Dean O'Brien's Blog

Professional Experience: ‘My Own Color Lab’ in New York

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After meeting Eric Weeks two days earlier whilst still in New York Eric suggested that it might be a good idea if I met up with the owner of My Own Color Lab in New York.  This was where Eric comes to produce his images along with many others in New York.  A superb, very traditional photography lab with all the modern touches.

I arrive on time to meet the owner Gerard  Franciosa and Eric.  Gerard used to be a customer at the lab many years ago before actually buying the company from the owner.  I am given a tour of the building which included darkrooms, editing suite and open areas where prints can be viewed in natural light.  They do everything here from colour and black & white printing to massive exhibition prints up to 64″ wide on an Epson 11880.

Gracing the wall of the lab was an image by the excellent photographer Sally Gall A truly fantastic piece and someone whose work I want to look into further.  This to me is what visiting places such as this is all about.  Making connections and discovering new work which I had not seen before.

As Eric teaches photography, he understands the importance of having knowledge of the many areas that are involved within the medium.  I shoot film for personal work but shoot digital the majority of the time as this is what is mainly requested from me.  We discuss this further and Eric explains that its more about what you are trying to create.  Different tools for different jobs.  It comes back to the fact that cameras are just image capturing devices, nothing more.  Machines which record what we see.

I cant help but feel nostalgic whenever I walk around a lab such as this.  Trying to imagine what it was like in the profession before the digital revolution.  When nobody knew exactly what was going to come out on that roll of film.  The waiting and anticipation that Eric had described to me when I spoke to him the day before.  Yes, I love all this old school stuff.

As with every meeting with Eric, it ends in a bar with a few drinks.  I’m not sure if this was down to the fact that I had been telling Eric about my internship with Peter Dench but I wasn’t objecting.  Keeping things civilised I, along with a fellow student head for a meal at Da Andrea  recommended by Gerard.  True to Gerard’s word, we mention his name to the Restaurant owners and are fed plenty of free extras.  A superb end to a fantastic evening.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

May 8, 2011 at 10:41 pm

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