Over the years I’ve heard (and probably even said it myself) that Lightroom is the “digital darkroom”. Lately, the whole digital darkroom thing has got me thinking though. Are we doing anyone justice by keeping the word “darkroom” around in our current world of digital photography and equating Lightroom (and post processing) to it? You can’t argue that, for the majority of people, the traditional darkroom simply doesn’t exist anymore.

Does it depend on the age group? If I’m teaching a group of people my age-ish (37) and up then maybe it does make sense. We’ve seen the darkroom, shot film and know what it’s all about. Those concepts probably help a lot of people understand newer technologies by comparing them to something they’re used to. But does it help newcomers into the photography field to know all this?

My kids growing up today (and really anyone born within the last 10-15 years) will never know what film or the darkroom were. They wouldn’t even know what it looks like. Do we force it on them like we force history lessons on them? My 14 year old nephew is interested in photography but the last thing he wants is stories of “Back in my day, we had to (insert your film/darkroom story here)”. It it wrong that he just wants to have fun with it. And just how important is it for people to know how hard things were “back in the day”.

Lot’s of questions I know. I guess my main question to you is this: does it make sense to call Lightroom the “digital darkroom” and does it make sense today, to equate anything to the darkroom (or “film” and “negatives” for that matter)?