Originally Posted by Scott Edwards
With all due respect, Scott, it doesn't matter what Webster says. I can assure you that the next time they revise that dictionary they'll have an updated definition to include digital photography. Webster's Dictionary is not some binding document for the world. Besides, I can certainly make a strong technical argument that CCDs are indeed photosensitive -they react to photons quite readily.
And, by the way, your print has a couple of degress of separation from the original light source, especially if you use transparencies. To wit: original exposure produces a latent image in the film. But during development, that image is chemically treated with a reversal process, so that the image produced at the end comes from a chemical reversal process, not from the original light - that image was lost during processing. So you are now a degree away.
This image is used in an enlarger with a different light source, or contact printed with a different light source, to produce a print. That print is now two degrees from the original light source.
A developed image is a chemical interpretation of the original image by virtue of development control. Pushing, pulling, and chemistry choices all play a part in the interpretaton of the original exposure and separate the original from the processed result.
Add lith masking, etc., and you have an image pretty well removed from the original light source.
However, with all that said, the processes are certainly different, and the introduction of digital steps at any point along the way has the potential to devalue the result, because digital processes are so readily automated and perfectly reproduced.
If, in the proposed nomenclature (which I like), an image is DDD, then its value to an investor has got to be nearly zero, because it can be reproduced like a Big Mac.
On the other hand, if the image is AAA, (and the image is of high quality, of course), there is significantly higher intrinsic value to the investor because, presumeably, the image is a hand made original. Of course, even in the AAA realm, it is possible to produce a large number of identical analog images that could reduce the value of an individual instance.
By the way, I would add one element to the nomenclature: H, for hybrid, or a mix of digital and analog techniques. In processing, for example, someone may do a contact print with a digital negative. I might suggest that be designated a Hybrid process. Thus a platinum print might be designated AAA or AHA.