Well, in a positive note, IRIS prints were really expensive and I was told labor intensive. Home printing was equated with fuzzy prints made out of 2 megabytes digital photos. Nowadays, I have been pleasantly surprised with inkjet prints made by photographers in their home Epson printers.
Well, last year I talked to a photographer in downtown L.A who told me inkjet prints were just ink!! He told me than on his view the traditional darkroom could never be surpassed by ink machines. Also the curator in Carmel said that Serigraphy was a proven method while inkjet prints were a dreadful convenience.
So there is still some debate going on out there.
"There is still some debate going on out there."
Yes, and I think that it will continue for quite some time to come. Much of the debate, in my opinion, stems from the simple fact that within the time-scale of the history of photography, silver had become the norm after a period of different attempts to set a standard process. So, with an established way of conducting business, any departure from that will cause a lot of ripples on the photographic pond. Digital has been not so much a ripple as a tidal wave.
As I recall, digital was originally though by Kodak et al to be something that would appeal to a small market; instead of that, it served to wipe out huge tranches of the photographic industry that created and sponsored it. It also helped some photographers retire less than gracefully, unable or unwilling to learn and pay for new technology.
Perhaps the greatest benefits have gone to the amateur market where new is sometimes thought of as better; where much of photographic life is consumed with endless speculation about specification; where it might not be so much a matter of what you do but of HOW you do it.
On the pro side, it has created an entirely different workflow, forced the spending of lots of money and caused a great deal more work to be required before the invoice can be handed over. There are those who see this as a good idea and those who do not. For myself, now that I´ve left the strictly commercial world of photography, I see a certain benefit in having more control of the steps - I get to play a little longer at creating something. But, were I still doing this for money, I would far rather spend the time doing fresh shoots than sitting before a computer wondering just how much it was all going to cost me in time and effort. There was something rather neat and final about handing over a set of good transparencies and letting the client worry about it after that.
Ciao - Rob C