Photos: Analog Film Lab

Had a great day shooting, processing film and making prints during our all-day Analog Film Lab (@ the Bushwick Community Darkroom) this Wednesday.  After a 45 minute shoot in the neighborhood, we learned to load film onto reels, something that requires a bit of practice because you have to perform this maneuver in total darkness.

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Throughout the 8 hour class, we go through the whole darkroom process step-by-step, taking our time to make old school silver print enlargements and getting a feel for the hands-on process.  Some stuff is pretty toxic, like these C-41 processing chemicals which must be handled with gloves in a well-ventilated space.  Luckily we used black and white film, so the chemistry is a lot easier to deal with.

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Darkrooms are evocative places.  The constant sound of running water, and the dim lights and memorable smells are actually pretty hypnotic when you spend a long period of time there.  It's a pretty decent alternative to binge-watching on Netflix, so you've also got that going for you.

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Justin and Kelsey did a bang-up job at the manual 35mm capture stage... nailing the exposure on almost every frame (without the help of a LCD screen) which provided a lot of options for printing.  The 45 minute challenge really forces you to focus on specific ideas or elements, and the simplified film bodies encourage a slower, more measured approach.  They nailed it, making it much easier for them at the printing stage.  Some pretty spot-on work... see for yourself!

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Also, the vertical print washer has the best bubble patterns...

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Prints on the dryer -- shot, processed and enlarged in a single day.

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This is Kelsey, a nurse from Texas, with her favorite print of from today's class. 

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And this is Justin, a cinematographer also from Texas, with his.

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You can become a member at the Bushwick Community Darkroom or rent darkroom time at only $12.00 per hour.   They can do your film processing and contact printing for you too, but maybe you rather learn to do your own.   Sign up for the next Analog Film Lab by clicking here.