In our district, Digital Darkrooms(computers) are replacing the traditional
wet labs. Only one high school out of the three in our district still have
the traditional wet lab, and they will keep it for a couple more years, but
now also offer digital photography.
There still is a need in society for traditional (wet) photography, but
school districts I think are going away from that because of the chemical
costs, darkroom management issues, and continuing costs of keeping wet labs
going. With digital, The costs are basically incurred with the purchase of
software and cameras, plus kids now have their own digital cameras. Kids
that do have film cameras, can now scan those pictures they get developed
and still alter them digitally. Some issues facing those decisions are
yearbook requirements(many companies now are all digital) and how the school
newspapers operate also.
There still is the 'art' of traditional 'wet' photography and there will
always be a need for it, but digital is taking slowly becoming the norm. But
nothing still beats a good, old fashioned film photograph, but digital
photos are slowly catching up quality wise.
Digital photography is quick and effecient, with no health or chemical
issues associated with it. It is software based, with many kids having
access to many of the softwares used for digital photography and image
manipulation. With the internet, digital photos can be taken, loaded to the
PC and published to the web in a half hour or less. We do that now at our
new high school. Digital photo's are published almost immediately to the
So yes, technology has caught up with us. That is good. We have to make the
paradigm shift to new technologies.
You can see some of the work our digital photography students have done with
our website school banners and all the photos posted to our site are
our school site is: http://www.puyallup.k12.wa.us/high/emerald/