It's time to abandon PhotoShop

Started Jan 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: Graphic Artists or Photographers
In reply to f8BeThereToo, Jan 31, 2013

MrMojo wrote:

Ansel created the darkroom equivalent of extensive digital post-processing: The Zone System.

Ansel combined camera exposure, film development and darkroom techniques to produce his iconic images. Many if not all of his most famous images were only possible because of his extensive "post-processing."

Years ago I had the opportunity to see one of his negatives and a straight print from the negative. The print was awful: it had zero contrast and it was muddy and gray in appearance. But Ansel knew what he was doing; it wasn't a mistake. He knew what he wanted in the final print so he exposed the 8X10 film and developed it so he would have the best foundation for working his magic in the darkroom. If he exposed the film to achieve the best possible result in the camera it would not have been possible to produce the image that he had pre-visualized.

Great post. So many anti-digital/anti-post-processing/film snobs simply reveal how little they knew about Ansel Adams. I would go as far as to say that Ansel Adams was the HDR artist of his day (since there are few things anti-post-proc snobs hate more than digital HDR).

Your third paragraph about seeing an original Ansel negative is extremely important. It reminds me of people who complain and complain because raw photos don't look as nice and snappy as it did on the back of the camera. I don't want it to look as snappy as it did on the back of the camera! The raw is supposed to be the low-contrast (literal) raw material from which to make the image you really wanted.

If it was the law that a photographer was only allowed to "get it right in camera," Ansel Adams would have been imprisoned for life.

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