A scanned negative is a great raw material for digital editing. It already has that organic texture that tells it apart from the clean, crisp and smooth digital files. And no, I’m not saying that film is better than digital, I’m saying it is different.
Usually when I’m happy with the editing I will save that file for printing on the magazine but also for a personal inkjet print on a nice paper. I keep one print for myself and send the other to the person in question.
From the first scan to the final image, digital editing allows me total control over my images, adjustment wise.
Being able to use a darkroom again made me skip the inkjet prints and to make some silver prints and over the last few months I’ve come to a conclusion. When comparing an inkjet print made from a scanned and digitally edited negative, to a silver print, I’ll have to say that the first is hard to beat.
Being able to digitally edit an image with a tool like Photoshop opens up a world of visual adjustments and aesthetic possibilities. A good inkjet print is truthful to what I see on screen and it makes justice to both my efforts in photography and image editing.
Making a print in the darkroom is a totally different mind set. When I’m printing I can’t keep on thinking that if I was using Photoshop I could to this or that. I have to deal with my (limited) skills and the possibilities of that specific medium. That’s the challenge, that’s the joy.
If digital editing and inkjet printing, satisfies the “professional me”, darkroom work satisfies the “emotional me”.
When it comes to photography I don’t mind taking one the head and one in heart.