Black and white photograph showing objects including a lamp, wallet, and camera on a wooden table.

See photographs using a variety of darkroom processes in this exhibit by The Darkroom Group.

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Surrey Art Gallery - 13750 88 Avenue

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This exhibition celebrates alternative and traditional darkroom processes with techniques and media dating from as far back as the 1860s. Methods on display include cyanotypes, carbon transfer, platinum palladium, silver gelatin, and Vandyke brown prints. You'll see a range of striking images produced via the darkroom process, in which an image is developed through exposing certain kinds of chemicals to light. The resulting photographs—of architecture, nature, and still life scenes—are stark, beautiful, and moving.

Although digital photography is widely popular today, the analog techniques on display in Joy of the Photographic Print are still used by both professional artists and amateur photographers around the world. The Darkroom Group, a Lower Mainland-based group of photographers, seeks to celebrate the slower, more labour-intensive methods used to traditionally produce photographic art. Their way of working encourages a more thoughtful approach to both making and looking at images.

Most of the prints in the exhibition were created through the silver gelatin process, a method of photography that dates back to the nineteenth century. Photographers produce silver gelatin, lith, and pinhole prints by exposing a negative of an image, captured by either digital or film photography, onto a paper coated in silver salts. Other related methods like platinum palladium, carbon transfer, and even pinhole photography are also on display in the exhibition.

The images are a testament to the patience and acumen of each photographer. But they are also a snapshot of a certain time and place, calling for a moment of reflection amidst the business of everyday life.

Origin of Exhibition: The Darkroom Group