Vine, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
Strange title but I have come to a bit of a semi-epiphany over the recent past. I've always known that there were photographers who loved the process of photography. I think many of us love the environment created in the darkroom and are reluctant to give it up no matter how good the digital tools are today. I would never tell someone who loves the darkroom and/or film to give it up. The chemical darkroom and the digital darkroom are different processes, media, and skills.
That said, most folks who do the darkroom work describe the different look and feel that result from their process as being the reason they choose to go that route. Film has grain, digital is smoother, etc. (Some use that as an excuse but that's a topic for another blog entry.)
In the recent past I came in contact with a very sophisticated photographer who goes through an extremely difficult, time-consuming, and heavy equipment oriented process to create an image that could be easily taken with modern equipment in a relatively short time by an amateur. I realized that what he really loved was the process. The image was really only an excuse to execute/figure out the process and was only marginally the object of the effort.
I wanted to ask what qualities the process brought to the final image to make him go through this extremely difficult process. I didn't get the chance to ask.
This discussion was part of a panel composed of ten photographers. The other nine of us started the discussion of their images with what they were trying to achieve in the image. The visual statement drove them to a particular process or equipment. I'm not saying that this is right or wrong but it gave me something to think about.