Who is your Photo Lab?

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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Saginaw, Michigan

Who is your Photo Lab?

Postby Andy » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:49 pm

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending one of the 2-day "seminars" on digital photography conducted by famous and talented nature photographer, John Shaw. It was a great learning experience. I brought home 2 or 3 major thoughts. One was a comment that John made sometime during the seminar about Photo Labs. Back "in the day" we would shoot several rolls of film, and either drop it off at the local processor or send it away in mailers and anxiously wait for its return. Then, after sorting slides (or small prints from negatives), if you wanted a larger print, you again took your source material in to the lab, discussed crops, color, etc., and again, waited for its return--and hoped the lab got the color the way you wanted. John noted that on photography trips, it was pretty common for the photographers to get together for dinner and maybe a beer, after shooting at last light. Now, they all eat and hurry back to the hotel room to "process" the days shoot.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I personally think its a great thing! I love the ability to have my own darkroom and print lab. I love the ability to process my digital files from the camera to a print, with my own "vision." I have always been a kind of computer "junkie" and love playing with photoshop (and lately am learning to program--and throw around big words and phrases, like javascript, ASP.net, and "C sharp" for my new website).

I appreciate that we have different approaches ("left brain, right brain, yada yada yada) and there are some who would very much prefer to do their work "behind the lens" and then let the "lab" do the rest. For those, the availability of labs are -- sadly -- diminishing. I read recently that the ubiquitous 4x6 print from Walgreens is even in jeopardy of extinction.

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

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