Markus Pfitzner
November 19, 2021

Mendocino College is excited to announce that after a twelve-year absence, its Coast Center location will have a fully functional photographic darkroom beginning the Spring 2022 term. “It is a rare resource to have a functioning dark room in 2021,” says Dean of Centers, Amanda Xu. “The Coast Center is excited to share this resource with the community. We will be able to introduce both digital and darkroom photography to a new generation, while providing access to the facility for those already in the field.”  

The darkroom’s film developing facilities will allow everyone from beginning students to photographic artists the ability to work with small and medium roll film, as well as large format sheet film.  

ART-282, Introduction to Photography, will be instructed by Markus Pfitzner at the Coast Center this spring and will utilize the renovated darkroom, as well as expose students to the digital side of photography. Pfitzner is an educator, fine art photographer, Lecturer Emeritus at CSU Sacramento, and a former manager of three professional photography labs. 

“The darkroom’s 13 enlargers will allow for enlargements from those small, medium, and large format negatives,” says Pfitzner. “The photographic artists and craftsmen of Mendocino County will finally be able to enlarge their own gallery-quality fiber-based prints using the darkroom’s time-honored archival procedures.” 

Looking forward, the Coast Center also plans to offer photographic courses in alternative darkroom processes, such as Cyanotype and Vandyke Brown printing. The revitalization of the darkroom allows for other potential photography course concentrations—including Large Format Photography (utilizing view cameras), Ansel Adam’s Zone System of Film Exposure and Development, as well as Pinhole Photography.  

The spring semester at Mendocino College begins January 18, registration is now open. For more information, visit or call 707.961.2200. 

Markus Pfitzner
Photo credit: Jo C. Mills