Behind the Scenes at a Fine Art Photo Printing Lab

Behind the scenes at a Fine Art Photo Printing Lab in San Francisco

Ever wonder what it’s like to visit a photo lab?

From helping people create art to editing photos, scanning film, chatting about a print, and catching a whiff of darkroom chemistry, there’s always something new going on.

Now, go behind the scenes and explore daily life at Dickerman Prints – a modern photo lab in San Francisco.

We are moving!

After 10 wonderful years at our Howard Street location, Dickerman Prints will be moving at the end of December.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay area, please swing by for one last hurrah before we relocate.

Pop your favorite photos onto a thumb drive and use our carefully calibrated monitors to send your photos directly to our world-class photographic C printer.

Sip an organic espresso or tea while looking at your prints on our perfectly lit viewing tables.

Find inspiration by working in the same space as industry veterans, fine art photographers, hobbyists, phone shutterbugs, and more.


You have until December 23 to order DIY or Custom ‘C’ Prints.

Our long-loved Polielettronica Laserlab (the Polie) will not be moving with us.

That means you only have a few days left to create museum-quality ‘C’ Prints using our DIY or Custom printing services.

The good news is that we will be providing the same Print on Demand and DIY services that you are accustomed to, on our archival pigment printers. This service will now have the advantage of having a wide range of beautiful archival papers for you to choose from.


Key dates:

  • The last day to get DIY or Custom Photographic ‘C’ Prints from our Polie is December 23.
  • The Howard Street lab is closed to the public as of December 23.
  • We will be open for pickups by appointment only from Tuesday, December 27, through Thursday, December 29.
  • We will be hosting a moving sale by appointment from Dec 27-29.
  • Our new location will officially open on January 3, 2023. More details on that to come


Dickerman Prints is Moving

Dear Friends,

After 10 years on Howard Street, Dickerman Prints is once again on the move! Our new home is in a considerably more peaceful location near Mission Dolores Park.

Much of our service will remain as it has always been, though there will be a few notable changes.

Our long-loved Polielettronica Laserlab (the Polie) will not be moving with us.

That amazing machine is 17 years old now (that’s 89 in printer-years) and is ready for a well-deserved retirement. We have always loved our type ‘C’ prints, and we will be sorry to see them go!

The good news is that we love our archival pigment prints as well (even more, actually), and will be providing the same Print on Demand and DIY services that you are accustomed to, on our archival pigment printers. This service will now have the advantage of having a wide range of beautiful archival papers for you to choose from.

More details will follow regarding the transition from type ‘c’ printing to archival pigment.

We will offer papers that render prints that look like our current ‘c’ prints, or like traditional fiber-based B&W prints. We will also offer a variety of more matte-surfaced fine art papers, with varying degrees of texture and “tooth”, with both natural and bright options.

The Polie will retire on December 23, 2022.

If you want to stock up on c-prints please do your printing before then!

ORDER C-PRINTS NOW

We will still process and scan film … but …

We will still process and scan your film, but the actual processing will be done by Underdog Film Lab in Oakland. These film-loving industry veterans use Refrema dip-and-dunk machines, which are the gold standard in processors. You can still drop your film with us, and when the film is returned to us, we can scan it, proof it, or print it as you wish.

 

Thank you, Gabriel!

The final, and most deeply felt change is that the one and only Gabriel Aguilar will not be making the move. Garnell and I will do our best to fill his shoes, but he will be greatly missed! We are tremendously grateful for his 12 years at Dickerman Prints and wish him the very best.

 

We will continue to provide the highest level of service and quality, as we have since 1996.

We love making our customers’ work look its very best, and look forward to serving you in our new location for years to come.

 

Moving Sale Info

We will be having a sale in late December of whatever furniture, gear, and supplies that we will not be moving.

Seth’s photographs that are hung at the lab at present will be available as well, at Moving Sale prices.


Screen Resolution, PPI, DPI, and File Size Explained

A client recently asked me to provide a file at the “size” of 6000 x 4000 pixels for display on a large array of screens.

