Photo lab technician

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fotolaborant or Photolaborant is a nationally recognized training occupation in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

In contrast to photographers who are trained in terms of craftsmanship and design , photo lab technicians devote themselves specifically to the technical tasks of photography and photo and media technology .



The training lasted two years and was offered in industry and craft. The apprenticeship was canceled on August 1, 2013 and integrated into the profession of media designer in digital and print, specializing in design and technology.


Photo laboratory technician (EFZ) was a basic vocational training in Switzerland . The training lasted three years. The subjects offered were black and white specialist laboratories and color specialist laboratories.


With the rapid development of photo technology in the course of the 20th century, other photo professions and high-tech specialist companies emerged in addition to the classic photographer . The former profession of photographer with a focus on photo laboratory technology performed similar tasks.

Job description

Depending on the orientation and size of the company, photo lab technicians create, edit and design images and photographic products of all kinds.

Technical photography and laboratory technology

Photo lab technicians make technical recordings, enlargements and reductions, reproductions, pictures on microfilm, picture and text montages, restore and retouch pictures on film and paper and process picture and sound with audiovisual media. With the help of highly developed machines and devices, people rarely work in the dark. The constant development of digital technology means that computers are increasingly being used.

Phototechnical investigation procedures

Additional tasks include chemical analysis of photographic baths and solutions and examination of photographic materials using the densitometer . Using sensitometry , they determine properties, above all the light sensitivity of photographic materials. In densitometry , they determine the optical density of samples, the gradation and development behavior of films and the reflection value of photo papers.

Photo lab helpers

Photo lab assistants relieve photo lab assistants in their work. Their tasks include sorting the jobs, loading paper and film cassettes, attaching and removing the cassettes from the cutter, copier and processor, and getting the jobs ready.

Professional practice

Specialized companies, public services, research institutions and business

Individual orders such as special developments, excerpts and specialist enlargements as well as technical recordings, microfilms and microscope recordings are created in special specialist companies, photo departments in business and public institutions. There is also manual work here (sometimes with red light, weak yellow-green light or in the dark). In order to be able to process photosensitive photo materials such as plates , films or photo paper , photo lab technicians use special laboratory lighting, such as sodium vapor lamps, which do not affect the photo material, and infrared glasses.

With the help of reproduction photography, they use large-format repro cameras to create duplicates of original reflective and transparent originals such as B. cartographies, paintings, drawings and writings. Furthermore, high-quality duplicates, internegatives and intermediate positives are created.

Phototechnical copiers and film copiers

In industrial photo operations, where films and images are processed mechanically, shielded from daylight, they monitor and control the phototechnical copying and development processes and check the regeneration of the chemical baths. In order to always keep production at the optimal level, they examine and change the individual photochemical solutions. Their tasks also include the chemical approach, where photochemical baths are prepared from raw chemicals.

In the film copying plant, where daily sample copies of current film productions are made for future films , specialized laboratory technicians work as film light determiners and advise the cameraman .

The fine work of film assembly, repair and other treatments are added. When supervising artistic projects, there is occasionally alienation and the structure of text and title templates as well as trick shots.

Selection of specialization occupations

Career prospects

The portal “” states: “The professional profile of a photo laboratory technician has mediocre future prospects regarding the demand for graduates of the training occupation“ photo laboratory technician ”. This is primarily due to the growing importance of digital photography, which represents only a small part of the field of activity of a photo lab technician. In contrast, digital & print media designers have better chances of future employment. Until 2013, this profession was known as the photo media laboratory technician. The focus of the work is on the digital processing and evaluation of images, but the classic laboratory craft is also part of the training.

The future of photography is very likely to shift more and more to the digital area in the coming years and decades, so that the knowledge of photo lab technicians will no longer be sufficient in the long term or appropriate further training or advanced training will be required. "

See also

Web links



Individual evidence

  1. Retraining to become a photo laboratory technician .