Condolences and Memories
Remembering Bruce Falkinburg
Bruce’s time at Photoworks left wonderful memories about the energy, joy and commitment he gave to the practice of being a film photographer and a supporter of Photoworks. In knowledge, action and wisdom, Bruce was the best representation of artistic photo commitment and almost overnight built a like-minded community.
In dire times (covid, closed facility, zoom classes, few students, and bare exhibit walls), Bruce saw Photoworks as a place to continue and spread his passion for film, camera formats and the perfect silver gelatin print. Always with a gracious greeting and a quick smile, he knew what Photoworks needed – an improved darkroom program, an expansion of b/w film formats, cameras in action, diverse classes and a sincere welcome to all students. The doors opened and Bruce began building a program for beginners through advanced students. His quick smile brought students and many PW instructors into the “group”. Steadily, Bruce built a set of classes which mirror the important content for a film photographer: Intro to B&W Photography, Advanced B&W Photography, The View Camera, Studio Lighting, and the Zone System. He was always quietly busy and would drop by a Photoworks Board meeting or an instructors course discussion and add his “right on” knowledge as he continued his photo practice and support of his students.
My last in person memory is his presence at the May Photoworks Fundraiser. Bruce set up his portrait studio in the Bumper Car Pavilion and took large format film portraits of attendees helping to raise funds for Photoworks. Generosity of heart and soul practiced daily, will be my lasting memory of Bruce. There will always be “Bruce” b/w photography on Photoworks walls.
Bruce, in a short amount of time, built a group of enthusiastic, committed photographers and planted a seed that mirrors the 1970’s origin of Photoworks at Glen Echo Park.
May he rest in peace.
Bruce's Statement on Teaching and His Bio:
My teaching style is very direct and to the point, I provide my students with the tools and knowledge to begin making images in the darkroom almost right away on day one. For my more advanced and experienced students, I try to let them guide themselves and come to me when they are ready for guidance or are ready to expand their abilities and talents. I like to give as much hands-on time as possible, as the real learning comes from the doing and repetition, the refining of technique, and making mistakes and trying again, and again. And again.
I have been working at being a fine art photographer since my teenage years (with a big hiatus in my 30's) concentrating on traditional analog darkroom film photography. I studied a bit in the formal setting of The New School in NYC until my mentor at the time suggested I had the basis for an artistic voice, but needed more knowledge and experience to really learn to speak with this voice through my photographs. This led to more school, grad school in the humanities and geography, and various "careers" that led to teaching and back to photography.