I wanted to know the resolution of the screen array for which it was intended. My question was “6000 x 4000 pixels at what PPI?” I was somewhat surprised to find that this information, the screen resolution, was not in fact readily available, and even more surprised to find how difficult I found it to explain exactly why I needed it!

How I would explain it now, after further reflection, is that a specification like 6000 x 4000 pixels by itself does not tell us the size or resolution of the file, because it doesn’t tell us the size of the pixels themselves.

Pixel size is not fixed – it is a variable.

The size of the pixel is determined by how many of them fit in an inch of screen (pixels per inch, or PPI). This may be more easily understood if we think for a moment in terms of print, in which we use dots (of ink) instead of pixels (dots of light).

We are familiar with printed images being made up of dots, and have all seen that that big dots mean low resolution, less detail, and that when we print smaller dots, more dots per inch (DPI), that we can achieve higher resolution, more detail, and finer gradations.

Screen resolution, or pixel density, works the same way. This is why PPI and DPI are interchangeable terms.

The pixel density of screens varies, just as the resolution of printers and prints do.

It used to be that pretty much all screens were made for 72 DPI. But screen resolutions have gotten considerably higher, and will continue to do so.

If I supply that 6000x4000 pixel file at a resolution of 72 DPI, and my client’s screen array resolves at 72 DPI, the image would appear to be approximately 83” wide (found by dividing 6000 by 72).

But if my client has a high-res screen, like a 4K, with a pixel density of 184 PPI, that same file would only appear to be 32” wide. If the screen resolution were to double again, to 368 PPI, the image would be 16” wide instead.

I suspect that most of us have observed this phenomenon when changing our computer resolution (often by mistake), and seen our desktop (alarmingly) either shrink or enlarge. A higher definition monitor, therefore, requires a bigger file.

The larger the screen - the greater the viewing distance.

What works in our favor, in terms of keeping file sizes reasonable for screens, is that generally the larger the screen, the greater the viewing distance. And greater viewing distance is more forgiving of lower resolution.

For a print example, consider a billboard, which uses a big dot pattern, because at a distance the dots blend together. It’s not until you get up close that you can see the dots. Likewise a Jumbotron screen at the ballpark is of a low resolution, because it too is seen only from a great distance.

This low resolution screen is also advantageous in terms of file size, because it can take relatively small files and render them very large.


The Best Medicine Show

In January, 2020, we sent out a call for photography:

We need to laugh now, more than ever, so Dickerman Prints is announcing a call for humorous entries that will lift our spirits and tickle our funny bones.

Who knew that just a few short months later, our need to laugh would be so amplified. To help celebrate humor in the midst of challenge, we present the selected entries from The Best Medicine Show.

Gary Beeber - Jimmy on a Float
Ellen Rosenthal - Sorry, We're Open
Ken Walton - San Francisco, 2018
Erica Martin - Adult Cabaret
Marky Kauffmann - Betty's Bread

“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.”

~ Mark Twain

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”

~ Lord Byron

  Photograph by Jock McDonald

Awards

  • Best of Show – Gary Beeber
  • Honorable mentions – Erica Martin, Marky Kauffman, Ken Walton, Ellen Rosenthal


Jurors

  • Ann Jastrab, executive director of the Center for Photographic Art, Carmel
  • Stuart Kogod, owner and founder of Rayko Photo Center
  • Seth Dickerman, owner and founder of Dickerman Prints

“Keep laughing. As long as you’re laughing you still have hope.”

~ Moe Howard

Some parting laughs

Stop by

1141 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Our friendly staff loves to share their expertise and experience. Come in, load up your photos on a Mac workstation, sip on an organic espresso or tea, and let us help you create the perfect print.


We are open!

Our lab is open – workstations and all – with COVID prevention measures in place. In addition to wearing face coverings, our staff will be regularly sanitizing all computers, tables, and surfaces. Hope to see you soon!

We’re always here to help
(415) 252-1300
[email protected]

Monday: 10 – 6
Tuesday: 10 -7
Wednesday: 10 – 6


Ask us anything

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Save 50% on POD + Other Coronavirus Updates

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Clients,

We at Dickerman Prints send our best wishes to all of you in this unprecedented and challenging period!

