Volunteer Spotlight: Cameron Blaylock

1. Whats your favorite camera & why? 

Mamiya 7. It produces large, sharp negatives but handles like a 35mm rangefinder. 

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

Since moving to New York, I’ve taken a lot of photos that engage the evolving built environment. For example, I just finished a series where I shot all the atrocious new developments that have popped up all over Brooklyn in the past 5 years, and a few years ago I photographed all the Caribbean small businesses and restaurants along Nostrand Ave that are at risk of disappearing due to rising rent prices in Crown Heights. I’m also really interested in the unexpected and abstracted which is why I prefer working with film over digital. I fluctuate between taking "well-composed" photos about serious subject matter and being a naive and deskilled photographer.

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

In terms of a shoot that would require a connection, maybe getting to shoot Obama with a large format camera for the New Yorker? 

4. Whats the longest you've spent on a project/most in depth you've gone?

I’m working on an ongoing project that started about a year and a half ago.  

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

5 years

Volunteer Spotlight: Whitney Evanson

1. Whats your favorite camera & why? 

My favorite camera right now is my Mamiya 645j. This was the last camera that I bought for myself, and I used it for my photo series on time/memory/decay. It was my friend, Monica's beloved camera for years and she was upgrading and sold it to me. I have grown very attached to this camera over the past couple of years, and I have taken some of my favorite photos with it. Using the Mamiya for my photo project really connected to my camera as more of an extension of my creative process and of my passion for being behind the lens. 

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

I would describe myself (as a photographer): as a nature, conceptual, and primarily black and white photographer. Playing with long exposures, and double exposures to give the photo a warped sense of time and space is something that I have always been drawn to when conceptualizing an image, or series. I love using expired film and experimenting with strange light leaks, and film anomalies. I have always fancied toy cameras and their ability to give you an unpredictable image result. I do not want totally clear and crisp photographs, I want the subject(s) of the image to draw the viewer in, and to invent or wonder over what exactly the image is representing or symbolizing. I am also an avid Polaroid film user. I have a decent collection of cameras, most of which I can still buy film and use.  Ritual and cult magic are things that often make their way into my images, or are the inspiration behind an image. The themes I work closeley with are always invoking: my southern gothic roots, anarcha-feminism, and social justice.  I also have an interest in using my degree to use photography as a medium for social justice work, and working with incarcerated youth. I am a strictly analog photographer, and love to explore and use different types of medium and large format cameras. My style is is definitely heavily influenced by antique photographs, conceptual artists, folklore and magic, and perceptions of memory, time, and space. 

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

My dream photo shoot would be to meet, interview, and photograph James Turrell and his life's work the "Roden Crater". James Turrell is one of my favorite living artists, and as a photographer I am always looking for the light, his entire medium as an artist is light. It is incredibly inspiring to see his work, and it would be such an honor to meet him and see his work, while he also shows and describes his project to me. Considering his project is based on sunlight, moonlight, and the patterns of the constellations at various times of the year, this project would/could take several visits throughout the year, and that would not only be challenging, but would be truly incredible to experience. 

4. Whats the longest you've spent on a project/most in depth you've gone?

The longest project to date, is my project on: memory, time, and decay. Conceptually, I had been building up to this project for most of my undergraduate career. I used photography as a medium every quarter that I was getting my degree, and I was also a philosophy student, so my influences and inspirations derived from my studies as well as my environmental surroundings. My school was on 5 acres of forest, and I was living the Pacific Northwest, so I had a multitude of textures, natural beauty, and the constant cloud cover to create darker and more emotionally moody tones in my photographs. I would set up my shoot using the same 3-6 objects, and I would move their placement or interchange their layout and take long exposures. The objects in use were of deep spiritual, ritual, natural, and feminist value to me, personally. I would use a light meter, timer/stopwatch, tripod, and shutter release cable to achieve the effects in each photo. Some photographs were just long exposures with specific objects taken out at a certain time during the exposure, and other photographs were both long and double exposures. The goal was to create a series which represented slight variations of objects 'ghosted' by being taken out half-way, or at a specific time through the long exposure. Without going on for pages, the project was based around Roland Barthes 'Camera Lucida' and the concept of experience, memory, emotion, subjectivity, and a 'history of looking'. This project was only the beginning for my research and in-depth connection of the mind-body-experience of capturing memories in time on analog film. My goal this year is to use an alternative process and create larger prints for my series in connection with my thesis for my MALS degree in Law & Society.

