On the evening of October 1, I visited the Dallas Center for Photography to attend a screening of Harvey Wang’s film: From Darkroom to Daylight.
From Darkroom to Daylight explores the dramatic change from film to digital and how it has affected photographers and their work. Wang interviewed photographers and prominent figures in the field, including Jerome Liebling, George Tice, Elliott Erwitt, David Goldblatt, Sally Mann, Gregory Crewdson, Susan Meiselas and Eugene Richards, as well as innovators Steven Sasson, who built the first digital camera while at Kodak, and Thomas Knoll, who, along with his brother, created Photoshop.
The film is an homage to film and the darkroom, although with acknowledgement that the era is largely over, at least for professionals. The film is informative, and may be uplifting or depressing depending upon your viewpoint. Clearly digital is the mainstream medium now. The interviews focus on how the transition affected the people interviewed, whether for good or ill, or not at all.
Some of the photographers were nostalgic, some resigned, some enthused, and at least one seemed as if he couldn’t believe he had ever been able to create anything without Photoshop™. It is (as always) a mixed bag, and very subjective.
I recommend the film if you get a chance to see it. Apparently, it is only available in screenings such as the one I attended (with 55 other people). Other than the trailer, it is not on the web, and is not available for download or on dvd.
There is a companion book, which is for sale.
The screening was sponsored by The Dallas Center for Photography and the Texas Photographic Society.