With more time on our hands, art can be a welcome refuge. You may find this to be a good time for photography and photo editing, and we would like to help in any way that we can. Here's an update of how Dickerman Prints is addressing the Shelter in Place ordinance - and keeping our clients safe.

 

We are open for online orders only

To comply with the Shelter in Place ordinance, we will be offering limited services via phone consultation, online ordering, and delivery only. Please email or phone with any questions or concerns. We will be happy to be of any assistance that we can!

  • We are maintaining our equipment in operating condition, and are able to do a lot for you remotely.
  • We will be offering online tutorials. Reach out to learn more.
  • You can send us print orders through our website, and film and other materials by mail or other delivery services.

 

Save 50% on Print on Demand Services

Our Print on Demand service is particularly appropriate for working from home, so as a means of encouragement we are offering it at half price during this period. Your prints will be mailed to you within 2 business days (depending on the availability of postal services). Here's how to get this special offer:

Click here to upload your files

Select "DIY C-Print" as your service type

Enter POD50 at checkout.

 

"Jimmy on a Float" - by Gary Beeber
"Jimmy on a Float" - by Gary Beeber

The Best Medicine Show to Debut Online

The Best Medicine Show, our juried show of photographs to help make you laugh will go on to open as scheduled, on Friday, April 1st. Yes, that’s April Fool’s Day!

Until the lab reopens to the public this will take place in an online gallery. Please stay tuned for details!

 

To those whose work has been accepted in The Best Medicine Show: we will still honor our offer to make your prints for you (8x10” or larger, depending on file size and show layout). Please send us the largest file that you have (without up-rezzing) both for printing and for online purposes.

Prize winners will be announced at the (online) opening. We hope that you can join us – that we can have some laughs together, even as we are apart!

 

We wish you health, happiness, and creativity!

~ Dickerman Prints


Just About to Step into the Bus for the Assembly Center - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman

Printing Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange has come to Dickerman Prints

Dorothea Lange (May 26, 1895 – October 11, 1965) was an American documentary photographer and photojournalist, best known for her Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Lange's photographs influenced the development of documentary photography and humanized the consequences of the Great Depression.[1]

The Oakland Museum of California recently commissioned us to create new prints for their permanent Dorothea Lange collection. As a starting point, the museum sent us high-resolution scans of the original negatives. The rest was up to Seth Dickerman: Master Printer and lab founder.

Gas Station, Kern County, California (Lettuce Strike) - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman
Gas Station, Kern County, California (Lettuce Strike) - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman

 

Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman
Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman

 

One Nation Indivisible, San Francisco - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman
One Nation Indivisible, San Francisco - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman

 

Restaurant Segregation, Mississippi - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman
Restaurant Segregation, Mississippi - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman

 

Just About to Step into the Bus for the Assembly Center - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman
Just About to Step into the Bus for the Assembly Center - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman

 

Woman standing in front of Richmond Cafe - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman
Woman standing in front of Richmond Cafe - Photo by Dorothea Lange. Printed by Seth Dickerman

 

When I edit these, I imagine that Dorothea Lange is my client. My goal is to use her vision to create something entirely new. ... something that she would approve of.

~ Seth Dickerman


Fist Running - Jock McDonald

The Best Medicine Show

The Best Medicine Show

A Juried Exhibition of Funny Photographs


Opening Reception:
April 1 (April Fool’s Day), 6-8pm

  Photograph by Jock McDonald

CALL FOR ENTRIES

We need to laugh now, more than ever, so Dickerman Prints is announcing a call for humorous entries that will lift our spirits and tickle our funny bones.

All genres and styles of photography are welcome, but remember: photographs will be judged primarily on how funny they are!

