The Clarence John Laughlin

Darkroom Initiative

CJL dr 2-2018.png

preservation / education / creation…

David Armentor and Thom Bennett, under the auspices of St. Veronica’s Photography, created a print portfolio related to New Orleans master photographer Clarence John Laughlin to pay homage to his memory and to provide a vehicle by which to raise the funds necessary to renovate his historic darkroom space. Working in concert with both Longue Vue House and Gardens, where the darkroom is located, and The Historic New Orleans Collection, which houses his archives, the team photographed a collection of Laughlin’s own photo-related objects which represent a universal darkroom workflow: camera, enlarger, chemical bottle, radio, and trash can.

Respecting the gravitas of Laughlin’s work and to focus on their historic value, the objects were photographed dramatically in a black studio setting with an 8x10 view camera and black & white film. The images were contact printed using Silver Chloride paper, a decision made to represent the time period in which Laughlin worked. The funds generated from the sale of the portfolios will be donated to Longue Vue to pay for upgrades to the darkroom so that a new generation of darkroom workers can experience the magic of making photo prints using materials much the same as Laughlin had available.