46 Douro St, Nth Geelong. Ph: 03 4222 8359

Focal Point Studio, Darkroom & Gallery

Focal Point Studio, Darkroom & GalleryFocal Point Studio, Darkroom & GalleryFocal Point Studio, Darkroom & Gallery

Creating and celebrating great photography.

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Special Announcement Regarding COVID19

Following the announcements by the Australian Federal and Victorian State Governments, the gallery is now closed until further notice. This has thrown our exhibition schedule into chaos, as we do not know when we will reopen. We currently still have our exhibition of animal photography, Animal Kingdoms, in situ and this will remain for at least two weeks after we reopen. Depending on that date we will then be able to announce new dates for our other exciting exhibitions. We will continue to work in the background, finishing the studio so it will be available for hire once we reopen, updating the darkroom to improve your working experience and doing general maintenance to keep the place looking its best.


We will also be extending the renewal dates for all our memberships by the period we are closed. So, for example, if we reopen in June then the renewal dates will all be put back three months - so that a membership due for renewal in April will remain valid until July, and so forth. Any memberships taken out this month or while we are closed, will not be due for renewal until 12 months after we reopen.


However, our darkroom remains open for bookings, but there are very limited restrictions on the number of people we can have in the darkroom. Because we cannot guarantee the minimum 1.5m distancing in the darkroom entrance or while working at the sinks, we are limited to only one person or one household group (ie: family or couple living together) at a time. Darkroom hours have been extended to allow everyone the opportunity to work safely in the darkroom. Darkroom hours are now 9am to 6pm, Monday to Sunday. Bookings are essential, so phone ahead                     (on 0427 537 443) or email (contact@focalpointdarkroomgallery.com.au) to book a day and time. This is to ensure our safe numbers are maintained and to have the darkroom ready for you before you arrive.


Our shop retail space has also been enlarged and the shop is now open on Saturdays only, 10am to 5pm. So you can come in and get your essential film photography or darkroom supplies, or grab a great photography book to enjoy during the remaining weeks of lockdown. Or, you can drop off your black-and-white films to be processed. You can also purchase some framed or unframed prints from our personal archive, and from a number of supported local photographers. We also have blank greeting cards featuring scenes from the Geelong region and further afield in Australia.


Meanwhile, you can still purchase memberships or gift vouchers online and any products purchased online will be posted out as soon as possible - depending on Australia Post. Also subscribe to our newsletters to receive updates as they become known, particularly about when we will reopen, what plans we have for the future and the dates for exhibitions.


We hope all our members, customers and supporters will stay safe and well during this uncertain period and we look forward to seeing you all when things settle down and get back to normal.


Thanks for your understanding,

Watto and Family.

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A Quick Look At focal point darkroom & gallery

Become a member today and enjoy all the benefits

Focal Point members get free admission to most of our exhibitions, discounts from everything in the shop and workshops, access to hire our darkroom, free access to our huge library of photography books and can hire our studio at half the rates of non-members. Plus exclusive member-only exhibitions.

About Focal Point studio, Darkroom & Gallery

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The Studio

The Darkroom

The Darkroom

We have Geelong's only fully-equipped studio for hire, with a small cyclorama (infinity wall). The studio is 9m x 4m, while the cyclorama is 2.4m wide and 3m deep. There are three shooting positions within the studio, with a range of backdrops. The studio is most suitable for portrait and product photography.

Hire rates are very reasonable. If you have your own lighting equipment, you can bring that and save money, or hire ours.

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The Darkroom

The Darkroom

The Darkroom

Our darkroom is available for hire: one enlarger to work on your own, a selection or the whole darkroom (20 enlargers) for groups. We have a great choice of professional-quality enlargers, from 35mm to 4"x5", all suitable for Ilford Multigrade. We also have a dedicated film processing room, which can be put into total darkness, so you can load films out on the bench, rather than using fiddly dark-bags. Basic chemicals are included in the hire.

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The Gallery

The Gallery

The Gallery

We aim to celebrate photography in all its forms: from hand-printed black & white prints to colour digital files; hard-hitting news to fine-art; historically significant to contemporary works; from established and well-known photographers to emerging.

Our upcoming exhibitions include Photojournalism; contemporary photography; landscapes; portraits; works by students; and special themes from individuals or groups of photographers.

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The Shop

The Gallery

The Gallery

We want you to enjoy creating beautiful photographs as affordably as possible. We have everything you need for film photography, from film to printing paper. We even have some pre-owned cameras and other equipment. Of course, we would like you to enjoy our darkroom, but if you want to build your own darkroom, or already have one, then we can supply the chemistry, paper and accessories you need, as well as some pre-owned enlargers and other darkroom gear.

Workshops

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Set Workshops

We have regular workshops on photography and darkroom techniques. Dates vary. Contact us or see our events section for details or to book.

