Expose for the Shadows

Expose for the Shadows

opening reception

Jan 19, 2024 | 6:30 - 9pm


Jan 19 - Feb 18, 2024


Featuring: Victor Blue, Jesus Emmanuel, Belinda Gallegos, Edward Grattan, Carolina Jimenez, Mike Kamber, Ignacio Leonidas, Dave Lopez, Coco McPherson, Lenny Medina, Ricardo J. Partida, Maggie Perrier, Eugenio Pizzorno, Gregorio Reyes, Carlos de la Sancha, Sonia Sanchez, Corey Torpie, Javier Villareal, Brian Young

Expose for the Shadows: The B&W Silver Gelatin Printing Workshop Exhibition is hosted by the Bronx Documentary Center. Curated by students of acclaimed photographer and master printer Brian Young, this collection showcases the meticulous process and beauty of analog photography. Each piece represents the journey from capturing a perfect negative to creating a striking silver gelatin print.

This exhibition is an ode to the depth, texture, and unique character of traditional film photography, offering a contrasting perspective to the digital age. It invites viewers to immerse themselves in the art of monochrome imagery, where each print is not just an image, but a story told in shades of grey.

Read the artists' statements here.

Peek behind the curtain with BDC Education Assistant Pamela Rozon, as she captures the magic behind the scenes of the BDC's darkroom. Pamela filmed master printer Brian Young during his workshop held at the BDC Labs.  

Opening Reception: Friday, January 19, 2024, 6:30PM
On View
: January 19 - February 18, 2024
Gallery Hours:
 Thurs-Fri 3-7PM + Sat-Sun 1-5PM
Free admission 


A letter from master printer Brian Young:

It is, perhaps, because we are so submerged into a world driven by Digital Technology that a number of students have discovered the creative power of Analog Photography. The unique challenge of film based photography is two fold: one must first learn to create a ‘quality’ negative before one can produce a ‘quality’ print.

There is no instant gratification in capturing an image. There is no convenience about this analog process and it can be difficult to feel confidence without spending a considerable amount of time to achieve the level of skill you seek. There is no shortcut to becoming a skilled analog photographer because the evolution of the process goes back almost 200 years producing a voluminous body of knowledge.

Perhaps, it is just this...a pursuit of knowledge...of understanding how to make a beautiful print from a negative...of how to make a printed B&W image sing that attracts students. Eastman Kodak brought photography to everyone in the 20th century declaring, “You press the button, We do the rest”. Today, You press the button and You do the rest. You control the process, you create the negative and you make the print...by hand. Analog B&W is a haven in world of autonomous technology.

When we photograph, what do we expect to discover? Will it help us understand the thing, the moment we choose to photograph, the world around us? Is the camera a recording tool, a notebook, a diary of our journey, our confidant? The time it takes before we can revisit our
image on film as a negative, is a moment of rediscovery and a memory of that recorded instant, and, this is fundamental to the creative photographic impulse.  The ability (photographically) to reflect and reconsider the object, the moment, the subject of our image in a separate context. With reflection, there is no immediate judgement; there is no delete button...

Finally, this Exhibition is B&W analog photography. If our world is color and we see in color, why choose B&W? What benefit can we derive from this
monochrome palate? Each viewer needs to consider how B&W analog photography effects what you see, the light you see. Perhaps, one might say that B&W is transformative by revealing the ‘shape of light’ in shades of grey, texture and tone receding to black, as in a charcoal sketch. The colors of light are undressed to emphasize form and volume ... so that what is in the light is seen naked, so to speak.

I am not color blind, but a long time ago I discovered B&W photography and chose to transform, interpret and understand this world of color in the tones of a greyscale.

—Brian Young

(“I see...” said the blind man...)

Header image: © Belinda Gallegos
Interior images (L-R): Ricardo J. Partida.; © Coco McPherson

📍: Bronx Documentary Center, 614 Courtlandt Ave, Bronx, NY 10451