Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
I've never know a photographer who doesn't consider darkroom work pure drudgery. Sometimes supremely exhilarating, yes. But always necessary, and always drudgery. Especially when you have to clean up after a session is over and you're tired, and it's late, and you've got to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in a few hours when you're back in the real world. Perhaps Mr. Barnbaum doesn't have to clean up his own darkroom. Replacing the traditional wet darkroom with a computer can make it all a pleasure again, and THAT, not dogged dedication to a grueling archaic process, is what makes for great photography.
I do NOT consider darkroom work to be "pure drudgery." I have been under real time pressure, and ... "Clean up after ..."?? Unique concept.

What to me is far worse, is the clicking of keys on this infernal machine ... trying to manipulate a scan to something approaching half the quality of the original print.

One of the most frustrating experiences I ever went through consisted of trying to make a "Custom" 16 x 20 print of a white house, taken on a cloudy day, surrounded by grass of indeterminant "green-ness" -- between seasons. This was from a Kodak "Gold" 35mm negative. I never made an acceptable print... after *many* tries. Frustrating, disheartening... overall unpleasantness ... but not boring or "drudgery".

Immediately above my desk is a ship model of the Flying Cloud. Built entirely from the keel up... every plank, spar, mast, shroud, stay, davit and lifeboat... with the only exceptions being the ship's wheel and the anchor. Building that model consumed over three YEARS of time (I've been giving serious thought to carving a wheel and anchor from scratch). Drudgery ... no. A "Grueling, archaic process"? I hadn't thought of that work in quite that light. Maybe so.
I could run down to the local model store, and buy an injection-molded plastic "Flying Cloud"... arguably "more perfect",... pop the pieces apart ... assemble G12 to E16... and be done in a month or two.

That to me is a direct parallel to film and digital photography. One - the plastic one, is cheaper, easier, more cost effective ... but there is no question in my mind which one I would rather have in this glass case above my desk. Not even close.