As digital photography soars, photography class continues to use traditional methods to develop pictures

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Ryan Navi, Cub Writer

Taking a picture has never been easier. We grab our phones, open the camera app and snap a photo. But the process of taking a picture was not always this simple.

Before the age of digital photography, people had to endure a lengthy process of developing pictures they took with film cameras. Although this may seem like an outdated activity, one class is actively using film cameras and a darkroom to develop pictures.

Photography teacher Tim Briggs guides his students through the step-by-step process of developing pictures. It is something he feels he has had a large impact on in his class.

“I don’t think [dark room photography] would have kept going if I hadn’t been dedicated to it,” Briggs said. “The traditional part, the film photography part of [the class], I think gets people to slow down and learn to think about their photography. It’s a slower process and it makes people think about the end result.”

Briggs continues to teach his students how to develop film, in spite of the large popularity associated with taking digital pictures on mobile devices.

In fact, it is estimated that over one trillion photos were taken in the year 2017 alone, the majority of which were taken by smartphones. In addition, with the advent of social media, many people are encouraged to take pictures with their smart devices and share those pictures on those social media platforms.

“I do both,” junior Leila Nourmand, who is currently enrolled in the advanced photography class, said.

“With digital photography, especially in our society, we’re all very used to the instant gratification of pointing up a phone, clicking a button, and bam, there’s your picture,” Nourmand said. “There is not really much value to the picture you’re taking because it’s so quick…with the dark room, you value the pictures you’re taking even more because you have a limited number on your roll of film.”

Nourmand explained the lengthy process of developing film, which includes taking pictures with a film camera, spinning the film on a reel, developing the film, drying the film, making a contact sheet, enlarging and recording the picture on a photo paper, developing a single photo, and ultimately washing and drying the final picture.

Many of the pictures that have been developed by Briggs’s students will be on display at the annual Beverly Hills High School Art Show, which will be held at the end of the school year.

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