Light Work Welcomes New Lab Manager

Today, Light Work welcomes Dan Boardman as its lab manager. Boardman begins his position July 16 and replaces long-time lab manager Amrita Stützle. Stützle leaves the position after four years to pursue a Masters Degree in Fine Art at the University of Pennsylvania. We wish her much success in her academic pursuits and future exhibitions and projects.

Dan Boardman is not a new face at Light Work. We got to know him and his work during his month-long residency in 2015. He has exhibited internationally and is a founding director of Houseboat Press, an award-winning publisher of artists’ books. Over the years he has fostered a relationship with our organization as a service member in our community-access DIY digital services lab.

“We are excited to welcome Dan back to Light Work as the community lab manager,” says Shane Lavalette, director of Light Work. “Dan’s past experience brings together technical expertise with a passion for working with others on creative projects, aligning with Light Work’s ethos of artists supporting artists. We look forward to working with Dan to continue serving the vibrant photography community in Central New York and beyond, and bringing Light Work Lab into the future.”

Our new lab manager reciprocates our own excitement and enthusiasm. “It is with great pleasure that I join the team at Light Work as Lab Manager,” says Boardman. “I’m looking forward to continuing the mission of serving artists working with photography. I believe strongly in this mission. In 2015 as an artist-in-residence I was able to see first-hand the care, dedication, and expertise of the entire staff at Light Work. I am honored to be able to join this team. I’m excited to get to know Light Work’s community both here in Syracuse and all over the world.”

Dan Boardman lives in Brutus, NY. Boardman received a BFA in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2008 and his MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2012. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally and has work in both public and private collections. In 2016, Aperture short-listed Boardman for their PhotoBook Award and he was a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in 2013. Recent exhibitions include 321 Gallery in Brooklyn, Harvard University, Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts, Musée des Beaux-Arts in Le Locle, Switzerland, Sad Gallery in Seattle, and The Photography Gallery at Riley Hall, University of Notre Dame.

Light Work Lab Renovation

From June 15 through July 15, 2015, Light Work Lab is undergoing renovation. Below is a letter from Light Work Lab Manager Walker Blackwell addressing many exciting changes, limited space closings during the renovation, and more.

Dear Light Work Lab Community,

I’m writing you with some exciting news! Light Work Lab is undergoing a much anticipated renovation. Following this, our little lab founded over 40 years ago and housed at Syracuse University will continue as the best community-access lab in the world.

Renovations begin on June 15, 2015 with an anticipated completion date of July 15, 2015. Please see below for more details, including information on room closings during the month-long renovation. Be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter streams for updates on the progress of the renovation and more.

Q: What does this renovation mean long term?

A: Tons. Printing and scanning workflows get streamlined, physical workspace gets re-arranged, upgraded lighting throughout, new computers and printers, more magnetic-wall space, flat-file storage for the community, all lab furniture goes mobile to allow for expanded programming, and so much more. We’ll post all these new amazing things that members have access to at over the next month.

After a long period of consideration and thought we’ll be decommissioning the developing labs and large darkroom for many reasons that we explain below. Fear not! The advanced darkroom will always exist for community use, as well as sinks in multiple locations. We’re confident this is the right decision and are happy to answer any questions you might have.

(Too much to handle? Walker’s direct google voice cellphone number is 802.821.4451 if this causes you panic and you need to ask questions immediately.)

Q: What does this mean in the short term (now through July 15)?

A: If you have a backlog of B&W film to develop and print analogue, now is the time to get rolling! Have you been waiting for a reason to organize a group photogram party? This is your opportunity. Come in and say your goodbyes to the large darkroom before June 10th. After renovation our advanced darkroom will be open for business (you can reserve it now by calling 315.443.1300).

From June 15 to July 15 the large workroom (where cutting tables are currently located), lighting studio, and darkrooms will be closed. During the renovation all lockers will be converted to roller lockers. We’ll box the locker contents, number the boxes, and make them fully accessible to their owners for that month of construction.

