Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
Years ago I made a pact with myself that every one of my negatives would be followed through to the best gelatin-silver positive I could make; no exceptions.

A major side effect was a distinct improvement in the quality of my negatives both technically and aesthetically. The key factor was a little question I ask myself before clicking the camera: "Do I really want this exposure badly enough to spend the hours and resources chasing it to the bitter end?" The answer a lot of the time is, quite rightly, no.
Interesting. That's a good way of thinking about the process of photography as a whole, rather than compartmentalising all its components. I've also just watched an interview with Nadav Kander who said he printed every negative he ever made. But... I feel this, rather than being a philosophy, was in the past a necessity. Which is perhaps what you're pertaining to? I make 'digital contact prints' first which I can edit as a form of post-visualisation, before going into the darkroom. It's at this point that I assess whether or not to print negatives. This way I am foremost assessing the content, in full detail, first. In the past of course, this wasn't an option (contact prints aren't a real means of assessing an image in smaller formats) which I'm sure is the reason Kander printed all the negs he made. How else would he know what he had?

Your post has me thinking however, that what you describe forces you to keep your finger off the trigger, so to speak. What I'm doing with my digital contact images is in many ways no different than shooting a hundred digital images and deleting them all at the computer. It becomes more a process of editing rather than actually thinking on your feet.