I dropped by Panda Lab and picked up my proof sheets and scans (Yes, scans. Panda can scan the negs too. Black and white. Panoramic. Anything you want.). Dana likes showing off to me the latest he has figured out his equipment can do, so he had printed out digital proof sheets of the images. I louped them. I just saw a pixellated mess. "These look terrible, Dana! I can’t see anything!" "Yes, they do fall apart when you magnify them," he said. He took the negs into the darkroom, and 5 minutes later I had a set of real, analog contact sheets in my hand.
"Oh man, I miss this," I said as I glassed the sheets. "All the pictures, here, in my hand, and I can examine them to my heart’s content." Next week I’ll fire up the darkroom and see what they really look like.
As I was leaving Dana asked, "Hey, do you know anyone who’s a good fiber printer? Any assistants you know? We need someone. We have just one high-end client who wants fiber prints, and we don’t have anyone here who knows how to do them." So this skill set is vanishing sooner than I expected. Any of you printers need a job, and want to work in a photo lab?