Photo transitions from film to digital

Olivia Summons and Grace Hazlehurst

For years, the dark room served as a place where students could learn the history behind pictures and appreciate the traditional art of photography. Many said their love for photography was strongly influenced by the time spent alone with their photographs.

But due to reallocation of funds within the school, the art department recently decided to eliminate the dark room from its AP Photography curriculum.

AP Photography teacher Kate Martiyan is optimistic towards the change, seeing it as a chance for students to adapt to new techniques in photography.

“It was disappointing [to lose the darkroom] but we are finding creative solutions to learning the fundamentals of photography in other ways,” Martiyan said.

As a result, students are learning to value photography as an art form, not attaching its worth to the dark room. This means adapting to the contemporary styles of digital.

Such styles include nature printing, a process that allows one to examine the light sensitivity of paper, as well as  Photoshop techniques to polish photos.

“We are given a list of criteria for our pictures, yet we are allowed to take and edit them in a way that still speaks to us and comes off as aesthetically pleasing,” junior Alex Fidler said. “We can play around and use our skills to make our photos better than before.”

Despite these perks, the dark room’s interactive nature will be missed by both teacher and students alike.

“The dark room we had here was the only opportunity we had to do film photography, but we have a lot more opportunities with electronics,” junior Reese Spann said. “We can do that outside of school, and it’s not that hard to get access to. It’s cool to learn the old way to do photography.”

Many hoped to build a portfolio that expressed their originality and style through developing film.

“I was kind of relying on it for AP Portfolio and submitting it to colleges because I like the way film photography works. It’s more personal and individual,” senior Sean Spiva said.

Being unable to develop film is an admitted loss, but the motivation of the students in AP Photography hasn’t wavered. Martiyan remains confident that her students will adjust to the new curriculum with ease.

“Photography is an ever changing art form, and we will change right along with it.” Martiyan said.