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Laura Allen

Technical Specialist

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Photography Technical Staff


Technical Specialist managing a team within the photography resource in the School of Art and Design.

Design and implementation of workshops, departmental and workshop health and safety, equipment maintenance and housekeeping as well as purchasing and finances.

Working on a one to one basis with students and staff as well as group sessions for teaching. These sessions include:

  • Darkroom specialisms from introductions within the medium (hand printing and film processing) to lesser known historical processes.
  • Camera use, all formats and media (digital and film) Large format a specialism
  • Adobe Creative Suite and various digital medias for output
  • Studio lighting

Courses taught:

Primarily BA MA Photography as well as Graphics and Fine Art (Inductions and technical instruction)

Career overview

Laura has previously worked in further education as a multimedia technician. Supporting staff and students in digital capture and output and gained a surmountable wealth of experience from the very beginnings of multimedia application and large format printing. Prior to this, at a camera retailer, it introduced the first interactions of experience using the latest technologies of image capture and gave a solid foundation for the job role to follow whilst maintaining the traditional aspects of darkroom photography of film capture and printing.

Research areas

2018 – present

Accumulative research of older lesser known processes, Gum oil printing. Very little is known of its origins and with investigative research of method and output that will environmentally clean and workable. Less chemical waste and safe use a priority.

2016 – present

Restoration of a Hunter Penrose Print Process camera. The camera is to be restored with the aim to produce unique one of a kind 11x14” images, using traditional Monochromatic fibre based paper resulting with a negative image and a chemical process to finalise a positive photograph.

Completed MA in Photography at NTU in 2012.

Both Mono no aware ( and the poems of Lucretius brought insight into what is perceived as a simple observation from a seed sown to the larger structures and forms that the natural world creates. Recording that fascination and observation with a camera to discover more of the beauty and transformations from the images recorded onto film via the apparatus to the darkroom. Every process changing and unpredictable, very much like nature itself. Amounting to a large archive of work documenting cycles of life from seed to decay.

Choosing to photograph in a studio space with a traditional film plate camera. This process resulted in methodical image capture that is conducive to reflective thinking as it slows down and allows meditation on nature and its forms and function. There is time to seek out connections and explore microscopic worlds. The resulting photographs allow us to engage in questioning, exploring and sharing an intimate hidden world made available by mechanical means.

Laura documented a research project and had an image featured in Vogue Italia as part of the Polimoda: Fashion Design School International, hosting Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes: (IFFTI) 2015 conference – Momenting the Momento in Florence, Italy

Part of this research documentation was exhibited at the Nottingham Contemporary as a one day event.

In 2018 Laura took part in a group collective exhibition of art and mixed media at Greniers a Sel, Honfluer, France. The exhibition included previous Masters degree work as well as personal still life images.