Re-launch of the Centre for Creative Photography’s Darkroom

Re-launch of the Centre for Creative Photography’s Darkroom

‘The Centre for Creative Photography (CCP) has recently relocated to a new space within the former South Australian Film Corp building at Hendon, which is now a creative hub under the auspices of Sunjive Studios. Since our move in July, we have worked diligently to re-establish the training facilities we previously enjoyed at our Marleston location; adapting and building new spaces for our studios, training rooms, and state-of-the-art digital suite. We are also excited to share the news that our new darkroom and film processing space is near completion, making it the largest and best-equipped publicly available darkroom complex in Australia.

To accommodate a resurgence in analogue film photography, our darkroom is equipped with twenty enlargers for a range of formats (35mm up to 4×5) and facilities for black and white film processing. There is also the option to hire the space and for students enrolled in any CCP course, dark room use is complimentary.

The event on 19 January 2024 to mark the re-launch of our purpose-built DARKROOM will include printing demonstrations, the opportunity to create your own black and white photograph, and our newly renovated facilities will be available to explore.’  CCP press release.

For further information, contact: Gavin Blake, Director, Centre for Creative Photography on (08)8354 0839 or mobile 0414 495 585.

Background: Centre for Creative Photography

The Centre for Creative Photography was founded in 1997 as a Registered Training Organisation by Director, Gavin Blake as a professional teaching space and photographic resource centre. Since this time, the CCP has grown to become the largest and foremost provider of private photographic education in South Australia. 

Recognising a need for education that could work around people’s busy lifestyles, Gavin has created a school that allows students to choose flexibility in their learning pathway, with training scheduled to accommodate after work part-time, full-time or online study.

The school offers both a Certificate IV and Diploma in Photography and Digital Imaging, VET in high school courses as well as a number of 1 day photographic workshops focussed on building specific skill sets or knowledge of genres of photography. Tailored private tuition is available for up to three people and studios are available to the public for hire

Originally housed at 11 Union Street Stepney, the CCP moved to 138 Richmond Road Marleston in 2005 until our re-location in July 2023 to Butler Drive Hendon, South Australia.

CCP Director Gavin Blake on teaching film processing.

“At the Centre for Creative Photography, we will always have the wet darkroom process in our curriculum to enable students to gain their photographic qualifications.

We find this gives them a practical understanding of “old school” film processing and post production, and let’s face it, darkroom practice IS A LOT OF FUN! That said, when students return to their digital work, their photography experience in now from a very different perspective because anyone who has done this class now thinks in film; that is to say, it’s film they are thinking about; 12, 24 or 36 exposures and not “let’s blast away until I get something I like. They are sharp shooters rather than machine gunners!

I have been teaching this subject for over 45 years and during my career as an artist, educator and now director of my own school, it is still so thrilling for me to see the first print of the day emerge from the developer from the photographic paper; it’s just like the first time I saw it actually.”

Film processing
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This article was written by

David Tatnall is an Australian fine art photographer & editor of View Camera Australia.

There are 7 comments for this article
  1. Andrés Pardo at 3:00 pm

    It is good to see film photography coming back with this strength!
    I encourage the designers of this darkroom to rethink better on the ventilation, air extraction is important for the user’s health and not having a proper fume vacuum over the trays, below head level, is a risk for long-term users.

    • Gavin Blake at 2:31 am

      Hello Andres thank you for your interest in this venture. We are actually working with our construction crew for a retro fit for this as the place has just been built. The current extraction system we are considering is drawing 570cubic m/hour to the outside which represents 5 complete room extractions/hour cheers

    • Brian Rowland at 8:23 pm

      I will second that as someone who became so allergic to fixers and stop bath with asthma I gave up dark room photography.
      And this occurred with a well ventilated darkroom!

      For me my chemical sensitivity was due to over exposure to second hand cigarette smoke at work in a poorly ventilated area surrounded by chain smokers.

      For me Sulphur Dioxide (one of the many toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke) is the asthma trigger – even in small amounts.
      This is present in many fixers and is a respiratory health hazard – especially in a large darkroom with open trays.

      After many years away from smokers and minimal darkroom work I can now work intermittently with plain hypo fixers but only develop film – printing is done digitally.

  2. Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:59 am

    It is great to see this evolution of the CCP; both for the CCP’s ongoing commitment to analogue photography in a digital era and for the innovative meshing of still photography with the moving image at Sunjive Studios. The emergence of the photographic (still, video and cinema) in Adelaide now has its own dedicated space.or creative hub.

    It is great news. All that is needed now is a dedicated photographic gallery

    • Gavin Blake at 2:21 am

      Hi Gary, thanks for your support with this venture and Sunjive seems like a great fit for us.
      Unfortunately the gallery had to take a back seat to the move so again there is no longer a dedicated Photographic Gallery in South Australia.

      • Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:28 am

        Hi Gavin,
        Congrats once again on the CCP’s successful move. I’m sorry to hear your news re the gallery not making it.

        It is a sad state of affairs that there is now no dedicated photographic gallery in Adelaide or South Australia.

        Where are you going to show your student’s end of year work?

  3. Brian Rowland at 9:10 pm

    It is heart warming to see the resurgence of analogue photography with a growing emphasis on Fine Art photography.
    The convenience and control of digital photography has its merits but old school photography even with its limitations will always have a place. Analogue photography is a world of mystery and challenge at every step of the process requiring skill and dedication if a Fine Art Print is the objective.

    Serious photographers understand that a grounding in analogue photography teaches discipline and an understanding of light and image control that few mobile phone snappers will ever appreciate . And it takes time and patience with failure often lurking somewhere in the process if you dare to mix your own chemicals…….

    The masses of course prefer instant gratification and convenience of using phone automation and AI to optimise the snap.
    The draw card is a second or two later the 50th sunset or selfie can magically appear on Facebook…….

    On a serious note, I personally think the greatest advantage of our time is to harness skills and knowledge of both analogue and digital domains to push the boundaries of what is possible.

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