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It's snowing photos at The Darkroom in Cheltenham

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 26, 2013

On a roll: The Darkroom's Barrie Roberts and Alistair Baird

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WHILE many people were cursing the snow for causing chaos, photo developers were welcoming in customers as snappers brought in their pictures of winter wonder.

The Darkroom in Berkeley Mews, off Cheltenham High Street, has had a rush of photographers coming in to develop their shots of Gloucestershire gleaming in the snow.

Customers have been flocking to the store with their pictures of beauty spots such as Cleeve Hill and Tewkesbury Abbey.

Co-owner Alastair Baird said: "We have had dozens of photographers coming in with their films full of snow pictures, wanting to have it developed.

"We have had some really nice black and white and colour pictures.

"There were some photos taken at Broadway Tower that were particularly well done."

Alastair said that any type of freak weather encourages creativity in the borough's photographers.

"Anything that's unusual draws out the photographers. During the floods we had some lovely pictures of Tewkesbury Abbey," he said.

Des Ward, from Tewkesbury, was among the amateur photographers taking pictures of the snow.

The 51-year-old computer programmer said: "I was out at Cleeve Hill, taking pictures of the sledgers and some arty blurry shots of the snow."

Despite most photographers using digital cameras these days, The Darkroom still receives up to 500 rolls of film a week.

Alastair said: "Film is still popular with many people. We get them from all over Europe and across the world.

"About three years ago we had such an increase in demand for black and white film processing that we had to have a machine put in to help us.

"We are doing four or five times more black and white film processing in the past few years than we did in previous years.

"People are using film because it's fun. It's hands on and it's a bit unpredictable. There's a bit of magic attached to it because of all the history it has."

The Darkroom was established in 1992 and develops all types of still images, including digital. Alastair said: "I think there are no more than 10 laboratories in the UK that develop all the different types of film."

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