Modern Photography/Printing

Printing is the process of placing a finished image on to paper or other media.

The negative is the score, the print is the performance.

—Ansel Adams

Analog eraEdit

Traditionally, printing referred to the creation of a positive photographic print from a negative film or photographic plate, however today it generally refers to digital printing processes. In the late days of the analog era it was said of printing:

To many photographers the making of rich prints with as few imperfections as possible is equal in importance to exposing the original negative. They explore tonal qualities to the fullest. Other photographers are concerned more with the image and not so much with the print. The success of a photograph is based upon many ingredients, not solely on excellent craftsmanship.

—Lee D. Witkin, The Photograph Collector's Guide (1979), Alan Shestack

There is nothing in photography I hate more than printing.

—W. Eugene Smith

I'm too full of new ideas for darkroom play.

—Jerry N. Uelsmann

Digital eraEdit

Today's digital printing processes take much of the drudgery and poisonous substance exposure out of printing photographs.