Hi There
Another version of the digital to photo paper and film is the Lambda unit that we have here at our lab, We print onto Agfa Classic Fibre, Cibachrome, all the Ra4 papers and we are starting to test Black and White Film to produce enlarged negs for all the Alternative printing processes.
Images come from all sources, digital cameras as your friend suggests( I would suggest some Franks Hot Sauce for that crow) or we scan all media and through photoshop correct the file , dodge/burn, contrast local and overall and as well colour shifts within the images.
the file is then sent to the exposing unit and basically Three Lasers are managed to produce a beam of light that exposes the traditional media.
We then cut the paper from the machine and develop the black and white through large trays as we would do with any traditional print, as well the colour prints are put through the appropriate processors.