Ansel Adams was fond of saying, “The negative is the score, the print is the performance.” I agree. The digital negative for black-and-white is the beginning; from there, we create a musical performance with the image. I was frustrated for years with Photoshop’s challenges in the black-and-white arena, but when NIK’s Silver Efex Pro emerged, I was overjoyed. Many of the techniques I had used in the darkroom, such as high-contrast developers, paper choices, proper filters, as well as push or pull processing, could now be replicated digitally.
This image is an example of creating the performance.