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Create Your Own Workshop

We understand that sometimes people want to do a workshop but can't make it on a particular day. We can tailor a darkroom workshop to suit your requirements and when you are available. No matter what your level of skill, from complete novice or beginner to experienced professional, we will work around you to teach the skills you will need to confidently work in our darkroom and produce fantastic analogue black-and-white prints. Contact us for more details. 

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Guest Workshops

From time to time we will have guest presenters doing workshops on advanced techniques, alternative processes, analogue and digital photography techniques and lighting. Contact us or see in the upcoming events below to book.

Upcoming exhibitions & Events

Reopening dates to be confirmed

Animal Kingdoms

10am - 5pm

Wednesdays to Sundays only

Event Details

Reopening dates to be confirmed

Animal Kingdoms

An open-call exhibition of the world of animals. From wildlife to domestic pets, farm animals and even the microscopic world. All photograph...

Event Details

10am - 5pm

Wednesdays to Sundays only

Dates to be confirmed

Nikon-Walkley Press Photography Awards

10am - 5pm

Wednesdays to Sundays only.

Event Details

Dates to be confirmed

Nikon-Walkley Press Photography Awards

All the finalists and winners of the 2019 Nikon-Walkley Press Photography Awards. A must-see exhibition for anyone interested in photography...

Event Details

10am - 5pm

Wednesdays to Sundays only.

Dates to be confirmed

Members' Magic

10am - 5pm

Wednesday to Sundays only

Event Details

Dates to be confirmed

Members' Magic

This is out first exhibition specifically for members to showcase their own work. There is no set theme, so colour or black-and-white, film ...

Event Details

10am - 5pm

Wednesday to Sundays only

Dates to be confirmed

Humanity 2

10am - 5pm

Wednesdays to Sundays only

Event Details

Dates to be confirmed

Humanity 2

We invite all photographers to submit portrait photos for our open-call exhibition  of Humanity. This was a very popular exhibition last yea...

Event Details

10am - 5pm

Wednesdays to Sundays only

Dates to be confirmed

Masters Of Australian Photojournalism

10am - 5pm

Wednesdays to Sundays only

Event Details

Dates to be confirmed

Masters Of Australian Photojournalism

Around 200 photos from some of Australia's top press photographers. Hard news, sport, politics, human interest and much more. This exhibitio...

Event Details

10am - 5pm

Wednesdays to Sundays only

More Events

About Watto

 

Craig “Watto” Watson worked for several years in retail and industrial camera shops before beginning a course in photography at RMIT in 1986. This led to a part-time position at Leader Newspapers in Blackburn, which in turn led to a full-time position as darkroom technician at the Herald & Weekly Times.


Watto worked in the darkroom for two years, before taking up a position as photographer on The Weekly Times newspaper, covering all aspects of country life, including farming, news, sport, politics, gardening, cooking, the environment and industry. During his six years on the The Weekly Times, he won numerous prestigious photographic awards, in state and national media competitions. 


He began photographing motorsport and classic cars in 1994, and in 1996 left the paper to begin a freelance career specialising in classic motoring, motorsport and corporate events. Since then he has been published in over 40 magazine and newspaper titles in Australia, the United Kingdom and USA, being the sole Australian contributor to six motoring magazines in the UK for a decade. 


His corporate work has included official events photographer at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, including the relaunch of Blood on The Southern Cross in 2003, a visit by a Chinese delegation for the opening of the Chinese mining display in 1998, and the Royal Visit by The Queen and Prince Phillip in 2000.


In 1997 he was the official photographer at the Avalon International Air show, and he has been official photographer on charity bush rallies for Camp Quality, Canteen and Make-A-Wish, as well as numerous other events.


In 2000 he worked as Photographic Supervisor (Cycling) at the Sydney Olympic Games and Photographic Manager (Cycling) at the Sydney Paralympics. While not photographing at these events, his role was looking after international photographers to ensure they had everything they needed to carry out their work.


From 2004 to 2017, Watto ran his own niche market motoring magazine covering British cars from Mini, Morris, Austin, MG, Austin-Healey, Jaguar, Rover, Leyland and others. Unfortunately, the bottom fell out of the market in 2017 and the magazine was closed down in June of that year.


Following twelve months’ research and planning, and acquiring of equipment, Watto and his family opened Focal Point Darkroom and Gallery in North Geelong in February 2019. The primary purposes of the business are to support and encourage local photographers, from students to well-established, and to provide a local photographic hub to bring photographers together to create and celebrate photography.


The business consists of five main components, being:

• The gallery.

• The darkroom.

• The Studio.

• The shop.

• The library (with over 700 books on photography).

Access to the darkroom and library is via Focal Point membership, which also includes discounts on shop merchandise and workshops, as well as free entry to most exhibitions in the gallery.

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Contact Us

Drop us a line!

Better yet, see us in person!

We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.

Focal Point Studio, Darkroom & Gallery

46 Douro St, North Geelong, VIC 3215, AU

03 4222 8359

Hours

Today

By Appointment

The darkroom is currently available for individual hire, between 9am and 6pm any day. Bookings essential.