  Photograph by Jock McDonald

Prizes

  • Best of Show will receive a $500 gift certificate to Dickerman Prints.
  • 4 honorable mention prizes of $150 gift certificates to Dickerman prints will also be awarded.
  • Winning pictures will be exhibited at Dickerman Prints in the SOMA Arts District of San Francisco.
  • Selections from the show will be featured in a special article in All-About-Photo.com


Jurors

  • Ann Jastrab, executive director of the Center for Photographic Art, Carmel
  • Stuart Kogod, owner and founder of Rayko Photo Center
  • Seth Dickerman, owner and founder of Dickerman Prints

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”

~ Lord Byron

  Photograph by Jock McDonald

Entry Guidelines

The Best Medicine Show is open to all living photographers, worldwide, over the age of 18, working in all still photographic media. Works must be original.

  • Deadline for submissions: March 8, 2020
  • Entry Fee (non-refundable): $30/up to 3 images. $5/additional image up to 10 images.
  • Limit 10 images per person:
  • All entries must be jpegs or tiffs, not bigger than 2MB, longest side 1280 pixels
  • Save files with artist’s last name, first name and title of image (Example: Marx-Groucho-Animal Crackers-1930.jpeg)
  • For those submitting by mail or hand-delivering to Dickerman Prints, please download our submission form.

  Photograph by Jock McDonald

Submission of Accepted Work

Accepted artists will be invited to send or deliver actual work.  Artists may also choose to have Dickerman Prints, San Francisco’s premier photo lab, print your images.

For $20 per print, Dickerman Prints will make beautiful prints of your photographs that you will get to keep after the exhibition. 8×10″ or 8.5×11″ paper.

All works will be hung unframed.

“Keep laughing. As long as you’re laughing you still have hope.”

~ Moe Howard

  Photograph by Jock McDonald

Delivery & Return Schedule

  • March 8, 2020 – Deadline for submissions. Late submissions will not be reviewed.
  • March 10, 2020 – Notification sent by
  • March 14, 2020 – Deadline for receipt of digital files if Dickerman Prints is printing your image(s) for the show
  • March 25, 2020 – Deadline for receipt of works (late submissions or substitute images will not be hung)
  • April 1 – June 1 – Exhibition on view
  • April 1, 2020 – Opening reception at Dickerman Prints, 5:30-7:30pm (yes, April Fool’s Day!)
  • June 10, 2020 – Pick-up hand-delivered work
  • July 1, 2020 – Works shipped by

Enter Now

Artists will be notified by email on March 8, 2020

Stop by

1141 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Our friendly staff loves to share their expertise and experience. Come in, load up your photos on a Mac workstation, sip on an organic espresso or tea, and let us help you create the perfect print.


We are open!

Our lab is open – workstations and all – with COVID prevention measures in place. In addition to wearing face coverings, our staff will be regularly sanitizing all computers, tables, and surfaces. Hope to see you soon!

We’re always here to help
(415) 252-1300
[email protected]

Monday: 10 – 6
Tuesday: 10 -7
Wednesday: 10 – 6


Ask us anything

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Follow Us

We share local artist profiles, photo resources, interviews, exclusive discounts and a behind-the-scenes look at a modern photo lab.

Get our awesome newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Your Local San Francisco
Photo Lab


CURRENCY: by Seth Dickerman

CURRENCY
a pop-up exhibition

Large-format photographic prints by Seth Dickerman

ON DISPLAY THROUGH MARCH 16

1141 Howard Street, SF

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

About the Work

The coins and bills from which these portraits were photographed are history books in disguise.  They bear witness to change: physical, historical and philosophical.  Our perception of these presidents has changed over time, as have these artifacts which carry their images.

These images have traveled a circuitous path.  Each began as a portrait drawn, painted, or photographed directly from their living subject.  These portraits were then rendered, as line drawings for bills, or as sculptural reliefs for coins.

These renderings were then greatly reduced, and used to make printing plates or minting dyes, which were subsequently used to produce the bills and coins.  They were endowed with monetary value, and sent out into the world.

They have been passed from person to person, place to place, past to present. Spent and saved, gained and lost, each has been marked by its own unfathomable journey.


Currency was featured in the SF Chronicle

 

Technical Information - a Journey Continued

The coins and bills were photographed at extremely high magnification with a 4x5” view camera and black and white film (the coin an inch or two in front of the camera lens, and the film as much as 16” behind the lens).  A miniature spotlight was positioned with the sharply focused filament of the bulb grazing the surface of the coin.  The slight ridge on the edge of the coin created the initial shadow, allowing the features of the portrait to be lit in bright relief.  The portraits on the bills were made the same way, with the light source less sharply focused.

