Mountain Makins

The Mobile Darkroom hit the road this last weekend to participate at the Mountain Makins festival in Morristown at the Rose Art Center.

It was a rainy, snowy day, but that did not stop our intrepid photographers! 


The overcast light of the Fall/Winter may mean the camera obscura won't perform optimally until the spring.  However we managed to capture this digital photo of the Rose Center through the magic camera obscura lens. 


The Mobile Darkroom moved inside and began selling photo related merchandise.  Look for us in the future out in the community!



We also demonstrated lumen prints with beautiful Fall ginko leaves


Thank you again to all the Community Darkroom folks and visitors who braved the cold!  Your work is appreciated.


Mobile Darkroom on the Road

This weekend, the Knoxville Community Darkroom visited the UT annual fall Plant Sale. 

For the event, we hauled the Mobile Darkroom/Camera Obscura and set up a booth demonstrating botanical lumen prints with both cuttings from the botanical gardens, and plants purchased from the sale. 

Several youngsters participated in creating lumen prints to take home.  It was a perfect event for this process.


Meanwhile, in the parking lot, KCD board member Donna Moore greeted visitors while using the mobile darkroom to expose pinholes...


There was a treasure of botanical materials to work from in creating lumen prints.  Below you can see prints made from butterfly bush cuttings and hydrangias.  


Joy from the Native Plant Rescue Squad contributed some of her materials, native Yarrow, along with root balls gathered near by at the botanical gardens to create this amazing print. 


Keep up with us on facebook and meetup for upcoming events or classes! 

Have an idea for an event that would be perfect for the mobile darkroom?   Write and let us know!

Mobile Darkroom

The Knoxville Community Darkroom is hitting the road!

Recently, the Community Darkroom was awarded a generous sum from the Bailey Grant through the Knoxville Arts and Cultural Alliance.  The grant allowed us to purchase an enclosed 6' x 10' cargo trailer.  

A large cargo trailer would be useful enough, but purchasing a black box on wheels will be just the beginning.   Photographers may know that the word camera refers to precisely such a box, chamber or room, as in the phrase camera obscura, and the Knoxille Community Darkroom plans to convert this trailer into a camera obscura on wheels in the coming weeks.

In fact, the trailer will not only house a functioning camera obscura, capable of becoming a giant photogaphic camera when sensitized material is placed inside, but the trailer will function itself as a portable darkroom and classroom, allowing the Knoxville Community Darkroom to complete its educational mission through offering workshops and demonstrations not only at our location in Bearden, but anywhere in the community where there is interest.  

We hope to also participate in local events, farmers markets, and festivals.  Look out for us this upcoming First Friday in August parked in front of the Emporium, where we will make our premier.  

Tomorrow, Wednesday July 25th is a scheduled workday.  Come out to help or just check out the new addition to the Knoxville Community Darkroom facilities!

Developing Community

The Knoxville Community Darkroom is, as its name suggests, all about darkroom photography and fostering a creative community in Knoxville.  Our organization would not exist without the support of groups such as A1LabArts, our sister organization, and the Knoxville Arts and Cultural Alliance, as well as the work and focus of individuals.

One of the newer developments in Knoxville's creative community is the Knox Maker's Space, which is a cooperative, peer learning environment with facilities that include, among other things, a wood shop, metal shop, 3D printer, and routers.   Some very exciting opportunities for anyone creative, inventive or curious.

A lot of Knox Makers' focus seems to be dedicated to newer technology.  However, this has not prevented many from taking an interest in the wonderfully low tech art form of pinhole photography.  

Every Tuesday night, Knox Makers Space hosts presentations from its members and from the community about individual projects or upcoming events.   Last Tuesday, KCD board members Donna Headrick Moore and John Allen gave an introduction to pinhole photography in preparation for a pinhole photography workshop being held at Makers Space this weekend.  The class will be taught by Moore, who specializes in pinhole and alternative processes.    

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There were some interesting presentations from makers, ranging from powerful antennae to a home made boat.  

Look for more classes on pinhole photography and other processes in the near future!


In the News

The Knoxville Community Darkroom continues to have several new "developments."  You may have seen us recently on WBIR/ Knoxville Channel 10 during their Live at Four program.

Interviewer Emily Stroud was helpful in giving our young organization valuable press "exposure."   Board member Donna Moore answered questions while modeling her coffee can camera, while board member Jacob Long demonstrated our amazing light-tight revolving darkroom door.  Stop by in person to test it out yourself!    

On behalf of the KCD, we are so thankful that the community of Knoxville has been so welcoming!  Thank you WBIR for airing our "positive" story!  

