An Interview with CPW’s Digital Lab Manager
CPW welcomed Mark Daniel Harley as the new Digital Lab Manager in November 2013. We sat down with Mark to learn about his background, photographic interests, and what he is most excited for in the Digital Kitchen!
Tell us about your background… What brought you to Woodstock?
Mark Daniel Harley: I am a native of Richmond, Virginia, but my father’s side of the family has a rich history in Buffalo, New York. It was while I was researching this family history for my (BFA) thesis work that I made the trip to Buffalo to photograph the town my father grew up in. I took this trip at a time I could also interview for CPW’s summer Workshop Internship Program. My professor and mentor, Brian Ulrich, who taught a workshop at CPW in 2012, spoke very highly of CPW. I immediately hit it off with the staff, and was fortunate enough to be chosen to spend my first post-college summer as an intern here. The summer flew by, and I wasn’t quite ready to leave my newly formed community.
What got you into photography? Where did you study?
MDH: Growing up, my mother was always an omni-present photographer. It was a vital part of my childhood and certainly emphasized, at a young age, the importance of a photograph. I grew up painting and drawing, but following my first basic photography class in high school, I was hooked. I went on to spend two years studying the medium at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C., before completing my undergraduate photographic education at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia in 2013.
What inspired you to apply to be CPW’s Digital Lab Manager?
MDH: Towards the end of my internship here at CPW, I began assisting our artists-in-residence, Maria Buyondo and Danielle Scruggs in scanning and printing their work. I really enjoyed being able to witness their creative processes first hand, as well as assist them in reaching both technical and conceptual solutions in their work. I realized then that with my internship nearly over, I still had much to learn from and give to the artists coming to CPW. I applied and was lucky enough to have been chosen to join this very small, very unique staff and subsequently extend my upstate New York adventure.
What will you be doing as the Digital Lab Manager?
MDH: As CPW’s Digital Lab Manager, I will be assisting our artists-in-residence, workshop instructors and students, as well as members of the community in printing, scanning, and overall digital workflow. For artists-in-residence I will serve as CPW’s master printer, ensuring that each artist can produce their work exactly as they envision it with the Digital Kitchen equipment. I will also be insuring that the lab is ready to go for the 2014 Woodstock Photography Workshop season. A great thing about the Digital Kitchen is that it is open to anyone in the community, by appointment, to use our facilities to produce their own work. I will also be available to assist these users from the most basic image-editing techniques, to advanced printing, and everything in between.
What excited you most about becoming CPW’s Digital Lab Manager?
MDH: As a second year student, I managed the digital lab at the Corcoran Collage of Art + Design in Washington D.C. I always enjoyed being surrounded by work in progress, as well as encouraging and facilitating fellow artists and photographers to experiment with new media. I’m excited to be working in a similar environment, assisting artists-in-residence, workshop students, and general users in engaging with the various technologies and helping to produce their work.
Is there any specific tech or features of the Digital Kitchen that you are particularly looking forward to introducing users to?
MDH: I love photobooks, especially self-published ones. So, I am most excited about all of the Canon printers, including the two large-format ones. CPW also just made the transition to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which means the Digital Kitchen now has Adobe Premier. So I’m excited to have the capability to host video-based artists and workshops.
Any big changes you see making in the Digital Kitchen?
MDH: We have new iMacs coming in February, which will give us a good boost in processing power to run all of the applications in Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Right now the major change I am looking forward to is welcoming more people to use this great facility!
Want to meet Mark or schedule time with him in the Digital Kitchen? His regular hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 11am-6pm.