The large cutting tables are temporarily moving to the hallway near the open lab, so they will still be accessible (but cozy). Scanners are moving to the open lab, Artist-in-Residence studios, and service lab. The renovation will not impact people working digitally very much, though getting around during the renovation is going to be a bit tight.

Q: Why are you taking away the developing lab and large darkroom?

A: This decision was difficult and not made lightly. The advanced darkroom is not going anywhere, and will maintain full functionality forever. We’ll still offer Intro to the Dark Arts sessions and will be maintaining sinks in our larger project spaces. We will always be committed to film photography. The only difference is now darkroom access requires a reservation by calling 315.443.1300. This is the same process currently in place for the lighting studio.

Darkroom usage has dropped over the past several years and that space can be used in better ways. We attribute this to a few reasons: silver film/paper is now very expensive, consumables are hard to find in this area (MQ Camera closing, etc), and inkjet printers are now very high quality. And finally, our digital workflow is advanced enough to support a true transition now that we have a Piezography K7 monochrome print system (developed in-house, by the way).

We are very excited to usher Light Work into a new era of improved productivity, service, and technical and creative excellence. We have a small space for what we do, and we want to use every square foot.

Q: What is physically changing at Light Work? Will I recognize the place?

A: Yes! We’re not tearing out that many walls, but we are dramatically reorganizing our space to streamline workflow. It’s a fun project. The equipment and where people work is changing.

We are also really excited about upgrading the lighting in the lab. We are installing gallery/museum spec 5000k LED bulbs with special violet phosphors, 60 degree beam spreader lenses, and 4200k warming filters. The light will be nothing but revolutionary. All fluorescents will be kept off. Yay!

Q: What else can we look forward to with the renovation?

A: Following construction, we plan on hosting Saturday digital intro classes in the open lab in addition to our ongoing Sessions. Printing, cutting, and other production related activities will take place in the new, large production room. This switch will open up the space for education and help us support members by providing better access to front-desk and service staff. This is a huge improvement from our current layout where members work almost 80 feet away from the nearest staff member who can help them. With printers, gallery lights, magnet walls, cutters, and flat-files closer to each other, everything is easier to do. New flat-files will facilitate large-format print storage for the community. From scanning to storage, Light Work Lab has you covered.

We are thrilled about the expanded potential for serving as an improved site for community art events, happenings, and more in Syracuse. The space will be accessible and lit well-enough for any member to have a studio or curatorial visit, or to host a critique group, etc. Because lab furniture will be on wheels, all tables/lockers/printers will be able to roll out at a moment’s notice making space for lectures, experimental workshops, portfolio reviews, movie nights, art performances, and more.

We at Light Work Lab are incredibly excited for this renovation and the potential it brings for the art community in Syracuse. We look forward to seeing more of you soon!

All the best,
Walker Blackwell
Manager, Light Work Lab

On Being “The Photographer’s Wife,” an Interview With Laura Heyman

On Being “The Photographer’s Wife,” an Interview With Laura Heyman
Laura Heyman and Jessica Posner

Laura Heyman is a photographer, Light Work Lab member, and Associate Professor of Photography in the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University. She’s been working in the Light Work Lab in recent months in preparation for her current exhibition, Render, at Artspace in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The exhibition features a collection of images from Heyman’s ongoing project, The Photographer’s Wife; and is on view from Sept. 2- Nov. 5. 2014.  Below, Jessica Posner (Light Work Communications Coordinator) interviews Heyman about her work, process, subjectivity, humor, and more.

Jessica Posner: You’ve been in the Light Work Lab a lot in recent weeks preparing for an exhibition. Can you tell us a little about the project you’ve been working on?

