Photographic fine art collectors sometimes are hesitant to venture into the new era of digital photography. Their trepidation is understandable since digital images can be so manipulated by various computer programs, that one can’t be sure how much the original image has been altered; so collectors may remain moored to the past of wet film chemistry—-yet—- it is no accident that the traditional filmmaking industry is virtually dead, since digital photography has now overcome its earlier perceived shortcomings relative to film based images.
Ansel Adams and Elliott Porter would surely have celebrated to be able to record images with my new Hasselblad H4D-40 with its ability to capture at least 10 zones of detail in the grayscale, and revealing an exquisite range, of the subtle colors found in nature— fromglistening highlights, like a sunlit waterfall to the deep shadows of the surrounding woodlands—-and all of this information recorded in the RAW format with 40.0 million pixels!
One can think of a RAW image as the electronic equivalent of an unexposed image on a film based medium. It contains all the information possible for future ‘processing’ (as one traditionally did in the darkroom), but in our electronic era the ‘darkroom equivalent’ is done on a computer.
My philosophy is to retain the INTEGRITY OF THE ORIGINAL IMAGE, thus the ‘processing’ phase, for me, means what historically was considered ‘good darkroom technique’ (avoiding computer manipulations which distort the integrity of the originally exposed image).
The final step in the process is the production of the giclee print on an archival paper of the highest standards, which with proper handling will have lasting qualities.