I compare photography with horseriding. Once everybody used horses to get from A to B. Then came the automobile and horses disappeared from streets and roads. Once everybody used film to shoot family, events and tourism. Then came digimaging and film disappeared from family, tourist etc life.
But there are stiil - and will always be - those who want to ride a horse, and the same is - and will always be - true for silver-based film and paper.
Maybe the choice of products will shrink but as with horses, the lower quality items will go leaving the better (and pricier) articles available.
No reason to panic, folks!
Congratulations, Ron! I missed that news. I thought your latest workshop was another one on gaslight paper. I imagine your students will post on Ian's "emulsion101", but they are heartily invited to post on thelightfarm also. Could you maybe let them know? It would be good publicity for your next workshop. The more and the farther the word spreads, the better.
We did do Azo type papers at the latest workshop, but discussed the making of an entire gamut of products at the workshop. Three EK veterans showed up for the classes and for lunch with the students. (priceless)
You know, a horse can make another horse. However, a man cannot make a horse. So, a horse is either easy or difficult depending on who or what you are and depending on perspective. If all horses vanished, there would be no more horses. That is an absolute. If all production coating equipment and photo engineers vanish, there will be no more film or paper produced commercially.
There are certainly more horse farms and breeders WW than there are film and paper factories. Therefore one is more endangered than the other.
There are more automobile plants than film and paper factories and an automobile is much simpler to design and build than a film. Now you may dispute this, but one of my Photo Engineers had a BS from GMI and was learning to design cars when he moved to our division at EK. I think he would agree with this statement after he and I discussed this subject on and off over the years.