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Thread: Illford Photo: Defend The Darkroom

  1. #1

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    Illford Photo: Defend The Darkroom

    I received this press release today...thought it might interest some of you here...


    ILFORD PHOTO ANNOUNCES UK CAMPAIGN TO ‘DEFEND THE DARKROOM’
    *Leading monochrome specialist reaffirms commitment and backing for traditional photography

    ILFORD PHOTO has launched a campaign to enhance the position, standing and future of the darkrooms in the United Kingdom and to safeguard associated creative techniques. Inspired by those involved in the analogue photographic industry, from manufacturers to the media, the campaign is designed to be a vehicle to establish a new future for darkroom photography.

    By inspiring a new generation of darkroom users, raising the profile of darkrooms on the photo-education agenda and redefining the relationship between analogue and digital photography, ‘Defend the Darkroom’ will establish a new direction for photography. The campaign will inspire a new mindset that will unlock the latent potential of photography’s heritage to inspire a bold future of innovation, creativity and diversity.

    Howard Hopwood, marketing director at ILFORD PHOTO commented:
    “Interest in darkroom photography isn’t waning, but it is certainly being neglected by various parties. Our campaign is a watershed moment for the industry, designed to inspire a future of photography that reflects the coexistence of digital and darkroom technology.”

    The campaign will take many forms and is essentially an ever-evolving project to bring the world of darkroom photography to the attention of the digital generation and inspire new ideas, new enthusiasm and new skills amongst a new breed of photographers.

    Howard Hopwood, added:
    “For too long now, darkrooms have been slipping down the agenda of educational institutions, regardless of continued support from photo-educators and those responsible for establishing the photo-education curriculum. Our campaign will highlight these problems and make the case for darkroom education.”

    During the fast-paced digital revolution, digital technology has been seen by some as a replacement for analogue technology – but through this campaign ILFORD PHOTO is keen to show how the two can coexist as complimentary creative art forms.

    “Darkroom photography is not standing still. It is not a relic of a bygone era. It is very much a part of the evolving world of photography. Our campaign will educate new and existing darkroom photographers about the technological developments from manufacturers that are shaping the future of darkroom

    “The signature of darkroom is the physical control over the image; the art of the developing process. Skill and creativity in the darkroom is as much a part of photography as the taking of the picture,” added Howard.

    Initial initiatives for the campaign include:

    1. Development of a Photo Instructor Newsletter for UK educational establishments.
    2. A series of ‘Darkroom’ Master Class events to promote and inspire the creative process.
    3. Continuing sponsorship of Redeye, a project funded by the UK’s Arts Council which provides a travelling darkroom to enhance awareness of black and white photography to schools, colleges, local arts groups and the like.
    4. Sponsorship of talented students to support and promote darkroom enthusiasts.

    New initiatives will be announced on a regular basis all under the ‘Defend the Darkroom’ banner.

    Already ILFORD PHOTO has invited twenty of the most highly regarded photography educators in the United Kingdom to the HARMAN technology headquarters in Mobberley, Cheshire, to highlight the campaign and learn about the latest advances in traditional photography. The event was organised by ILFORD PHOTO alongside Key Photo, the leading supplier of photographic products to education and the public sector. A key focus of the two-day tour and conference event was how the merger of darkroom and digital technologies is influencing a ‘new world’ of photography shaped by the coexistence of analogue and digital technology.

    Matthew Finn, photography lecturer at Thames Valley University in the UK commented on the day:
    “Since visiting HARMAN I can see they are committed to keeping black and white photography alive and it is up to me and other photo-educators across the country to also make sure it remains a widely used medium and not just a mere specialist niche interest.

    “If this was to happen photography would lose an entire dimension. I support ILFORD PHOTO’s campaign to communicate the dangers of losing darkrooms, and the consequences of neglecting analogue photography.”

    ILFORD PHOTO believes that analogue and digital photography should have an equal standing in the photographic arena. By lobbying for equal recognition in generic industry debate and discussion, the campaign will help analogue photography and darkroom photographers to gain the recognition they deserve.

  2. #2

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    Re: Illford Photo: Defend The Darkroom

    That is wonderful news.
    Thank you for posting this,
    Domenico

  3. #3

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    Re: Illford Photo: Defend The Darkroom

    Are they planning any programs for the U.S. and other countries?

  4. #4

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    Re: Illford Photo: Defend The Darkroom

    I was unaware that the darkroom needed defending, or how doing so will "establish a new direction for photography".

    However, if Ilford is commited to producing their fine silver products, that is welcome news.

  5. #5
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    Re: Illford Photo: Defend The Darkroom

    Quote Originally Posted by Merg Ross View Post
    I was unaware that the darkroom needed defending, or how doing so will "establish a new direction for photography".
    .
    Not sure about the second part, but on the first, if any high school or college which has an existing darkroom (and the majority do) goes through a major renovation, there is a good chance the darkroom will be cut from the programme

    Even without major renovation, there's a reasonable chance the darkroom will be closed and converted to something else. You can pick up revolving darkroom doors at school board and government surplus sales for $20 quite frequently, along with enlargers and all sorts of darkroom stuff. At the University here, the University Photographer happened across this by chance and rescued more than a truck load of darkroom gear from a couple of dumpsters

    And any such institution being built from new may well be built without a darkroom now.
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  6. #6
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Illford Photo: Defend The Darkroom

    Are they planning any programs for the U.S. and other countries?
    The photography teacher at my high school (BC, Canada) invited the Ilford Canada rep to chat and to see his program (we have a full on darkroom and a great photography program)...anyways, she told us about this initiative by Ilford. We really couldn't see any direct benefits for high school programs...Photo Instructor Newsletter? There are many, many websites already devoted to photography lesson plans for teachers.
    What would really help schools is a generous cut in the price of paper and film. We asked for this but the best Ilford would do was offer a student pack of 25 sheets and a roll of HP5.
    There was a huge opportunity there for them but they missed the boat.
    If this initiative is coming to Canada, I'm sure it'll go below the 49th...unless it's only for Common Wealth nations....

  7. #7
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Illford Photo: Defend The Darkroom

    Not sure about the second part, but on the first, if any high school or college which has an existing darkroom (and the majority do) goes through a major renovation, there is a good chance the darkroom will be cut from the programme
    At the universities I have contact with, I have seen wet darkroom space cut down, but not cut out.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  8. #8

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    Re: Illford Photo: Defend The Darkroom

    UNM has had some major changes.

    The private darkrooms are being converted to private computer labs.

    The color print processor (dry to dry in 3.5 minutes) has been removed.

    The lab was open 9am - 10pm Sunday through Thursday and 9-5 on Friday and Saturday is now open 9-5 seven days a week. No night hours.

  9. #9
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    Re: Illford Photo: Defend The Darkroom

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    At the universities I have contact with, I have seen wet darkroom space cut down, but not cut out.
    most universities with art departments still seem to have them on the whole(and most of them are pretty large institutions) , but it's more the community colleges and technical colleges where they were used for technical courses or evening classes (and accessible by others in the community) that seem to be losing them faster

    The one I mentioned previously with the dumpster was the darkroom and lab used by a variety of users and different departments - engineering and such. I think the art dept still has one (although there is no art photography programme it has one of the major print making programmes - they do a bit of photography...)
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  10. #10
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    Re: Illford Photo: Defend The Darkroom

    BTW, I was just in our main film and chemical supplier - even last year, they stocked up on darkroom supplies and even 4x5 b&w film for the start of the school/academic year (we have one major university - about the same size is UNM as I recall, a major technical and trade school and a second polytechnic/college as well as several loosely affiliated colleges).

    This year what is needed has dropped by over a third so far. The tech school and polytechnic/college both had a variety of photography programmes which used to have people starting off with film - apparently that no longer seems the case.
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

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