Quote Originally Posted by Sean
"It's more about getting the best looking image/photograph that fits with the photographers vision."

So as long as the final image looks good that is all that matters then, regardless of who produced it? Someone can snap a pic and simply drop the file or negative off at a digital lab paying for the "professional output" option that includes "drum scan, full color calibration, and creative assistance including dodging, burning, sharpening, cropping, dust removal, etc", come back a day later and pick up their masterpiece, then sell it for $500 as a traditional hand crafted C-print? You make a good point and I see where you are coming from, but it only applies to the handful of honest photographers and artists out there who genuinely use digital as a craft (Les McLean for example). When I buy art I like to know how the piece was made, why would I pay for something a digital lab banged out for someone? Many digital artists want it to be a non-issue, one has to ask why is this?
Not at all - in the past, I'd say the majority of colour photographers had a lab do up all their prints. Some always provided much more input to the pritning process than others. Some had a favourite printer (who often came to know the photogorpahers style so well that the photogorpaher ended up having to give little input). A good few basiucally gave broad instructions to the lab and let the pritner do their stuff.

In fact, digital work (by which I mean here work made from scans from negs/trannies) has had something of the opposite effect, with many colour photographers becoming much more invloved in the printing side - at least "pre-prodcution" - as they can now exercise a great deal more control over their work than the "skilled pritner" could in the past. The final work is then sent off to the lab for printing from a master file.

It's not really digital artist who want it to be a non issue - it was always a non-issue.

In the past, buy an expensive colour print from famous XYZ colour photographer (insert you name of choice) and there was a very good chance it wasn't pritned by him/her - it was just a non iussue. (much of Paul Graham's excellent work was often done at the local High Street photo lab to highlight just this point - it still sold for a few thousand pounds - sells for an awful lot more now). But a "hand crafted" C print - what difference does it make if the picture is a good one? Very little.

In a way, colour work has never been as slavishly tied to the issue of darkroom craft as B&W has - the photogorpaher made the image, the printer printed it.