I think one of the most rewarding parts of film is that you never know how it's going to turn out. With digital you can take the pictures as many times as you want to, to get the results you want. When shooting with film though you don't know what a picture is going to be until after you shoot the whole roll and then develop and print it. It's a learning process that I feel is very rewarding because sometimes you make something that is even cooler than what you intended.
- Kylar Ray
August 31st, 2018 was the Cedar Ridge Darkroom's second film photography show. The theme was "Summer Expressions" and we collected our best photos that we took over the summer and presented them in the Skylight Gallery.
A few days before the 31st, we began the hanging of the show. This involved each student photographer writing an artist statement (as shown in the previous blog post) and hanging up their photos.
The passion I feel for educating students in media literacy starts from my own background. I do not see how students can remain responsible storytellers without the benefit of comprehending the rudiments of our trade. To hold a negative in your site, to experience the importance of a single frame can not be underestimated in the context of student understanding and on to becoming responsible digital creators.
I started working with film this summer with Bill, both shooting and printing. I enjoy the unique and subtle and sometimes scientific process of film, and I’m interested in portraying human emotion in my work.
Thane Holiday: Creative expression comes in many forms, and the fruits of these expressions will live on long after any of us.
I have been in the darkroom club since last December, and I have participated in two shows. I really enjoy the hands on experience of working with film, and I also enjoy the photography aspect. It is very primitive but intensely gratifying to shoot a photo of your own and then develop it yourself in the dark, and with the smell of chemicals permeating through the space.
The theme of my images is people in nature. As my mother pointed out, there are no straight lines in nature or the human form, which unifies these two themes. These straight lines are attributed to technology and infrastructure, and the lack of lines in my images show a deep connection between man and nature. Despite all of this new technology, I believe there is a resurrection of this ancient relationship in the modern day, in some respects. This summer as part of the Darkroom Pilot Program, I further developed my film photography skills. I learned more about how to shoot an image and learned how to prepare chemicals for printing in the darkroom. When I participated in the film shoot at Bill’s house, the experience was so peaceful and meditative. The one thing I love most about darkroom photography is being with everyone in a group shoot and taking pictures of each other out in nature.
I began working in the darkroom two years ago at the Carrboro Arts Center. I was immediately captivated by the processing and developing of film and the hands on experience and understanding I gained as opposed to when working with digital photography. Over the summer, I have gathered a collection of shots to express my adventures. Themes of transportation, shadows, light, and reflection, are all shown in my work for this show, and open up how I see the world.
I really prefer the candid look of my photos of people because it seems to capture their true essence. An unplanned photo reveals so much more about a person rather than a planned, model-like shot.
Making photographs are one part identification of the subject at hand, one part commitment of the time it takes for the subject to present itself, one part mastery of the technology being used, and one part luck: to be able to close the shutter at THE precise instant. When it all works, great images result.
Summer Expressions: Film Photography Exhibition
Friday, August 31st, 6-9PM at The Skylight Gallery
Friday, Aug. 31st, 6-9PM ⬤ 102 West King St, (above Antonia’s)
Film Photography ⬤ Refreshments ⬤ Special Screening
As a part of Last Fridays the Skylight Gallery will be hosting the Summer Expressions Art Exhibition featuring student film photography from Cedar Ridge High School’s darkroom program! There will be refreshments as well as a special video program with work from Media Arts Exchange, (MAX) summer camps. We’ll see you there!
The thing I like most about the darkroom program is the satisfaction you get once you have a final product. Each print has so much that goes into it; the image is shot, the negative is developed, than enlarged, tested for exposure, and then finally printed. Each of those steps involves a lot of resources and time, but the final product is your own creative masterpiece. Each time I see the film developing, all that work is worth it. I also love the wonderful kind of people I get to meet in the darkroom program, and I find shooting and printing both very peaceful and meditative.
