“….a negative is only an intermediate step toward the finished print, and means little as an object in itself. Much effort and control usually go into the making of the negative, not for the negative’s own sake, but in order to have the best possible “raw material” for the final printing.”
In some ways not much has actually changed since Ansel Adams wrote the above opening to his book, ‘The Print’. ‘The Print’ was first published in 1983. If you replace the word ‘negative’ with ‘RAW file’ there is a remarkable applicability of the concept to our current understanding and usage of photography. Then, as now, the final image was the most important factor in the creation of the image. The negative was only a half way step to the final image. Even if photographers used transparency film, often the final print didn’t look exactly like the original transparency (although adepts of ‘straight’ nature photography loved the simplicity of the transparency, albeit with the concurrent difficulties of capturing a range of tones on a medium of such limited exposure latitude). To me, post-production is really the same as Ansel Adam’s print. It is a mechanical and artistic process by which we transform the RAW file into a presentable image.
Ansel Adams: the opening paragraph to ‘The Print’.
|An image of a close family friend shot on film for a personal project. Despite being shot on Ilford film, post-production is involved.|