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Death of the Darkroom

KILKENNY -- I see many more digital cameras than film cameras on the streets today, leading me to think it's indefensible to teach traditional darkroom techniques to college students. That's also the case in New York City, where the Latent Image Workshop Inc., with its 23 rent-by-the-hour darkrooms, will close its doors by the end of the month. Latent Image has offered darkrooms by the hour since 1987. Other rental workshops are losing business or scrambling to upgrade their digital services to survive.

Professionals and amateurs alike once swarmed to the workshop, on the fourth floor of 135 West 26th Street. Open 11 hours a day every day, it rented 12 color and 11 black-and-white darkrooms for $10 to $11 per hour. Those using it now represent the last remnants of a generation of traditional photographers. Even the traditional guys know you can do a lot more with Adobe Photoshop than you can with darkroom chemicals.

Glenn Collins -- "In a Digital Era, the Darkroom Is Fading as a Photographic Hub"