Losing Photography

What would we lose if school darkrooms closed? A question from early 21st century. Would photography end? What type of knowledge would be lost; why?

At that time we just had ideas of what would happen; however, after 20 years we know what was lost; more, we can see why.

As academic art programs shifted to provide useful current procedures, they began replacing darkroom space with lightroom systems. This was in response to anticipated growth of art practices which have always relied upon industry — as a source of material, and as a destination of graduates.

In 2002, a group of teachers wondered, and worried about the loss of darkrooms along with the knowledge of those processes. It was considered that we would lose the industrial secrets. The industrial lab system would also decline. Would it be useful to record some of that material?

As knowledge domain moved from the weekday world to the weekend hobby layer, we certainly lost information; about process along with details and depth of experiences. What would be forgotten?

Instead, that transition from work-horse to hobby-horse knowledge keepers was used as a banner, actually more a sash for craft badges by the internet forum folk. Could they be counted on to examine or expand claims, keeping the craft knowledge alive, healthy? Not really

gossip rules the hobby shop

It wasn’t forgotten, it was covered over in gossip. The hobbyists are more concerned that they’re losing influence not that knowledge is being lost.

In an effort to shout each other down, they’ve lost the ability to talk.