Quote Originally Posted by George Collier View Post
Anyone else notice this monitor vs final print thing?
Absolutely, yes.

I don't submit work for competitions, so this is just an observation. But every monitor I've ever seen clips the image highlights to some varying extent, no matter how much one fiddles with the scans. This produces a noticeably "brighter" looking reproduction than the original print. Shadows seem to suffer as well, but the highlights are where I personally notice the most differences.

For me the result is that a print on silver paper seems much more complex and richer, while a scanned reproduction of that same print appears much simpler and more lightweight. And complex images are usually approached differently by the viewer than simple images.

I'm guessing that this difference originates with the fact that reflective silver paper is the standard native reproduction medium for viewing real negatives, while glowing rear-lighted monitors are the standard native medium for viewing digital images. Trying to cross over in either direction leads to less than optimum viewing experiences for both.

This is another example of the unavoidable differences between the two photographic media. For some this difference will mean nothing. For others it may mean everything.

If your photos are only about the subject and composition, this difference will often have less practical meaning to you. But if the inclusion and recognition of delicate tonal relationships is also a major part of the message you wish to communicate to your viewers, then this difference can be maddening when they, and you, see your film work only digitally reproduced.

But it is undoubtedly cheaper and more convenient for the judges...

Ken