society’s educational initiative and Northwest Film Forum.

This workshop, offered for a second time from the ICS Educational Initiative, is open to all regardless of experience. In the workshop, you will learn how to use safe development chemicals, plants, and sunlight to create 16mm film prints of the plants you use.
*Youth are welcome to join with adult support due to the chemicals and detailed process involved.

After the workshop, once your frames have been developed, collect and send them to ICS for digitization in Seattle. Instructions will be provided in the workshop. If you need financial support for shipping costs, contact

Required materials:

Provided in a kit, mailed to you or available for pickup at NWFF:

  • 16mm B&W raw stock, about 20 feet
  • ¼–½ cup of Vitamin C powder (yes, that is an Amazon link – but source locally if possible!)
  • ½ cup of Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer is widely available through Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, and others – source locally if possible)
  • 1 cup of fix for B&W film

Required, but you source them:

  • Plants! Look around your yard, neighborhood or local park, considering how small the 16mm frame is as you search. You can work frame by frame or opt for larger swaths of shape and texture. Some Pacific Northwest plants to consider: fern, moss, catmint, raspberry leaves, stinky bob, flowering currant leaves, bleeding heart leaves, native geranium leaves, thyme, oregano, veronica, hydrangea leaves, oxalis, honeysuckle, and/or violet. You are looking for interesting shapes, edging and veining, all of which will show up on film.
  • A safe place to put your 16mm plant encrusted frames outside for a few minutes to a ½ hour of daylight

Other helpful materials:
**We realize finding trays and these other materials can be challenging for some or an added cost. NWFF will have a couple kits of the materials below, available for checkout from NWFF for those who are local and not able to source their own. If you need help finding materials, or would like recommendations and ideas, please email

  • 2 rubber trays or bins for soaking plants in “developer” solution and for fixing film (Note: the fixer tray should not be something you use for food. The developer tray can be an 8″ x 8″ baking dish; the fixer tray could be an old plastic ice chest)
  • A 1 liter (or larger) plastic pitcher for mixing “developer”
  • Rubber gloves
  • A long-handled spoon
  • A measuring spoon (1 tbsp.)
  • Scissors and/or clippers
  • A board to lay your film on (suggested: 4′ long x 6″ wide x 1″ deep)
  • A piece or pieces of glass or clear plastic to hold plants onto film while the image develops (This can be anything; glass baking dishes, old window glass, or clear plastic cutting boards)

Learn more about the theory behind Karel's work in this essay – Phytograms: Rebuilding Human–Plant Affiliations

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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