Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Darkroom Club open to the public

    The Laney Darkroom Club held an opening reception on Feb 7. showcasing the work of photography students and members of the club. From left, Michael Moya, Darrell Lew, Christine Chorney, Earvin Quero, Susan A. Bradley and Ron Parini. Photo by Saskia Hatvany

    By Saskia Hatvany

    Whoever thought film photography was a dying medium would be at odds with the Laney Darkroom Club. The club held its opening reception and exhibition Feb. 7, showcasing the work of Laney photography students and other members of the club.

    The exhibit boasts a collection of different photography styles focused on various subjects. Some of the photographs were digitally produced, others created in the darkroom, but all are a tribute to black-and-white photography.

    Christine Chorney, a member of the club and student, said she started taking photos as a teenager. She used digital cameras for many years, but in the past 20 years black-and-white film photography has been her favorite medium. “Black and white is more abstract than color, so you see things differently,” Chorney said. She said that the sudden availability of digital photography has led to people taking “too many photos.” “I’m more interested in quality than quantity.”

    Earvin Quero is also a fan of black-and-white film photography. He found the club through a website called “Meetup,” and enjoys sharing his work with the other members and students. “I love the process of the dark room, it’s a handicraft, and it’s one-of-a-kind,” he said.

    Laney’s Photography Department has its own fully functional darkroom, one of the very few in the East Bay, equipped with 18 enlargers and several processing rooms with all of the necessary tools to develop and print black and white film.

    Student Susan A. Bradley is now president of the Darkroom Club. In the past, the darkroom was open to students almost every day, Bradley said, but budget cuts and a lack of awareness around the program led to the facilities being less accessible to students outside of classroom hours.

    Michael Moya, a black-and-white specialist who teaches Laney’s Pro Photography class, said that because the Peralta colleges are part vocational, and darkroom photography an outdated medium, there was little demand for darkroom photography classes. But together, Bradley and Moya created The Laney Darkroom Club in the hopes of making the darkroom more accessible to those who still shoot in film.

    Moya said that part of their goal was to prove that there is interest in film photography, despite beliefs that it has become irrelevant in the digital age.
    The Basic Photography class, which exclusively uses film, started out with an enrollment of 90 students this semester. Although that number has been reduced to 57 in the first three weeks, enrollment has been consistent.

    “The Black-and-white program feeds [the photography] department,” Moya said. And the Laney Darkroom club continues to grow: since it began in fall 2016, it has gained over 60 members.

    The Darkroom Club’s exhibit runs through the end of February.


    Saskia Hatvany is a Tower staff writer.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
    Leave a Comment
    Donate to The Citizen
    $0
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Comments (0)

    All Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *