I mentioned in another post that it took me awhile to surrender and start exploring digital photography. I fought it for a couple of years. I love the smell of fixer - why would I want to give up the darkroom? "Real" photographers are still using film. Anyone can make a digital photograph - but you are an "artist" if you are still creating in the darkroom. I have since come to the conclusion that to make a compelling and satisfying image in Photoshop is anything but easy and takes quite a bit of knowledge and even more commitment and practice.
Of course my biggest obstacle had to do with hand-coloring a digital print. How I solved that problem was covered in another post. Now that I have a handle on that issue, I have fully embraced digital photography.
With this new found acceptance I have also experienced a renewed sense of passion and excitement about my work. I am taking more photographs and the more I shoot the more I learn. Every time I master something in Photoshop I get giddy and can't wait to try something else. While most of the manipulation I do in the computer is very similar to what I did in the darkroom - adjusting contrast, toning, and using filters - there are now more options that enable me to create an image that is close to what I visualized in the first place.
I do get asked all the time "are you still shooting film?" - and I feel like the "right" answer is yes. Until recently, I found myself getting very defensive. I would start explaining how my Konica infrared film was discontinued or how they stopped making my Agfa paper and on top of all that, I was becoming more sensitive to the chemicals. These are all perfectly good reasons to switch to digital photography. The truth is I am having so much fun and have absolutely no desire to go back into the darkroom. This is in spite of the thousands of dollars I have spent in the last year and the countless hours of frustration I have experienced. It's worth it!
I once read that if Ansel Adams were alive he would have loved Photoshop. If I were still making excuses I could use that little fact to justify my journey over to the "other" side. Why should I have to justify doing something that is giving me so much pleasure? I don't!
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