“The photograph is literally an emanation of the referent. From a real body, which was there, proceed radiations which ultimately touch me, who am here; the duration of the transmission is insignificant; the photograph of the missing being, as Sontag says, will touch me like the delayed rays of a star.” - Roland Barthes

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

I have been living in NYC for one year, and I have been in Bushwick for almost one year, as of September 1st! I love this community, and I am looking forward to getting to know it better through volunteering at BCD. 

Ilford FP4 125, medium format film images

Printed on: Ilford Warm Tone Multigrade Fiber Paper, Semi-Matte

I photographed, hand developed, and printed each piece myself.

The images attached are digital scans of each piece. 

I chose this paper for this project, specifically, as it is akin to the nature of the project iself, and gave the warm, antiqued effect of the memory, time, and space created with each set of objects and their appearance in the photographs. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Mei Levenson

1. What's your favorite camera & why? 

Olympus XA, it's tiny and great for a camera that you can always have on hand. 

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

Urban still life and landscape.

3. What's your dream photo shoot?

I'd like to drive across the country.

4. What's the longest you've spent on a project/most in depth you've gone?

Last winter, I took a photo a day of the building across the street of my office for a month. It was mundane and creepy in a Rear Window kind of way.

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

1.5 years in New York.

Member Spotlight: Caleb Savage!

I've been with the Darkroom since January 2012, fixing things and making messes. www.calebsavagephoto.com

1. Whats your favorite camera & why? 

I've got a lot of favorite cameras, but I really love my Bronica SQ. It's like a Japanese Hasselblad. I also love shooting with my 4x5 Crown Graphic.

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

I'm a documentarian and storyteller, my work (at least in an ideal sense) explores historical narratives at a slow pace. My biggest inspiration is Bernd & Hilla Becher's work.

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

My dream photo shoot would be either a cross country road trip to Alaska or an Appalachian Trail thru-hike.

4. Whats the longest you've spent on a project/most in depth you've gone?

I've been working on a project about Northeastern Pennsylvania's coal mining region since 2012. I haven't been shooting as much as I'd like to lately, but am hoping to get back out there this fall. 

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

It's about to be 5 years - time flew!

Volunteer Spotlight: Alex Shemonski

1. Whats your favorite camera & why? 

Nikon FM2n since it's my first camera and the one I learned to shoot on.  Recently I've been shooting a lot with some nice point and shoots.

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

Not sure. Usually just shoot what catches my eye. I really like William Eggleston, though

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

Cross country trip stopping through small towns

4. Whats the longest you've spent on a project/most in depth you've gone?

Haven't started many projects : )

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

A little over a year.

Member Spotlight: Keith Marlowe

Photographs by Keith Marlow: A Retrospective

The Bushwick Community Darkroom is proud to present and exhibition of photographs by Keith Marlowe. With an opening reception on August 5, 2016 from 7-10pm the show will be on display through August 18, 2016. We hope you can fine time to stop by. In response to requests for a bio/show summary we received the following statement:

"Keith says: I fell in love with photography in middle school, kept studying it in high school and college, and have worked in many darkrooms and labs since then. Over the last 25 years I’ve shot for Life, Spin, Volcom, Vice, and many other magazines and publishers.  Shooting has taken me around the world, introduced me to fascinating people, and allowed me many special opportunities.  I’m very grateful for the role it has played in my life, and that it has led me to the Bushwick Community Darkroom, where I know we are the laying the foundation for something important that will touch many people’s lives.  But most of all, photography has allowed me to pursue my ultimate dream, which is standing in a room with no light breathing chemicals."

1. Whats your favorite camera & why? 

I love Fuji 6x9s, Fuji TX-1, Nikon n90s, and old Ricohs.

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

Garry Winograd with a concussion

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

taking pictures in a nightmare

4. Whats the longest you've spent on a project/most in depth you've gone?

long enough that i can’t remember anymore

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

13 years

Volunteer Spotlight: Lucas Andahl

1. Whats your favorite camera and why?

My favorite camera would have to be my Rolleiflex. I am a pretty tall guy so the perspective I get from using the waste level finder is usually what I am looking for. Also the lens on the camera shoots beautifully.

