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From Darkroom to Daylight


From Darkroom to Daylight by Harvey Wang

March 25, 2016

Photographer Harvey Wang started taking pictures as a teenager but, as his career progressed, the traditional tools of photography became nearly obsolete with the transition of film to digital. Wang documents this dramatic journey in the new film From Darkroom to Daylight, which explores how noted photographers have navigated the change and how it has affected their work. Wang will visit Westphal on Wednesday, April 13 for a 6:00pm screening of the film followed by Q&A in the URBN Annex Screening Room (3401 Filbert Street).  Wang has published six books of photography and has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of the City of New York, the New-York Historical Society and the Smithsonian Museum of American History, among others. His films have screened at festivals all over the world, and his film about photographer Milton Rogovin won a Best Documentary award at the Tribeca Film Festival. This event is being co-presented with the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. 

From Darkroom to Daylight features interviews with more than 40 important photographers and prominent figures in the field, including Jerome Liebling, George Tice, David Goldblatt, Sally Mann 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. 

Wang will sign copies of the film’s recently published companion book, which American Photo has called “One of the 10 Best New Photography Books of Summer 2015.”

“The transition from analogue to digital is something that’s been going on for close to 30 years,” said Drexel Photography professor and Guggenheim fellow, Stuart Rome, who arranged Wang’s campus visit.  “But the tipping point came about 8 or 9 years ago — the writing was on the wall — when the industry really moved away from analogue. Since then there has been a lot of back and forth in the industry.”

According to Rome, “This movie describes the arc of that movement and why some people gave film up and why some came back to it. It is a very interesting and entertaining description of that process. Featuring only very well known, international artists, it also offers intriguing insight into their working processes.”

“At Drexel, we are atypical in that we still have wet darkrooms and use film as well as digital capture,” he adds.

The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PPAC) is devoted to the study, practice and appreciation of photography in the Philadelphia region. They offer classes and workshops, exhibitions, lectures, and affordable access to high-end equipment and services. Sarah Stolfa, a Drexel photo alum, is the founder and executive director of the PPAC. You can learn more about the organization here.

For more information about the free-to-the-public talk, please contact Stuart Rome at