One of the most interesting things about film photography is that you never know how the photos are going to turn out. At first, this may seem troublesome, however, it trains the photographer to plan out shots an intriguing compositions. The photo above is from a roll of film where the shutter on the camera got jammed open. I thought all my pictures were ruined but after processing and printing I figured out that the pictures turned out pretty cool and are more abstract that traditional photos. I like to think of this photo as a spooky forest that I intended to capture, when in actuality, it's a really cool mistake. What I'm trying to say is that with film photography, you never really know what's going to happen or how it's going to happen. I've learned it's fun to experiment, make mistakes, and go with them.
My name is Hannah Warren and I am a senior at Cedar Ridge High School. In the fall, I will be attending the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Arts and Science to begin working towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Studies.
I have always been interested in all varieties of digital media, such as digital photography and videography. When I was 12 years old, I saved up around $300 to purchase my first “professional” camera, a Nikon D3300 DSLR. Although I love digital photography, the idea of film photography greatly intrigued me, so when the opportunity for me to acquire that skill arose through Mrs. DeGette and the Cedar Ridge darkroom program, I couldn’t pass it up.
For me, the film photography process is so much more involved and creative than anything digital photography could ever offer. Every last step in the extensive process allows the expression of a photographer’s creative style to shine through. As a photographer and an artist, it is incredibly rewarding to spend hours in the darkroom and to emerge with tangible pieces of art that you have specially crafted.
My prints that you see here in today’s exhibit are centered around one central theme: skin. Personally I find that photographing people is much more raw and enticing than still-life objects. Instead of focusing on full body shots or portraits, I became captivated with capturing smaller details of the human body. You’ll notice a strong feature of hands and, as our mentor Bill mentioned to me, this is because “next to the face, the hands are the most expressive part of a person’s body” and I wholeheartedly agree. As I began to explore the concept of skin and all it’s meanings, I expanded my definition of the word. Our skin is defined and individualized by wrinkles and lines and spots and marks. Skin keeps us sheathed and protected. I began to notice the imperfections of skin in other places: along cracks in the road, blemishes on a wooden fence, dew drops on leaves in the morning.
Another thing I enjoyed exploring was the way shadows and lighting could influence the interest of an image. My personal style tends to favor higher contrasted images because I love the look of dark and moody images and the emotions they ignite. Shots of hands, shoulders, wrinkles, marks on the skin, muscles, etc. are much more eye-catching when there is strong use of shadows and contrast in the shot.
I hope you enjoy my exploration and interpretation of the human body and the concept of “skin” through these fragmental images.
- Hannah Warren
Call me old school. Go ahead! It's cool now...For the first time, I experience
the thrill of being old! I grew up with POLAROIDS! I played VINYL and had a
BOOMBOX! (To say nothing of my WALK-WOMAN--which is how we
referred to the precursor to the iPod). So why do students love 80s
technology? Why are they drawn to analog and real (reel) film? In my
estimation, this has to do with what digital media is NOT. Every copy is an
exact reproduction. Every image and sound is just an electronic signal that
can be reduced to a series of zeros and ones! The pilot darkroom program
that I started at our high school has enticed a group of junior and seniors
into a world we thought was lost! The magic and miracle of film! This aha!
moment that accompanies a print coming to light (to life). The organic
chemical reaction of silver and light! What a gift for anyone patient and
curious enough to try their hand and shooting, processing and printing film.
And the culmination is students with a direct line to the past, and a way to
make better sense of our media culture.
- Ms. DeGette
Since I have been busy, I haven't had much time to print and process as much I would like to. But Bill Boyarsky, Ms. Degette, and the other students involved have helped me with every step. When doing the first of everything, I was nervous and scared that I would mess everything up. After practicing and learning from others, I have felt more confident and have been able to create photos of my own which is very special to me.
- Rachel Serre
One thing I've learned in shooting and developing is that contrast can greatly effect the value and sharpness of an image. In my picture to the right, the center of the image is a torn test print so the image with no filter added. You can see how the grays of the cactus are very similar to the grays of the grass and background. When I added a contrast filter, the backs were darkened, the whites were brightened, and it better defined the cactus. The final image is below. This is just one example of the many things I have been experimenting with in the darkroom.
By: Shana Taylor
The Blog is for students to talk about what they've learned in hopes to help future students with any troubles they might have and to document the progress of current students.