Film photography is making a big comeback, particularly black and white film photography. The Charleston Center for Photography and Redux Contemporary Art Center have joined to ensure the future art and craft of archival black and white film photography. Together, they offer a program to introduce digital photographers to the mystery and satisfaction of still film photography.
In the age and rage of digital photography The Charleston Center for Photography (CCforP) has begun providing training in film shooting and traditional darkroom techniques, while Redux offers a full darkroom available for rental. And, yes, films and chemicals are still available, despite popular notions.
“Every photographer should add black and white film shooting and darkroom procedure to their knowledge,” said Douglas Carr Cunningham, CCforP photography instructor. “After all, shooting still film laid the groundwork for what we do today in digital photography.” Cunningham reminds us that we love what black and white film photos do – they show us texture, shadow and form, and great emotion not distracted by color. Digital cameras are great for color, he says, but not necessarily for true black and white.
Janie Askew, Redux director, shares Cunningham’s opinion. Askew says photographic art using film is popular in art centers across the U.S. Why not Charleston? Why not, indeed?
One more thing: true black and white photography lasts. It is archival. Many of the first photographs taken more than 185 years ago – those not lost or destroyed – still exist today. Will our digital images still be with us 10, 50, 100 years from now? They are based upon computer electronics, magnetic ones and zeros, electricity. Hard drives and DVDs are not indestructible. Preserved film can be touched and seen with the naked eye.
With the new arrangement Redux and CCforP will teach that the black and white film medium requires work. Shooting film requires imagination and pre-visualization before the shot. Processing the film requires attention to detail. Making the final print results in a sense of accomplishment. There is craft in solving the photo-mystery. There is joy in seeing the printed photo.
Class size is limited at The Charleston Center for Photography. Rental of the Redux darkroom is available to all who are qualified. Train at CCforp. Rent the darkroom at Redux. Redux members and military members get special pricing at CCforP when applying for the black and white class.
For more information contact the Center for Photography at 843-720-3105, or at the website, www.ccforp.org