(Edited excerpt from here)
What was lost with the rise of digital photography?
There used to be hundreds of different kinds of printing papers available before digital.
If you were a printer in B&W or color and you wanted a particular gloss, matte, feel or contrast, etcetera, these films were disappearing very quickly.
And what was left in its place was inkjet papers.
And people started experimenting with watercolor papers—even now people take different types of papers and put them in inkjet printers.
But the general printer companies provided a limited number of coded printing options.
Maybe now certain companies like Legion or Hahnemuhle and other paper companies are beginning to provide papers for inkjet printing, but they also provide paper for photographic artists who want to coat their own paper with platinum printing, salted paper, albumen and such.
Shooting with Slide Film
Pre-digital, I used to shoot a lot of outdoor scenes with Fujichrome Velvia: the color saturation provided an intensity to my meager photo efforts during hikes in Zion and elsewhere.
The coolest thing about Fujichrome Velvia was that it was slide film. I would put the slides into binder sheets, hold the sheets up to the light and then decide which ones I wanted to blow up into prints.
Next, my slides would be sent out to a lab that could handle the conversion to prints. I’d also get the prints developed on the next larger sized paper (4x6?).
It cost a small fortune, between the cost of the film and developing, but wow did those pictures pop.
I saw this conversation about @bstrong getting a film camera and I was wondering what slide films and papers available today would be worth his experimenting with.