Back in the old days, darkroom photography was the only game in town, and it was magical. Those blacked-out rooms, the red glow and woozy chemicals created a meditative space with a tactile, hands-on process -- a simple and effective demonstration of the powers of chemistry and physics. Watching that first image slowly appear inside the developer solution was an experience unlike any other.
For all its modern advances and conveniences digital photography lacks that feel and wonder. Digital is an unrivaled tool for teaching and learning photography thanks to the instant feedback, but for many folks it feels clinical and detached. In an age of analytics, sometimes we yearn for the tangible. Traditional film photography, while more labor-intensive, yields images with deep, rich tonality, smoother gradients and more dynamic range than any digital camera available on the market.
For three years, we’ve has been teaching photography classes exclusively in the digital realm, and many of our students have asked when we might be offering some film classes so they can dust off that old Nikon or Minolta and get back to their roots a bit. Well we’re thrilled to say the time is now! Starting this July, we’re partnering up with Bushwick Community Darkroom to offer our brand new Analog series of classes, starting with the 3-hour Crash Course: Darkroom Basics and full day (8 hour) Analog Film Lab , which exposes students not only to the darkroom but also 35mm SLR and film processing techniques. These classes will be hosted at the Bushwick Community Darkroom and feature BKC’s smart, straightforward approach for creative motivation.
This is an exciting expansion for both organizations and we can’t wait to introduce a new generation of shooters to the classic, no-nonsense techniques of film-based photography. We plan to expand our curriculum in the fall and onward to offer a 5-week Comprehensive Darkroom class, as well as 35mm SLR and more to meet all expressed desires, so please continue providing feedback!