It is an exciting time in photography, not only because many of us are about to witness the adolescence of a significant new medium of expression, that digital is going to evolve into. What excites me even more, is the freeing of film-based, print-oriented photography, from the chores it had to perform for over a century, perhaps as painting had to do two centuries ago. As a film photographer, who prints, I am now free. My darkroom, and what I do in it, can more easily stand on its feet, no longer having to defend itself from the constant confusion with commercial photography, or a fun way of avoiding 1-hour photo labs. The more digital evolves and perfects itself, the stronger, and less popular, analogue photography, as an artistic pursuit, becomes.
Adams was clearly thinking what electronic means could obtain from his negatives. In his wonderfully direct, and honest autobiography, in chapter 23, 'Resolutions', he wrote, while referencing his archives about to be housed at the Center for Creative Photography in Carmel:
Originally Posted by artonpaper
"In the electronic age, I am sure that scanning techniques will be developed to achieve prints of extraordinary subtlety from the original negative scores. If I could return in twenty years or so I would hope to see astounding interpretations of my most expressive images. It is true no one could print my negatives as I did, but they might well get more out of them by electronic means. Image quality is not the product of a machine, but of the person who directs the machine, and there are no limits to imagination and expression."