© Zach Weston

Community darkrooms are a wonderful resource for photographers. For those that want to learn darkroom skills, for those that have limited space for their own personal  darkroom, and for the digital photographer it’s a great way to look at photography in a different way.

Today we feature The Weston Collective Darkroom which opened in December of 2018. The darkroom is the only community darkroom and studio space in Monterey County and is  located at Martin Luther King Jr. School of the Arts in Seaside. Thank you Zach Weston .

What was the inspiration behind the community darkroom?

For the first time since the inception of the Weston Collective in 2004, we have a headquarters where we can also offer photography classes and a darkroom for teaching.  We offer programs for the community and school age photographers. We want to expose young people to working with film and working in the darkroom.

The darkroom consists of four enlargers, two eight foot sinks, stocked chemistry, and drying racks. There is an additional developing room that is separate from the darkroom enabling the ability of printing and developing to occur simultaneously.

We also have available for use a studio space, equipped with three dry mounting presses, a print cutter, negative scanner and large tables for the dry processes of photography.

© Zach Weston
© Zach Weston
© Zach Weston

Who can use the darkroom? How do we sign up for darkroom time? 

The darkroom is open to all at a rate of $15 an hour. We offer memberships at different price levels with different times available in the space.  You can reserve a time by visiting the Weston Collective site.

© Zach Weston

We saw that you had taught a group of 6th graders how to make contact sheets. What is it like teaching 6th graders in the darkroom?

I am teaching an after school program for a small group of Seaside Middle School 6th graders on Mondays and Wednesdays. It is very fun teaching the sixth graders and showing them the traditional process of black and white photography. It’s been very rewarding to see their excitement when they develop a roll of film and see a image appear in the developing tray.

G Zach Weston

What programs will you offer in the coming months?

We have two sessions of summer programs for young people ages 12 to 16.
Session 1 – June 10-14
Session 2 – August 5-9.

And we have offering  the following workshops with:

Silver Gelatin Printing with Kim Weston – May 4

Digital Printing Workshop with Eric Joseph and Freestyle Photographic Supply – June 8

Palladium Printing Workshop with Ryuijie Douglas – June 28-30

All funds generated from these workshops go back into the scholarship to provide more photographic programming for our youth!

To  sign up for one of the workshops please visit .The Weston Collective Workshops

About The Weston Collective

The Weston Collective is committed to the preservation of black and white film photography on the central coast of California through photographic mentorships, exhibitions, and the Weston Scholarship. The Weston Collective is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Zach Weston is the executive director of The Weston Collective.  He has made it his mission to continue his family’s legacy, to expand the non-profit his parents Kim and Gina Weston, founded in 2004, and be an active mentor to aspiring film photographers in Monterey County.

The Weston Collective Headquarters is located at 1713 Broadway Avenue in Seaside, CA.
To learn more please visit The Weston Collective.



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