There are a good number of you who are still working with analog film, and there’s renewed interest in this old-school technology thanks to the likes of Lomography and hipsters. The problem is that there are few places left to develop them – our local drugstore chains didn’t know what to do with our rolls of film when presented – and if you’re the type of photographer who likes to work in darkrooms (unfortunately, as much as we enjoy the process, we’ve forgotten everything we learned – curse you, digital!), there aren’t a whole lot of those places left either. For those who enjoy exposing their own negatives with chemicals, a new website, Local Darkroom, helps you locate a facility near where you live.
Created by film manufacturer Harman/Ilford, Local Darkroom lists details of public darkrooms available worldwide. It also lists some private ones that may be available for public use (website users can also put out a call to anyone with a private darkroom if there aren’t any listed for a particular area, and or register if you own one). You can also look for darkroom tuition on how to process film, or offer to teach others if you know how.
The free service is asking folks to help build up the database (from the looks of things, there aren’t many listed for North America, but hopefully that’ll grow). Sure, it’s from a company that makes film and wants to ensure business continues, but developing your own film is a special technique that’s not only fun, but could help youngsters interested in photography to better understand how it all works.