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

I’m not sure what kind of photographer I would describe myself as, I shoot a lot of street photography but I also have spent time on a variety of miscellaneous projects. 

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

I enjoy exploring new places and learning about an area through my lens. There are peculiarities in the most mundane places, so any place I haven’t experienced yet would be a dream photo shoot. 

4. Whats the longest you’ve spent on a project/most in depth you’ve gone?

The longest I have ever spent on a project would probably be the past year of just having my camera on me at all times to photograph all the quirks of New York City.

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

I have been in New York for about a year now and lived in Bushwick for the majority of it.

Volunteer Spotlight: Eddie Chu

1. Whats your favorite camera & why? 

Hasselblad 500C/M - have used it for the longest time, and it has served me well. All-around great medium format system that is extremely portable and precise.

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

Abstract/personal/portrait.

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

4x5 landscape and portrait shoot in Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

4. Whats the longest you've spent on a project/most in depth you've gone?

Have been shooting portraits of family for a few years (images attached).

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

Two years in Bushwick. Nine years in New York.

Member Spotlight: Frederico Rojas-Lavado

1. Whats your favorite camera & why?

my favs are the ones i can use on hand. right now they are the Yashica t4 & Nikon t35

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

street/portrait cultural documentarian

 

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

having a mobile studio setup al la Avedon (midwest project) using a simple white backdrop / flash & natural lighting/ subject would be random people from the chosen neighborhood (traveling project) 

4. Whats the longest you've spent on a project/most in depth you've gone?

working on that now, its a project called For All That We Know.

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

30+years

My web site is 

www.fatik.space

I also do a internet radio show thats archived here:

www.mixcloud.com/ferola1ton/

Volunteer Spotlight: Dana Melaver

1. Whats your favorite camera & why?

I will always hold a dear place in my heart for my Canon AE-1. It was my first (real) camera! That said, I absolutely love disposable cameras. Specifically the fujifilm ones.

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

Always exploring! But mostly I tread the line between fine art and lifestyle.

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

Aside from a boudoir w/ Michael Fassbender? Honestly, I'd love to do some conflict photography. Most likely in the Gaza strip. Growing up in the Middle East, this is a topic that is on the one side really interesting to me, and on the other not explored enough. Did I mention ~*~AlWaYs ExPlOrInG~*~?

4. Whats the longest you’ve spent on a project/most in depth you’ve gone?

For a year and a half or so I've been collecting images for what I call "flash grenade". It's a surprise shot from my disposable, usually when the subject is in a vulnerable situation - intoxicated, in the middle of a personal story. The ultimate result is the opposite of the majority of photgraphs we see today - there's this rawness, which I absolutely adore. In addition, because the subject and I are in a comfortable setting or relationship, there is zero judgement in the photo - even love - despite the absurdity of the result.

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

I moved to the hood from Israel in late August/early September 2014.

Member Spotlight: Sam Margevicius

Sam has actually been a member of the darkroom longer than anyone else. He joined back when we were in the basement and has stuck it out through thick and thin. Even when I destroyed 12 rolls of his film 4 years ago he kept talking to me for some reason. Nobody's really quite sure why but I sure am glad. He didn't answer any of the questions but I guess that's allowed because he's special. He's one of our semi-formal board members and contributed greatly to raising funds for our RocketHub campaign last year. It's pretty safe to say he's been pretty vital to the life and growth of the darkroom <3

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Jeremiah Stilson

1. Whats your favorite camera & why? 

My cliche answer is whichever one I currently have.. but I love shooting with my swing lens Horizont, a 60s era Soviet 35mm panoramic camera.  It is built like a tank and incredibly fun and easy to shoot - and the images are great!

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?  

I love to shoot a bit of everything..I am very journalistic/documentarian at times, but I enjoy working in the studio and using the empty space to create.  I'm usually motivated by strong light situations.  First and foremost I respond to interesting light.  

3. Whats your dream photo shoot? 

I'm a big science fan, so I'd probably say Chief Photographer for a Jupiter Fly By / Study of the Galilean Moons.  Going to Space would be absolutely amazing, and the idea of being the first person to not only see something that awesome, but to photograph it - that has to be pretty cool. 

