Sharing The Light


Sharing the Light  is a captivating short documentary that explores the profound mentorship between Bob Kolbrener, a venerable practitioner of large format film photography, and his protege, Nolan Beck. Nestled in the scenic tranquility of Carmel Highlands, the film delves into the almost lost art of large format photography and the meticulous process of darkroom skills, disciplines that were once championed by the legendary Ansel Adams.

The documentary captures not only the breathtaking beauty of the natural world, but also the unspoken bonds forged through the act of creating. It’s a story of legacy, art, and the timeless pursuit of beauty through the aperture of life, highlighting the importance of preserving these precious skills in a fast-paced, technology-driven age.

Director's Statement

Creating Sharing the Light  has been an extraordinary journey, one that has deeply impacted me both as a filmmaker and as an individual. This documentary, set against the stunning backdrop of Carmel Highlands, was not just a project; it became a pilgrimage into the heart of photographic artistry, guided by the remarkable talents of Bob Kolbrener and the eager passion of Nolan Beck.

In using vintage Zeiss Super Speed lenses, we cut through the clinical sharpness typical of digital sensors, bringing a warmth and organic character to our images that modern lenses often miss. These old lenses soften the digital edge, adding a soulful quality to the high-resolution footage, grounding our storytelling in a more tactile, visually rich experience.

The editing process was a journey in its own right, stretching over weeks of meticulous work. It was a period of reflection, of diving into the amassed footage to find the true soul of our story. Each frame, each transition, was considered with the utmost care, ensuring that the final piece not only honored our subjects but also conveyed the profound emotional and aesthetic impact of their work.

Sharing the Light  is, at its core, a celebration—a celebration of art, of nature, of human connection. It is a testament to the beauty that exists when we take the time to look closely, to learn, and to pass on our knowledge to others. The experience of bringing this documentary to life has been incredibly rewarding, filled with challenges, learning, and, most importantly, growth. I am immensely proud of what we have created and forever grateful for the opportunity to share this story with the world.

— Ryan Houchin