Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
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.

Ed,
Thanks for that thought, that puts it into perspective of how I feel and why I went back to silver over pigment printing or whatever they call it this week. I do it for the same reasons and that makes me happy.

Mike