Laura Heyman: I’ve been printing images from The Photographer’s Wife, a project I began in 2003. The photographs present a female character as the central subject, often gazing intimately at the camera, suggesting an artist making images of their lover. The locations in the photographs vary, but many of them are domestic interiors, further adding to the feeling of intimacy – viewers get the sense they’re seeing something which is essentially private.

Untitled from The Photographer's Wife, 2006

Untitled from The Photographer’s Wife, 2006

JP: In these images, you are both subject and object; but not in the sense of a traditional self-portrait. You are mediated by a fictional character. Can you talk about how you play with the position of the subject/object in this body of work?

LH: The model/subject’s job is always performative — she must be able to portray both a true and idealized self. But in the case of these photographs, the problem is slightly more complicated. As the model/subject, I must convey not only this multiple subjectivity, but also reflect back to the viewer an imagined photographer husband.

JP: Would you care to go a little deeper into one of the images (your choice)?

LH: There’s an image I made in the bathroom of an apartment in Florence this summer. The location had a really strong pull for me – it’s a beautiful room, with amazing light that’s also kind of harsh. There’s a strong color scheme, and the space is a little strange, because the bathtub looks like it was made for a small child.

Untitled from The Photographer's Wife, 2014

Untitled from The Photographer’s Wife, 2014

I knew I wanted to make an image in the room, but wasn’t sure what exactly what to do with it. A week before returning to the States, I found a color photograph from a 1940’s magazine showing a woman sitting in a very similar bathtub. She had her back to the camera and was looking into a small hand mirror, hair piled on top of her head in a bun. As soon as I saw the image, I knew that was it.

I began imagining the conversation/negotiation between the artist and model that could have brought them to that pose, and other iterations they might have tried but ruled out.  I spent a couple of days looking for an appropriate hand mirror, observed the light in the room over another couple of days, and at the appointed hour, set up the shot. I filled the tub with water, approximating the pose from the magazine over two rolls of film, stepping in and out of the tub to set the self-timer and wipe the water off the floor in between shots. On the third roll of film, I changed the pose, leaning back against the wall to face the camera. I’d been up late the night before and it shows –  the light in the room accentuates the circles under my eyes and every crease on my body. It’s a strange picture. When I saw the contact sheets I almost didn’t recognize myself. There were only a few of the non-mirror images from the shoot, but these are the ones I was most drawn to, and what I ended up using for the exhibition.

JP: Can you give us a little insight into your working process? Both conceptual and technical?

LH:  On the technical side, I’m usually shooting medium or large format film. Up until a few years ago, this was true of both still and moving images – I shot 16mm film rather than video. Now I shoot mostly analogue large format film and video.

Conceptually some projects are very simple – there’s something happening that I feel should be recorded. This was the case of The Last Party, which documented the final days of Ocho Loco, a warehouse I occupied in San Francisco from 1990 – 2003. In 2003 the building was slated for demolition (to make way for live/work lofts). My roommates and I wanted to do something to commemorate the space before it disappeared. So every band that had ever played there was invited back for one last show, which lasted almost 24 hours. I drank a lot of coffee and photographed the party from beginning to end.

Bagdon (Left) and Maggie (Right) from  The Last Party , 2003

Bagdon (Left) and Maggie (Right) from The Last Party , 2003

With other projects, the process is a little more complicated – it may start with a question, something I’ve been turning over in my head for a while. The Photographer’s Wife was partially influenced by a story a friend told me about the wife of a well-known photographer in San Francisco. In college, I’d seen the requisite images of Eleanor Callahan, Edith Gowan and Bebe Nixon that were part of any photography student’s education, and I had always been fascinated by them. I wondered about their lives, wondered what they thought about the images we’re all so familiar with. Then I received this sort of inside story detailing what it was like to be a strong intelligent woman involved in the creative process in a very direct way, but without any of the rewards that artists normally expect or receive. I realized these women weren’t the romantic figures I had imagined them to be when I was younger, but they weren’t tragic or exploited either. I had been making some images of myself, not self-portraits, more like performance stills, and hearing this story made me see those images in a new light, moving the work in a very different direction. I began thinking about and researching performance, reading biographies of artists, and looking at a lot of work that explored questions similar to the ones this research produced for me.

