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Darkroom Removed from Photography Class

The darkroom in the photography class used for developing film and prints was removed at the beginning of the school year due to lack of funding and comments from the health department.

Schools across the country are granted vocational funds, or federal funds for classes that teach principles that can later be used in a career, and since there is no longer a vast career field in film photography, the funds have been cut off.

The Washington State Department of Health has also stated their concerns over the chemicals used in the film and print developing process, as they could pose a threat to the health of young students.

The photography class at Snohomish High School, taught by alumni Jay Adams, has always included a balanced curriculum between digital and film photography.

Since the darkroom has been removed, Adams has changed his class entirely, making for a completely digital photography class. “It is a lot easier for me now that I don’t have to [essentially] teach two different classes at once,” said Adams.

Past photography students who got to partake in the experience of film photography have expressed their disappointment in the decision to remove the darkroom. “[It] was an incredible experience and I am sad to see it gone,” said senior Sami Reynolds.

Students currently taking the class for the first time have not been affected by the change.

Snohomish was one of the last remaining schools in the state with a darkroom, leaving Glacier Peak as the last school in the Snohomish School District to have one.