This Bushwick photography facility is going large-format.
The Bushwick Community Darkroom, which a group of friends started in an apartment building basement four years ago, is moving into a roomier space that will allow the organization to expand its offerings, equipment, and classes. The darkroom has been operating out of a small, leak-ridden space at the Loom building on Flushing Avenue at Knickerbocker Avenue for the past year, and organizers have rented new digs six blocks away on Troutman Street between Central and Evergreen avenues.
“Before, it was functional, but it was not pretty, and everyone was always bumping into each other,” said volunteer Caleb Savage.
The group has two storage units full of equipment it has never had the room to use, he said.
“It is very exciting to be able to set up all the stuff that we have,” Savage said.
When the analog-philes found the new warehouse location, they put all of their energy into building it out.
The darkroom is set to reopen in early April, and give classes on color film processing and printing in addition to its black-and-white offerings. The arrangement is a big step up from before, when the facility’s color-processing room could only accommodate one person at a time.
Darkroom founder Lucia Rollow got the project going in her basement in 2011 and offered memberships, expecting to draw a small group of the old-school-film faithful. But membership soon ballooned to several dozen shutterbugs who still relish hand-printing photos in a red-lit, fume-filled room.
“People like the tangibility and that you are working with a series of actual objects,” said Rollow. “They can see how their actions have an impact on the outcome of the image.”
Members pay either $75 a month plus a year membership and volunteer commitment, or $115 monthly without a commitment. Members get 24-hour access to all of the darkroom processors and equipment. There is no paid staff and memberships cover the rent.
For more information visit www.bushw