JP: Is there a thread that flows through all of your work? What is it? Where do you think it comes from? How do you see it manifest in this body of work?

LH: I don’t know if I could say there’s a thread that runs through all of my work. It tends to change a great deal from project to project. But there are definitely themes I return to; one is an interest in narrative structure, and the ways that narrative can be transmitted to the viewer. The narrative form that drives a lot of my research is cinematic, in part because film has the ability to colonize human experience and memory in ways that are almost impossible to quantify. So some of my work borrows from cinema’s use of art direction, set design and location. The second constant in my work is performance, which is of course inherent to the medium of photography; any subject who stands before the camera is arranging and editing not just their appearance, but also their persona. But I’m concerned with the performance taking place on both sides of the camera, how power can shift between photographer and subject, whether the image resulting from this exchange is more a representation of one or the other, and to what degree.

Untitled from The Photographer's Wife, 2009

Untitled from The Photographer’s Wife, 2009

Part of this interest comes simply from being a female artist who, as a student, learned about art by looking at images of women created by men. I’ve always been interested in the lessons art history teaches women, specifically those regarding the female muse. I wonder if it’s possible to internalize these lessons, and if so, what effect does this have on one’s own production?

This question became really significant to The Photographer’s Wife, alongside the question of whom I was performing for when I stood in front of the camera. In performing for this imagined figure (behind the camera, operating the camera), I began to think about who that might be and how to conceptually occupy both of those spaces and perform both of those idealized roles at the same time.

JP: Does humor play a role in any of this current body of work?

LH: I think so, but maybe I have a strange sense of humor. I find the performance of frustration or exasperation that occurs at certain points in the work very funny. Likewise, moments where the attempt to portray a feminine ideal is problematized or falls short, where the model is not seen at her physical best, but projects awkwardness and exhaustion instead of the expected languor and appealing, flirtatious sexuality – people often laugh when they’re uncomfortable, and for me these images are like a joke the viewer isn’t sure they should be laughing at.

Untitled from The Photographer's Wife, 2007

Untitled from The Photographer’s Wife, 2007

JP: I recently had the opportunity to meet your son Ace, age 10, who told me that looking at a photograph is like looking at a past life version of himself. It made me wonder what life is like in your house. What books do you have lying around? On your bedside table? On the coffee table?

LH: We’re big readers, so there are books all over the house. Most photo books live in my office but there are a few at home, among them The Wedding by Nick Waplington, which has been a favorite of Ace’s since he was baby. On my bedside table at the moment are A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, Changing My Mind, by Zadie Smith, The Testament Of Mary by Colm Tóibín, and My Teachings by Jaques Lacan. Although I have to confess that last one was purchased at the end of the summer when I was feeling particularly relaxed and ambitious – I have yet to crack the spine.

JP: What are you working on now/next?

LH: For the past several years I’ve been working on two long term projects – The Photographer’s Wife, and Pa Bouje Anko: Don’t Move Again, both of which are pretty intense. So I’ve been researching ideas for something different, and this summer started collaborating with an artist named Michel LaFleur, who’s based in Port-au-Prince. The project is just beginning, so it’s pretty loose at this point, but the main ideas are based around language; the power and play of language and the written word. Michel is a sign painter, and we’re working with lists, titles and translation, producing  videos and a series of small paintings. It’s been great to work with another artist, and in another medium.

JP: Details about the exhibition?

LH: The exhibition was the start of a season-long examination of the use of the figure in contemporary art. Curator Shana Dumont Garr wanted “to explore the iconic relationship between the depicted and the depictor…. the ways that staging and self-consciousness may affect viewing experiences.”