It isn't too late to sign up for this weekend's pinhole photography workshop, taking place on Saturday, April 25th~  Join us the next day on Sunday the 26th to celebrate worldwide pinhole day, featuring free pinhole photo demonstrations.  It would be a great time for families and children of all ages to stop by and experience darkroom photography.  

The KCD is in the process acquiring color film development chemistry, so all of you color analog photographers need not ship film to a lab across the country, or have to wait weeks to have film processing orders returned.  We are also working on a top secret grant proposal for something to use as a classroom aid and photographic/art historical novelty... stay posted for future developments!


Open for business

The Grand Opening for the Knoxville Community Darkroom saw an overwhelming show of support, with attendance beginning before even our ribbon cutting ceremony, spread out into the evening.  Thanks to Forks on the Road, who stopped by to feed an audience hungry for darkroom photography

Knoxville News Channel 6, WATE was present for our ribbon cutting on Friday morning.  You may have caught the footage on the 5:00 News!  


The Knoxville Community Darkroom has received some attention from other media outlets recently.  Look for us in the most recent edition of the Knoxville Mercury and in the Knoxville News Sentinel!

The gallery space in the darkroom showed work from our board members.  Above in the first few photos behind WATE cameraman, you can see a series of color pinhole photographs by John Allen, using painting with light to capture the walls of caves.

Below are images from Abby Harmon's Recessive series featuring portraits of red heads - something many in the area with Irish ancestry in will appreciate!

Below (right) are the works of Donna Headrick Moore, who brings her alternative process and pinhole photographs out of the frame through incorporating them into mixed media presentations with encaustic and found objects.

On the left (below) are also some of President Lisa Flanary's portraits both in color and crisp black and white.  

Jacob Long and Anna Lawrence also had work on display (not pictured.)  Long photographed Southern landscapes with c-type prints and black and white.  Lawrence showed a series of color landscapes from the deserts of the Southwest in shades of vivid oranges and reds, as well as in black and white.  


Interesting trivia:  Film legend Ingrid Bergman's signature is etched into concrete in the area adjacent to the Knoxville Community Darkroom, a space which previously had screened films while offering full meals and drinks.  The concrete placard commemorates the opening of Bergman's film A Walk in the Spring Rain, which was filmed in Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains and which premiered at the theater in Knoxville.  Sadly, the theater is no longer operating, but stop by and check out the list of actors whose signatures or hand prints remain alongside Bergman's. 

Another bit of trivia:  The Knoxville Community Darkroom plans to host film screenings of photo related documentaries, and eventually workshops on using and developing moving picture film.  American Masters: Dorothea Lange will be the first film screened in the upcoming months.  

Write in to the Darkroom with your ideas or requests for events or classes!  We are also always looking for instructors.  As always, we will keep you posted on upcoming events and classes.

Happy photographing!


Happy Birthday Anna Atkins!

Anna Atkins was born in 1799.  She was a pioneer during her time both in the field of photography and botany.  She published possibly the first book of photography, and may even have been the first woman to take a photograph.  Her work showed photograms of pressed flowers, algae, and seaweed with botanical information.

To celebrate Anna's birthday, the Knoxville Community Darkroom had a party complete with blue and white balloons, a birthday cake, and of course, cyanotypes!  

We hope we helped inspire an appreciation for photography in future generations!  Hopefully the cake and pink lemonade may have helped.

Next week will be the rescheduled cyanotype workshop featuring a full day of image making.  There is still time to sign up for the March 25th class.  This process uses the sun to develop images, so let's hope for good weather!  

The Pace Quickens

As Spring approaches and the longer days give energy to things that grow, the volunteers at the Knoxville Community Darkroom have also been expending lots of energy towards our Grand Opening on March 31st and towards growing the photography community in Knoxville.  

As wonderful as our enlargers are, they would not be very useful without something to rest on.  Last Saturday, our volunteers were hard at work creating shelving and counter space for the enlargers.  

The tables work fantastically and are thankfully very sturdy.  

On Sunday afternoon, volunteers worked to paint and preserve the new tables.  An 18% grey shade was chosen, naturally.

Seen above is the large sink which will be used in darkroom processes.  Its base also got another coat of paint for protection.

We are so excited for the future of the Knoxville Community Darkroom and for the future of the arts more generally in Knoxville.  The grand opening on March 31st will feature a tour of facilities, demonstrations, and possibly free give-aways, raffled prizes and food/beverages.  

This week and next weekend, the KCD has several classes being offered including a cyanotype workshop.  Reserve your space soon before space runs out!