mdvaden wrote in post #18721906
Has anyone worked in a darkroom enough to guess whether someone with as much time in one as Ansel would prefer the darkroom? I've never been in a single darkroom. Is it the kind of thing that is mostly necessity, or is it an experience a photographer could love doing? Because that would be one of the divisions between digital and film, although a photographer can do both.
I have many, many hours in the darkroom, in both B&W and color processes. I found that the greatest satisfaction that I could obtain in photography was in making prints...I still miss my time in the darkroom printing color Cibachrome (later Ilfochrome) AZO dye prints. Processing B&W and color film never (for me) had as much 'magic'. Both of them far MORE satisfying than sitting in front of a computer screen post processing.
Part of the satisfaction is the 'magic' in waiting (in the case of color) to pull the print from the rotary drum to see if the result is what you anticipated...the ultimate in delayed satisfaction (vs. the instantaneous ability to see the result as you made changes, during post processing). In the case of B&W prints, it was seeing if the contrast of the print and any manipulations (dodging and burning in) done during the enlarger exposure and see if the result is what you anticipated, watching the image come up in the developer...less of a 'delayed satisfaction' than color. The act of printing was itself an 'art' (to be more precise, the skill of the craft), and it was less of a rote skill than shooting images.
To me, post processing is (in the case of event photography) more drudge labor than satisfaction. I do not find PC based manipulation of images to be as satisfying.