Exhibition Details: 
Render: Laura Heyman and Leah Colie Wight
September 5– November 2, 2014
Raleigh, North Carolina

Untitled from The Photographer's Wife, 2005

Untitled from The Photographer’s Wife, 2005


Laura Heyman was born in Essex County, New Jersey and received her M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI.Solo exhibitions include Palitz Gallery, NY, NY, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh PA, Philadelphia Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA, Deutsches Polen Institute, Darmstadt, DE, Senko Studio, Viborg DK, and Light Work, Syracuse, NY. Group exhibitions include Laguna Art Museum, Laguna, CA, United Nations, New York, NY and National Portrait Gallery, London, UK. Heyman has received grants and fellowships from Light Work, The Silver Eye Center For Photography, Ragdale and NYFA, and her work has been reviewed and profiled in The New Yorker, Contact Sheet, and ARTnews. Heyman is an Associate Professor of photography in the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University.


Jessica Posner is an artist, Communications Coordinator at Light Work, and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University. You can contact her at  

Profile: Spring 2014 Workshop with Willson Cummer

Today we talk with Willson Cummer who teaches Light Work Lab‘s intermediate/advanced level photo class which focuses on long term projects and the creation of a series photographed over many years.

Willson Cummer is a fine-art photographer and teacher who lives near Syracuse, NY. He has exhibited nationally in juried shows. Willson had his first solo NYC show in December 2011 at OK Harris.

LWL: Why did you want to start a class for working on long term projects?

I wanted to create a long-term projects class because that’s the way I enjoy working — developing a project over a year or more and seeing it grow as a result. I enjoy sharing projects with other photographers and learning from them.

LWL: Who should take your class?

Any photographers who are intrigued by the idea of developing a project should feel welcome to take the class. Any kind of camera can be used to create a project, and beginners are welcome.

LWL: Tell us about your personal work.

In my personal work I explore the intersection of the natural world and the built environment. That interest has led me to create projects about parking garage rooftops, overpasses and local parks. My work is online at

Working on Projects
April 24 – May 15, 2014 / Thursdays, 6-9pm
Instructor: Willson Cummer
Skill level: Intermediate / Advanced

Register for Willson’s classes at

Profile: Astrophotography and Lighting with Stephen Shaner

Light Work Lab is pleased to present our Instructor Profile series – featuring interviews with our workshop and class instructors. We want you to get to know them, their work and their interests.

Today we interview Stephen Shaner who is teaching both a 5 week workshop on Photography in the Studio as well as a single session class on Astrophotography.

Stephen Shaner started taking photographs while studying journalism in college. He graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Photographic Illustration / Photojournalism. After graduation, he served as a newspaper photojournalist for six years before leaving to pursue freelance work and teach. Stephen’s photographs have won numerous awards and his work has been published and displayed throughout the U.S.

LWL: What do you like the most about working in the studio?

The studio is a blank canvas; you start with an empty space and an opportunity to transform it to create nearly any image you can dream of. When you strip photography down to its bare elements, as in the studio, you better understand why and how things work, you become acutely aware of light and its relation to the subject and can focus on creativity. That’s refreshing in a medium often bogged down in endless discussions of gear and software. No matter what your primary photographic interest – nature, fashion, documentary, fine art – in the studio you’re able to freely explore that.

LWL: How did you get into astrophotography?

I’ve always had an interest in the night sky and for fun took astronomy courses while in university. It wasn’t until I was working as a photojournalist in the late 90’s and photographed the spectacular comet Hale-Bopp that I wanted to try astrophotography. At the time, however, long exposure, deep sky imaging required a significant investment to achieve modest results. Now technology (the CCD revolution) has evolved to where amateurs with modest budgets can make photos in their backyard which rival those only possible at professional observatories a few years ago. One thing that’s constant, sadly, are central New York’s cloudy skies!

LWL: Who should take your classes?