The resulting 4x5” negatives were then projected by means of a photographic enlarger to make 20x24” silver gelatin prints.  These prints were subsequently scanned digitally and enlarged again to make the archival pigment prints in this exhibition.  In the case of the 40x50” prints, the bills have been enlarged by 3,500%, and the coins have been enlarged by ratios from 6000% to 10,000%.  At this scale the coins would average 6 feet in diameter,  and the bills would be nearly 8 feet tall by 18 feet wide.

Artist’s Statement

My interest in images of presidents began in childhood.  In the early 1960’s, iconic images of  American presidents were ubiquitous.  We didn’t have the constant stream of dramatic imagery then that we have now - there were fewer idols, fewer heroes.

The Presidency was generally respected and celebrated. It was a simpler and more optimistic time in America.  By the 1960's much changed.  The Viet Nam war raged on, and Richard Nixon was president.  I began photographing Nixon from television and newspapers and have been exploring presidential imagery ever since.

The seed of this particular project was planted on a spring day in 1986, when I was struck by the dignity of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s portrait on a silver dime.

This was during the administration of Ronald Reagan, whose cheerful portraits seemed to me to be those of a fictional character, at best. I decided then to photograph FDR on his dime, in part to illustrate the contrast with Reagan.

The tainted election of a smirking George W. Bush in 2000 brought what one might have thought to be the ultimate insult to the institution of the presidency.  I began to look more deeply at the presidents on our currency - a rather obvious link between money and power.  I made the 10 photographs in this series, printing them as 20x24” silver-gelatin prints.

I had thought the project finished - until the shocking and tainted election of Donald Trump in 2016 induced me to revisit the project.

I have used digital tools to go deeper into the work, by exposing greater detail, by increasing scale, and by further manipulating light and shadow in ways that I could not do in the darkroom.

When the 20x24’s were first shown in San Francisco, in 2000, it did not strike me as especially significant that these images of presidents were all of white men.  Today, 19 years later, the significance of this is painfully apparent. Despite setbacks, much progress has been made since then - and we clearly have good reason to believe that a female presidency is at last in sight.

May we recover from this benighted administration, and learn from our past!

Seth Dickerman
January, 2019

 


Forage From Fire - an interview with Norma Quintana

Tragedy struck Northern California in 2017 when the Atlas Peak Wildfire ripped through Napa County. Entire communities were reduced to piles of ash and precious family treasures were lost forever.

For photographer Norma Quintana, the remnants of her home provided a stark backdrop for mourning, healing, and a fascinating series of images.

Norma’s Forage From Fire series features photographs of her charred personal items, set against the black gloves that first-responders used to sift through the rubble.

Recently, we sat down with Norma to chat about her incredible career as a photographer, printing her work at Dickerman Prints, and her exhibition at SF Camerawork.

What was the first camera you remember using?

As far as I can remember, I had a camera on me all the time and recall having a 35mm KODAK INSTAMATIC 104 camera.  Color of course!

How did your love of photography grow?

My academic background is in Sociology.  I obtained a post graduate degree in the social science and justice.  I share this because my interest has always been in gathering and analyzing evidence.  Photography was a natural fit for me as I began to document.

I learned the craft of photography class by class, shot 35 mm, black and white then moved on to a medium format camera. The Forage From Fire was done with the iPhone camera and is my first ever digital and color body of work.  The learning curve has been dramatic.

What is the most impactful photograph you've ever created?

Such a great question! I would say the Forage From Fire Glove image with a burned camera.

You studied under Mary Ellen Mark, Graciela Iturbide, Sally Mann, and Shelby Lee Adams. How does their tutelage influence your photography today?

I learned a great deal from these icons! So many lessons!  Graciela Iturbide taught me compassion, Shelby Lee Adams: dedication and commitment to a project and Mary Ellen Mark, grit.  Sally Mann shared her wisdom.

What led you to co-found PhotoAlliance and how are you still involved with the organization today?

