February 8, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 34°F


So why are the darkrooms gone?

Anyone who may have walked to the bottom floor of the Park School of Communications may have noticed the construction and remodeling going on and wondered what it was about. It looks like they are almost done and it is pretty easy to tell what happened. Many darkroom areas have been removed! It’s about time.

Film is out. Sorry to break it to those of you who still hang tight to those expired rolls or sheets of film. I understand, watching some Kodak 200T on a 16mm projection is still one of the most beautiful things I have seen. But, in terms of the industry, digital is the way to go.

Digital technology has advanced to a point that can technically match film and even beat it in some areas. Granted there are still the positives and negatives to using digital compared to film but in general and considering the future advancements this will soon become less of an issue.

New cameras will eventually surpass film on every level of technical specifications, but it is much more difficult to use this technology effectively without a great knowledge of how it works. Technical knowledge is more important nowadays because it is changing so quickly that learning more about specific things can lead to not being able to quickly adapt to new equipment.

For example, without understanding the difference in digital sensor size between different levels of cameras we may not understand how digital noise is created and why some cameras handle different situations much better than others. Also, that will affect lens choices that you may have to make.

It may be sad that film is going away, but it will help in the learning process being able to focus on the up-and-coming technology that we will deal with for the remainder of our lives. Don’t worry though, film is still around so mess around and learn the history of processes. Photography has always been tied to science and that is why it will always leave an old process behind for a new one.