Anyone who wants to explore their own creativity and interests. When I think back to all the instructors I’ve had the ones who stand out as exemplary are those who, while accomplished themselves, didn’t hold their own artistic sensibilities above everything else and were genuinely excited and passionate about their student’s work.

I’m fortunate to have photographed in so many different genres for work and for pleasure and because of that practical experience I can demonstrate how simple it is to achieve excellent technical results with the gear people already own. But I always emphasize ideas because ultimately that’s what photography’s about.

LWL: Tell us about your personal work.

For the past decade my interest has been in areas of conflict; specifically people who, by accident of birth, live amidst violence in ongoing conflicts. It’s the kind of work I’ve always wanted to do and why I first started taking pictures. The camera is a vehicle that affords you an opportunity to meet people in situations far removed from your own, a way to understand the world and a chance to have what I consider genuine experiences, something increasingly harder to find in a culture where the message seems to be one of security, conformity and reality by proxy.

Astrophotography: Night Sky and Beyond
March 2, 2014 / Sunday 1-4pm
Skill level: Beginner

Photographing in the Studio
March 13 – April 3, 2014
Thursdays, 6-9pm
Skill level: Beginner / Intermediate

Register for Stephen’s class at

Profile: Book Dummies Workshop with Dan Boardman

Light Work Lab is pleased to announce a series of special Instructor Profiles featuring interviews with our workshop and class instructors. We want you to get to know them, their work and their interests.

Today we interview Dan Boardman who is teaching Book Dummies for Beginners – a class on editing, sequencing and laying out book dummies. This class is geared towards photographers who would like to make a book, but are not sure how to go from a group of images to a cohesive and finished product.

Dan Boardman is a visual artist living in Somerville Massachusetts. He was born in Ontario California, and grew up in Central New York. He is a 2013 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship recipient and his work has recently been exhibited at The Bakalar & Paine Galleries in Boston, MA and Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. He teaches photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and is a co-founder of Houseboat Press, a non-profit art press that publishes books with great care and little skill.

LWL: What do you like the most about making photo books?

I love to see an idea take shape right in front of my eyes. Somehow an array of images can coagulate to make an experience that is exciting and interesting. It’s like watching amino acids bump into each other in the primordial soup. When the right combination happens BAM you got something.

LWL: Who should take your classes?

Those people who are interested in making a book but have no idea where to start. We will be focusing on editing, sequencing, and strategies to privilege some images over others. Then we are going to talk about how those images get into a book, how that will function, and what it might look like.

LWL: Tell us about your personal work.

My photography and book making tends to focus on little questions, and some very big mysterious ones too. I’m in constant awe of the place we live the the unfathomable
complexity of it. Sometimes I’m struck by the present and the interactions with strangers (72 second window); other times I think about the possible world we are leading to, or leaving behind (The Citizen); other times I think about my very limited perception of the universe (The Family of Man).

LWL: Tell us about Houseboat Press.

The Bell Labs of photobooks! We are entertaining ourselves mostly. Houseboat takes on a few different roles for me. It allows me to be as wild as possible with book making ideas, and to collaborate with artists and other interesting people the world over. We gravitate toward projects that have no shape yet, so we can all find the right path together.

Book Dummies for Beginners
March 22, 2014 / Saturday 1-4pm
Skill level: Beginner – Advanced

Register for Dan’s class at

Profile: Black and White Photography with Leah Edelman-Brier

Light Work Lab is pleased to announce a special blog installment featuring Instructor Profiles — interviews with our workshop and class instructors. We want you to get to know them, their work, and their interests.

This is the first of that installment and features and interview with Leah Edelman-Brier who is teaching our Beginning/Intermediate level black-and-white photography workshop that goes over the basics of black-and-white darkroom-based photography, including exposing film and developing it in the Lab darkroom.

Leah Edelman-Brier is a Rhode Island native who will be graduating with her MFA in photography this year from Syracuse University. Leah has been teaching introduction to black and white photography for 2 years at the university and is excited to run this spring’s workshop at Light Work.

