Harvey Milk Photo Center (SF)

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Mijo, May 30, 2013.

  1. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    220
    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    I know there's a number of members from the Bay Area so I'm wondering if any members have used the Harvey Milk Photo Center located near Duboce Park. I'm interested in hearing about their printing services and the classes that they offer. If anyone has used their services or taken their classes or has a membership, I'd be interested in hearing your experience.

    I've signed up for an upcoming LR class and I'm planning to sign up for their general orientation class in a couple of weeks.
     
  2. ranxoren

    ranxoren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    631
    Apr 22, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    OT
    Let me know how the LR one is. I might join you :)
     
  3. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    220
    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    I just wanted to bump this thread as I participated in an orientation class for the center last weekend. IMO this photo center is geared more towards film than digital, there are over 20 film processing stations vs. only five digital processing stations. The film processing areas are well organized and make efficient use of the small space.

    An annual membership gets you fulll use of the center, which provides it's members with all the photo chemicals. The center also has all of the film processing equipment needed and film cameras / lens, which can be checked out. even if your a member you still pay for any use of the digital printers, but one of the other orientation participants mentioned how the cost of printing at the center is comparable to other print services in the city (when factoring in the cost of a membership). There's a central work area for matting and framing, with all of the necessary equipment.

    I still haven't paid for a membership as I'm still considering getting back into film. IMO, it would not be cost effective to get a membership only for digital printing unless I was planning to do a lot of printing. If I decide to get back into film I can see the value in having a membership. I'm planning to take a B&W film processing class in the future (just to familiarize myself with the process again), after that I'll decide whether to get back into film.
     
  4. ranxoren

    ranxoren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    631
    Apr 22, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    OT
    Thanks for sharing Mijo! B&W Film is something I've also been considering.
     
  5. denis_sf

    denis_sf Mu-43 Regular

    98
    Jun 4, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    Denis
    This is welcome information. I was over in that neighborhood some time ago on a walk and saw the signage for the center but couldn't find much other information about it.

    Also, Matt at Glass Key Photo/4x5 Gallery on Haight (between Steiner and Fillmore) is a great guy to ask about film. Depending on the price of the membership you might be able to get set up with chemicals, tank and changing bag for less if you're willing to read up on your own about the process of developing black and white film negatives.

    I've almost made the jump but have resisted so far.

    Again, thanks for the write-up!
     
  6. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    220
    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    Bumping this thread again as I participated in a LR class and I just started a B&W class, at the center. I wasn't able to sit through all of the sessions of the LR class, due to work travel, but the sessions I was able to sit through were productive and I learned a lot. The LR class was very small, only 5 people, and the instructor was more than willing to accommodate requests on how to do specific things within LR.

    The first session of the B&W class was last night and there were only eight people in the class. On the center's website it indicates that you have to complete the orientation class first but most of the first session was just rehashing what was covered in the orientation, and some of the people in the class did not do the orientation class. The classes at the center feel very loose with very little structure, more so than the photo classes I took in HS and college. One postive note about the B&W class is that you get access to center outside of class, which I plan to take advantage of after we develope our first roll of film next week.

    Messing around in the dark room really reminded me of why I was so interested in photography back when I was younger and what I feel like has been missing since I started digital photography back when I picked up my GF1. I can definately see myself purchasing a membership to the center after the B&W class is over and shooting more film than digital in the future.
     
  7. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    220
    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    Bumping this thread to let members know that the photo center is now open on Sundays, the only days they are closed are Mondays and Fridays. Also even if your a member the center has now started charging for the use of the digital lab, about $5/hour. I bought a 1/2 year membership last month and have been enjoying my time in the dark room.
     
  8. AdamSF

    AdamSF Shutterbugger

    Oct 13, 2013
    San Francisco, CA
    Adam
    My daughters took classes there as teens and as adults. They also had memberships to use the facilities. I took a B&W darkroom class there over the summer. We've loved that place for years. The facility is nice. The staff & volunteers are friendly, helpful, and patient. The teacher for my class was excellent. Their prices are low. Their hours are limited. In short, it's a great resource for SF residents and I highly recommend it and encourage its support.
     
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