I had wanted to create and support a photography culture in the Bay Area. I was on the Board of Directors for up to 10 years and attend their amazing lecture series.  It is a jewel in the art community. (learn more about Photo Alliance here)

Your Forage From Fire series has gained a lot of media attention, and is currently featured in an exhibition at SF Camerawork.

Before jumping into the work itself, would you be willing to share a personal story from the Atlas Peak wildfire (that has nothing to do with photography)?

Prior to the fire I had been consumed by Hurricane Maria.  My immediate family is from Puerto Rico.  As life would have it, I had been trying to reach my aunt and cousin who live on the island and had not been successful. I was on high alert.

On the day I learned that we had lost my home and studio of over 25 years to the firestorm, I received a call from my aunt who was worried for my safety.  I learned she was safe and I shared that I had lost my home.  My aunt sent her blessings.

Forage From Fire is an incredibly personal project, focusing on personal items that were rescued from your home and studio. Can you share a bit of your inspiration for the series?

The creation of Forage From Fire was uber organic and unplanned!  It was so innate in me to forage for recognizable items on the burned site. I remember thinking …. this is my personal 9-11. I was not really inspired but more compelled to document. The loss was about home.

How did you choose which objects to feature?

All the objects were found with the use of a sifter.  In my home I was the collector … so I knew the genesis of my physical world.  Also, I focused on what would fit with a glove.

You used an iPhone X to create the images in Forage From Fire. As someone who traditionally uses film as your medium, can you describe the experience of using such a different camera?

I have always believed that creating images is not about the camera!  With that in mind, I would say that the issue for me was the use of color.  Also, it is the first time I created work digitally.

Can you describe your process and setup for creating the images in Forage From Fire?

I foraged using a industrial respirator mask and a sifter created for me by a volunteer in a winery.  They knew there was going to be demand for people who were looking through their wreckage.  I recall finding artifacts and immediately wanting to photographed them and upon my return to the temporary home I was in… started to photograph as I always do… with available light .

There's a certain beauty in the contrast of your burned treasures against a black rubber glove. How did that concept come to be? Was everyone given those gloves when they returned to their home, or did you borrow a few from the cleanup crew?

The gloves were given to me by first responders.  We were all given masks and masks!  Initially, there was extensive smoke and everything destroyed.

You mention that your project has had a deep impact on those recovering from the trauma of the fire. Can you describe how that impact manifests itself?

I have heard from so many people that they find the images both staggering and hopeful… some even said liberating.  I believe they see a person who lost everything and had a story to tell.

I have heard from strangers across the world… via social media platforms.  I have also received art books and prints from people who I have somehow touched with Forage From Fire.

 Seth Dickerman and Norma Quintana go through Forage From Fire test prints. Seth Dickerman and Norma Quintana go through Forage From Fire test prints.

You have been working closely with Dickerman Prints to prepare your images for the Camerawork exhibition. Can you describe what that process has been like?

Working with Seth, Gabriel, and Garnell are my dream team. I knew I was in great hands when I learned they had started in the dark room. They approach the work as artisans.

Thanks again for your time. Before we go, do you have any words of wisdom for photographers starting their careers?

  • Remember that photographs are not taken they are created!

  • Try everything: photojournalism, landscape, portraiture etc.

  • Study the work of other photographers.

  • Get your hands on photo artbooks.

  • Learn the craft of photography.

  • Photograph when you have something to say.

 Gabriel Aguilar and Norma Quintana with a framed print from Forage From Fire. Gabriel Aguilar and Norma Quintana with a framed print from Forage From Fire.

Forage From Fire debuts at SF Camerawork on October 4. Learn more here.

To view more of Norma’s work, visit normaiquintana.com


Exploring the LGBTQ community with Saul Bromberger and Sandra Hoover

We had the pleasure of talking with local photographers – Saul Bromberger and Sandra Hoover – about their work and the LGBTQ community.

Saul and Sandra have been deeply involved with the LGBTQ moment since they first shot it back in the 1980's. This body of work has grown immensely over the years and became the focus of both of their careers.