Light Work Lab: What do you like the most about working in the darkroom?

The darkroom is a calming and peaceful place. Working in one gives the artist a chance to go back to basics and expand their understanding of the medium. It’s almost magical to watch the chemical process render an image. It’s the closest a photographer can actually get to working with their hands and having that feeling come across in the work.

LWL: Who should take your classes?

Anyone interested in the basics of photography or working in black and white as a stylistic choice. The class will cater to all levels of experience.

LWL: Tell us about your personal work.

My work uses an array of symbolism and fantasy to examine female relationships within a family or in nature.

Black-and-White Photography
March 12 – April 2, 2014
Thursdays, 6-9pm
Skill level: Beginner / Intermediate

Register for Leah’s class at

Announcing Spring 2014 Workshops at Light Work Lab

Light Work Lab is pleased to announce the roster of Spring 2014 Workshops on variety of topics for all experience levels.

Courses cover everything from the darkroom and technical foundations of photography to digital workflow and practical professional development. Whether you are just starting out or want to expand your skills and creative network, Light Work has the expertise, facility, and community to help you succeed. While enrolled, students have full access to our DIY facility for retouching, scanning and affordable printing.

Upcoming Classes
Four-week Sessions
$110 for members and $165 for non-members

Introduction to Graphic and Layout Design
March 10 – March 31, 2014 / Mondays, 6-9pm
Instructor: Penelope Singer
Skill level: Beginner / Intermediate

Adobe Lightroom 5
March 11 – April 1, 2014 / Tuesdays, 6-9pm
Instructor: Bob Gates
Skill level: Beginner / Intermediate

Black-and-White Photography
March 12 – April 2, 2014 / Thursdays, 6-9pm
Instructor: Leah Edelman-Brier
Skill level: Beginner / Intermediate

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop
March 12 – April 2, 2014 / Thursdays, 6-9pm
Instructor: James Suits
Skill level: Beginner / Intermediate

Photographing in the Studio
March 13 – April 3, 2014 / Thursdays, 6-9pm
Instructor: Stephen Shaner
Skill level: Beginner / Intermediate

Upcoming Workshops
Single and Double Sessions
$50 for members and $75 for non-members

The Dark Arts
February 1, 2014 / Saturday 1-4pm
Instructor: Aspen Mays
Skill level: Beginner – Advanced

Astrophotography: Night Sky and Beyond
March 2, 2014 / Sunday 1-4pm
Instructor: Stephen Shaner
Skill level: Beginner

Introduction to Scanning and Printing at Light Work Lab
Session I: March 8 and 15, 2014 / Saturdays 1-4pm
Session II: May 3 and 10, 2014 / Saturdays 1-4pm
Instructor: Joe Lingeman
Skill level: Beginner / Intermediate

Dummies for Beginners
March 22, 2014 / Saturday 1-4pm
Instructor: Dan Boardman
Skill level: Beginner – Advanced

For a complete list of classes, including those in April please visit

Fall 2013 Workshops

Sign up for Fall 2013 workshops at Light Work / Community Darkrooms.

Each semester Light Work / Community Darkrooms offers a series of workshops and classes to help you build your photographic skill set.

Firm Foundations: 5 Week Workshops

Studio Lighting
Tuesdays, September 17-October 15, 6-9 pm.
This fast-paced, hands-on course will show you how to work in the studio using the equipment available at Community Darkrooms. Aside from the technical aspects of studio work, you will be encouraged to express your own creativity and use lighting to further enhance your work. You only need to bring your camera; all necessary equipment will be provided.

Introduction to Lightroom 5

Tuesdays, September 17-October 15, 6-9 pm.
This course will provide an introduction to the basic layout, tools, and modules of the program, giving you a foundation to build on, as well as the knowledge to export and publish your work.