4. Whats the longest you’ve spent on a project/most in depth you’ve gone? 

I've been working on a few projects for several years now.. part of it may be the complexity of a project..part of that is just the inability to decide when something is done.  I think each project is different - some may have open ended time frames, others are constrained by a few days or even a few hours.  I'm constantly on the hunt for new/better photo projects :)

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York? 

January 1, 2016.  First year in NYC :)

Member Spotlight: Laurent Chevalier

1. Whats your favorite camera & why?

My newfound addition to the family, my Leica M4-P. It just feels right. 

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

My work falls primarily in the genres of Street/Documentary and Portraiture. But my main focus is capturing life. 

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

I can't say that I have any dream photo shoots, but I would love to be able to capture a musical concert tour. Some of those great behind the scenes moments of that life seem very interesting. 

4. Whats the longest you’ve spent on a project/most in depth you’ve gone?

Ive been working on a collection of street photographs of African Americans, displaying candid moments in their lives, and thats going on about 1 year. 

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

Brooklyn since 2007. I'm getting up there. 

Laurent deserves a special shout out for being one of our longest consistent members, he's been with us since almost the beginning. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Stephanie Gonzales

1. Whats your favorite camera & why? 

My favorite camera is my Canon Ae-1. It's small and I can just throw it over my shoulder and be on my way. It goes everywhere with me! 

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

I like to bring my camera with me anytime I go out, so I shoot a lot of street photography. You'll mostly find images of people and dogs in my photos.

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

I've been dreaming about taking a nice long road trip around America and shooting lots of sunsets, old buildings and strange people I meet along the way. 

4. Whats the longest you’ve spent on a project/most in depth you’ve gone?

When I moved to Brooklyn from Las Vegas, everything felt a bit overwhelming so I would go to Coney Island a lot to relax. I'd go lay on the beach and swim or wander around Luna Park with my camera in hand. It became a habit and I still go very often these days, even in the winter. I've been shooting around there for almost three years now and I've seen so much change. Even after all this time, Coney is still my favorite place to shoot in New York. 

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

I've lived in Brooklyn since 2013.

Member Spotlight: Maria Jose Garcia

1. Whats your favorite camera & why?  Nikon fm 35mm, my first camera ever

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?  Between documentary and autobiographical

3. Whats your dream photo shoot? Anywhere In Mexico on Sunday market day!

4. Whats the longest you’ve spent on a project/most in depth you’ve gone?  Two years and counting...

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?  A year and 5 months

Volunteer Spotlight: Vida Lercari

1. What's your favorite camera and why?

Its a really tough choice but I would have to say the Pentax k1000 is my favorite. That camera and I have been through many adventures together.  

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

I'm still trying to figure out what kind of photographer I am. I suppose if I had to label myself, I would say lifestyle. I capture the details that strike me. 

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

My dream photo shoot would probably be me inside an invisiblity cloak, so that I could photograph people as closely as I wanted without them noticing. That sounds creepy but I mean it in the most genuine way. 

4. Whats the longest you’ve spent on a project/most in depth you’ve gone?

The most in depth I've gone on a project was actually a short documentary I made during a recent trip to Cuba. I had to put it together in a short period of time. This was my first time editing video in this way, so there was about a week where collectively I got 5 hours of sleep trying to perfect it. 

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

Born and raised in NYC ;----)

Member Spotlight: Coleman Downing

1. Whats your favorite camera & why?

I have too many cameras. It's a bit of a problem! But my Yashica T2 never disappoints. It's super reliable, It has great Zeiss glass, and all you have to do is point and shoot and it delivers great negatives every time. I also really like my Voigtlander with a 50mm Leica Summicron, and my trusty old Pentax K1000.

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

I usually just say "photographer" and leave it at that. I've never really been able to find a label that describes what I do accurately. I shoot a mix of casual, everyday, "street" photography, and what one could describe as abstract photography. I've also been recently dabbling in fashion-y editorial style photography.

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

I would love to be able to fly very slowly over various mountain ranges and capture the landscape on large format film. Ideally, those large format Polaroid negatives, if they still existed. It would be a continuation of a series I did called Sangre.

