Paying The Dues For Those Digital Prints

It’s getting hard to to remember those bad old days … back when we had to pay to develop and print each and every photograph on a roll of film. Come to think of it, the mere thought of a roll of film is quaint. (A roll of what?) The ability to print only the best images is perhaps the most appealing aspect of the digital photo revolution. Unlike most teenagers, my daughter is gaining an appreciation for the ease of this digital era. She’s taking an introductory course in traditional photography, and is learning how to develop black and white photographs the old-fashioned way …

My girl’s learning how to compose a photograph without a throwaway mentality. That’s a good thing, in my book. Knowing that each and every shot matters can make you work harder to get a great shot. Take away the auto focus, auto exposure, and need to wind film and you can really hone in on what makes a winning image.

All in all, it’s never been less expensive to explore this fantastic hobby. While the cost of digital prints fell dramatically last year, the market seems to have stabilized … unlike those pesky chemicals in the developing trays. Speaking of which, some of my daughter’s traditional prints come home looking like they’ve already had a raft of Photoshop filters applied to them … crazy effects that would be tough to duplicate, whether by traditional or digital means.

I never want to go back the old ways and I doubt we ever will. But I’m ever so thankful that our kids still have the opportunity to learn the the craft with those traditional tools, while they’re still available …

[tags]digital photography, traditional photography[/tags]

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  • John Newton

    Ahhh yes, the aroma of fixer in the dark room. I’ve been a photographer for well over 35 years and have spent I don’t how many hours/days.weeks. months in the darkroom trying to get just the right print out of oh so many negatives. Loved evry second of it and never tired of watching an image “magically” appear on the paper. There are times I miss it, but it passes quickly.

    Today I shoot digital and “develop” in PhotoShop and print what I feel is printable on my Epson R2400. I’m still not convinced that the digital images are as good as the film based images with regards to BLACK & WHITE. Color, yup, digital is as good now, but getting good high quality B&W or even true infrared images seems to come up just a little short. Perhaps in another year or two these to areas will be conquered by the digital wave.

    I encourage all young photographers to learn about the history of photography. A good B&W course can be very illuminating. Shooting slide film can really teach you about framing and exposure. Of course it can be argued that you can learn these skills with a digital camera, and, yes, I guess you can. Still, something about film has a certian romance to it.. Will I go back to film and doing my own processing? Probably not.

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  • kevin sexton

    Also, it ignores the fact that there are only 3 types of color receptors in the human eye. Red, Blue, Green. all colors are perceived by combination of these 3, which is why 3 color use in cameras and screens work.
    Print has advantages by using more colors, because in print, additional ink always makes the image darker. Using cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks only, it can be hard to get some colors to have good bright color.

    • Anonymous

      Surely you mean red, blue and yellow. Green is made by combining the primary collies yellow and blue.

  • LightSaber

    Tsk tsk…someone didn’t pay attention in highschool physics…

  • Steve Lockhart

    Actually I did. That’s why I know what I’m talking about.

  • Steve Lockhart

    Actually I did. That’s why I know what I’m talking about.