Alternative Processes

Thursdays, October 3-31, 6-9 pm.
Learn how to make cyanotype prints, salt prints, and photograms in this hands-on workshop that explores simple yet effective alternative processes. This includes historic and contemporary work, as well as the traditional black and white development process.

Introduction to InDesign
Thursdays, October 3-31, 6-9 pm.
New to InDesign? This class will teach you the basics of creating engaging print designs and page layouts that output professionally, letting you design with confidence. Learn to navigate the program, understand the tools, create, edit, and save files.

Introduction to Photoshop
Tuesdays, October 29-November 26, 6-9pm.
If you are new to Photoshop, or just need a refresher course on the basics, this is the foundation for you. Whether you want to size files, import, export, or read a histogram, this course covers the basics.

Understanding Your Digital Camera
Thursdays, November 14-December 12, 6-9 pm.
This course will help you understand how digital cameras work, and what features and settings will enhance your images. You will need to bring your digital SLR (or advanced point-and-shoot) as well as your camera instruction manual.

Single Session Classes

Using Flash Effectively
Sunday, September 22, 1-4pm.
Your flash can be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on how you use it. Learn flash techniques that will help you flesh out, rather than flatten, your subjects. Bring your camera and plenty of extra batteries.

Camera Basics
Sunday, October 6, 1-4 pm.
This will be a simple overview of how to use your digital camera. There will be a few short lectures before heading outside to the beautiful Syracuse University campus where you will be free to photograph an array of subject matter, practice learned techniques, and ask questions as you go.

Making the Most of Your Scanner
Sunday, November 10, 1-4 pm.
Learn how to use your camera to make the best possible images. You will review file types and sizes, learn the difference between the Imacon and flatbed scanner, discover the 3F format, and make adjustments to create a final scan. Bring a hard drive and your film.


To guarantee your place in the class, payment must be received at least three days prior to the start of the workshop.

Find more detailed information at

Community Darkrooms Member Spotlight: Willson Cummer

Ninemile Creek #22, 2010

Community Darkrooms Member Spotlight
Willson Cummer: Sacred Paradox: The Onondaga Lake Project

Willson Cummer is a longtime Community Darkrooms Instructor and avid photographer. His exhibition Sacred Paradox: Photography by Willson Cummer is currently on display at Baltimore Woods Weeks Art Gallery. Willson will also be showing his work here at Light Work/Community Darkrooms this summer. Stay tuned!

Willson writes about his Sacred Paradox project:

Onondaga Lake, which borders the city of Syracuse, is a Superfund cleanup site and a holy lake for the nearby Onondaga Indian Nation. I have explored this paradox, photographing the lake and its tributaries from a canoe and on shore.

I find the lake gorgeous at times and repulsive at others. Raw sewage flows into the lake during heavy rains, as the municipal wastewater treatment plant is overwhelmed. Algae grows in the phosphorus-rich waters, giving off a stink in the summer. Mercury and other heavy metals lie on the bottom of the lake — remnants of chemical industry in years past. Swimming has been banned since 1940.

Honeywell International, which bears responsibility for the industrial pollution, is dredging, building barriers, a pipeline and wetlands, expecting to spend over $500 million. Onondaga County has improved wastewater collection and treatment and reduced storm water runoff. The Onondaga Nation is not satisfied with these plans, and has asked for a more thorough job at a cost of over $2 billion.

As the lake improves, bald eagles have taken up residence, and great blue herons are numerous. Onondaga Lake is an extreme example of much of our natural world: polluted yet still achingly beautiful.

Willson Cummer is a fine-art photographer, curator and teacher who lives in Fayetteville, NY. Images from his projects have been included in national juried exhibitions. His first solo New York City show opened in December 2011 at OK Harris, in Soho. He curates and publishes the blog New Landscape Photography. Willson teaches at Light Work/Community Darkrooms in Syracuse, and at area colleges. See more of his work online at

Onondaga Lake #56, 2010