Their ultimate goal for this series was to show what it was like 25-30 years ago when the gay community was marching for it's civil rights, fighting AIDS, and coming together as a community; and, what's it's like now for many LGBTQ teens who we found to be confident, open, and happy to be who they are.

 From the archive   'The San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade: 1984-1990 From the archive   'The San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade: 1984-1990


DICKERMAN PRINTS GALLERY:What inspired you to get involved with the movement?

SAUL BROMBERGER: “Motivation for me started back in the 80’s when coverage of the movement was just beginning in local newspapers. At the time I worked for SF chronicle, and there were male photographers with telephoto lenses running around snapping shots. Working with a newspaper, I knew how photography could impact people’s lives.

The problem I saw was that most photographers would only focus on the nudity and the flamboyant nature of the movement; basically showcasing only the outrageous and crazy aspects of the community, but they didn’t focus on the actual community. It labeled the LGBTQ community as ‘crazy and wild,’ and this angered me.”

 From the archive   'The San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade: 1984-1990 From the archive   'The San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade: 1984-1990


DPG: What did you want to portray by shooting the LGBTQ community?

SB: "I wanted to tell people's stories by show casing the little moments that I witnessed. It was about showing the side where parents are supporting their children and the community.

Back when we first started shooting the Pride movement, there was still a lingering ghost of AIDS.  I I wanted my photographs to help raise awareness about AIDS and the people dying from it. I wanted to bring light to the movement and show that it a civil rights movement before anything else, because that wasn't how it was being portrayed in the newspapers at the time."

 From the archive   'The San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade: 1984-1990 From the archive   'The San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade: 1984-1990


DPG: Who are some of your biggest inspirations?

SB: "One of my biggest influences would be Eugene Smith. One of his most famous projects was working with Minamata disease (caused by mercury poisoning) in Japan. His dramatic photographic essay brought world attention to Minamata disease and conveyed the idea of passion and the hopefulness. This to me was incredible and life affirming and I wanted to incorporate this into my work.

Another incredible influence I had would be Bruce Davidson. I was inspired by his project shooting scenes of urban poverty on East 100th Street in New York. He was aiming to bring change and awareness to a population that was often left ignored and deemed 'ghetto,' when there was so much more to it than that. He worked hard to balance the dire situations that residents lived in with moments of beauty and resilience. It was also a common thread throughout his life’s work."

 From the archive   'The San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade: 1984-1990 From the archive   'The San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade: 1984-1990


DPG: You've been shooting Pride since the 80's, what do you think has changed the most about it over the years?

SB: "I think one of the biggest elements that has changed about Pride is that back in the 80's people were marching for their civil rights. People would wait all year for Pride to be with the one that they loved. Some people even risked losing their job if they were caught attending Pride by their work.

In the last few years, ever since same sex marriage was legalized, I have noticed much more corporations have been involved. This is a great– don't get me wrong, but I feel like it's become more about promoting brands rather than be about the core of the movement itself, civil rights.

This year; however, with the Trump administration, I've been seeing a lot more resistance and the come back of fighting for civil rights and equality for all."

 From the archive   'The San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade: 1984-1990 From the archive   'The San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade: 1984-1990


Interested in shooting civil rights movements like Saul and Sandra?

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Get close and once you feel like you're close, get closer! 
This will not only help keep your photos direct and less busy, but you will be able to capture the smaller details and moments that a lot of people miss when shooting with a telephoto lens.

2. It's about Interpreting a scene, how do you want people to feel?
Ask yourself why you are there with a camera. What is it that you want to capture while shooting?

3. Don't be afraid to talk to people! 
Introduce yourself and remember to always be respectful when shooting. It's about making connections with people and learning their story and capturing their light and love.

4. Timing is everything! 
Every good documentary photographer knows that it's about waiting for the story telling elements to come together and then shooting in the moment.

5. Bring different lenses. 
This will help create a diverse body of work and make capturing different images easier.

 From the archive   'The San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade: 1984-1990 From the archive   'The San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Day Parade: 1984-1990


To learn more about Saul and Sandra's work and for contact information, please visit their website.