In the UK we still have many colleges who maintain wet darkrooms alongside the digital suite. Because of limited finance through successive government cutbacks colleges cannot afford to permanently employ specialist printers to teach and those tutors who are employed are, in some colleges, having to deal with more students. Fortunately for people like me colleges employ us to do occasional master classes in wet printing so I benefit while students lose out by not having full time tutors in the art and craft of making silver prints.

Having said all that I see some excellent work both in ideas and execution in many of the colleges that I visit to teach. Interestingly I sometimes do silver and digital masterclasses back to back and almost always the digital class begins to break up shortly after lunch whereas the darkroom tutorial is met with great enthusiasm by most of the students. Sometimes I have to tell them to go home as I usually have a long drive at the end of the day.

Another thing that has just started to happen in the UK is that Ilford are now committed to helping a umber of colleges in the UK by sponsoring masterclasses in darkroom work.