Thanks to a generous donation from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a super cool landlord in Gowanus who’s trying to keep the neighborhood arty, the Gowanus Darkroom went from being a distant dream to a reality for Rachel Jun and Jonathan Rodgers. “We just went for it,” Rachel said of the darkroom that opened up in February. And they’re lucky they nabbed this particular place. Darkrooms and photo studios are generally in basements, closets, warehouses, anywhere dark and dank, really. But forget all that when it comes to Gowanus Darkroom. The place is located at the top floor of an industrial building with a massive, wide-open floor plan and impressive natural light flooding in from skylights.
Back in 2011, Lucia Rollow set up a small darkroom in the basement of her Bushwick apartment where she could process black-and-white film. Analogue photography isn’t a cheap undertaking– chemicals, photo paper, equipment, and running water can quickly become expensive. Eventually, she invited in other photographers and film hobbyists she knew around the neighborhood and ended up opening Brooklyn’s only community darkroom.
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