4. Whats the longest you’ve spent on a project/most in depth you’ve gone?

I don't normally shoot project based work, but I have an on-going project of a series of life size prints of blank subway ads that I've been working on for about a year.

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

I moved from Chicago straight to Bushwick in May of 2009.

Member Spotlight: Jackie Neale

1. Whats your favorite camera & why?

Currently, when shooting film, I grab my Minolta x-700 - I love the clarity of my old lenses and it feels like an additional appendage, because I have had it since I was 19. It's like my right arm. Digitally, the Nikon D800 is a favorite and p&s my iPhone 5s (won't be upgrading for a while, because I love the cam!)

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

I'm an Editorial and Fine Art Photographer and my work can be described as Film Noir Portrait Reportage.

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

Touring and shooting with any one of my favorite bands. Or a year long residency at Steve Albini's recording studio.

4. Whats the longest you’ve spent on a project/most in depth you’ve gone?

Most of my fine-art projects take 2-5 years. #SubwasySeries started in 2012 and continues to present day. Third Facet of Happiness (film) began in 2014-present. Ocean City Field Survey (film) began in 2013-2015. Commercial shoot-wise the longest project, The Artist Project,  has run a year and a half of 105 portrait shoots.

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

I've lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for 17 years (with a brief interlude), and New York City for 20 years in all.

Member Spotlight: Chris Randall

1.    What first drew you to photography?

When I was a kid we used to go "people watching" . We would drive with no destination and when we found an interesting place wed stop and get food. We would just look at the people around and just observe their interactions. This sparked the desire for me to capture these moments via photography.

2.    What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

Ideally i want the viewer to make a back story in their mind about the subject in the photo. I want to convey the joy, love, fear, confusion in everyday human interaction.

3.    What were the difficulties you encountered first starting shooting?

I am a "street photographer" so just approaching the situation in general was trick at first. Also i started on film then moved to digital and I would take way too many photos and it got boring. So i went back to film and it trained me to be more patient.

4.    Who are some of your favorite photographers, and how have they influenced you?

All the greats!!! Bresson by far would be my number one though. He was an innovator in street photography. And then the lesser known Mark Cohen also an innovator who focused more on the details of hands or belts or not the norm face shots.  They have influenced me greatly to just always have a camera on me.

5.    When you are out shooting—how much of it is instinctual and how much is planned?

100% of my photography is instinctual and unplanned. If I try to look for the perfect shot it just never seems to happen. But if I just go out and let my instincts lead the way then the interesting people just find me.

6.    What are the advantages (and disadvantages) you find of being a member of the darkroom?

There are so many advantages! Its close to home and finally gave me the outlet of being able to print again. The people are all great and fun to be around and its a great place to make a tangible piece of art instead of just looking at a computer screen. I'd choose making a print by hand then a digital print any day. As for disadvantages I don't believe there are any. I just wish I had more time in my life to spend there.

7.    Why do you take photos?

I take photos because if I didn't i would lose my mind. Every one takes photos these day on their phones because they want to. I feel as if i physically need to take photos. It is the one thing that makes me feel at one with myself. As for my street photography i just want to capture moments that are so fleeting and we forget to appreciate. I love taking the time to just enjoy human social behavior rather than always be in a rush and miss these amazing moments.

8.    What are some tips/advice you would give to yourself if you started all over again? 

I would tell my younger self to not even bother with digital first of all! I would also tell myself to slow down when i first started and to take more shots of the same subject in different angles and work the scene. 

Member Spotlight: Niki Polyocan

1. Whats your favorite camera and why?

It's just my Nikon N90 with a 24mm lens. I've been using it forever and its an extension of me and how I work. The wider lens is challenging but beautiful

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style?

I consider myself a street photographer 100% with some leanings towards documentary style portraiture.

3. Whats your dream photo shoot?

A dream, as in the impossible, would be to shoot something thats fascinating and dangerous that no one has seen before and be completely invisible and safe while doing it.

4. Whats the longest you've spent on a project/most in depth you've gone?

I've been returning to Oaxaca, Mexico almost annually since 2002 to shoot the streets there. Over the years I've made connections/friendships with people that give me access to things that a new visitor might otherwise miss.

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

Born and raised.