Ray, I suppose that if I had a camera with a very very large dynamic range, I could select out of an image the stops I want, adjust them in Photoshop to fit them on paper, and print. Until then, I guess I am just stuck with having to accurately meter and expose. (To me, that is an interesting and challenging part of the puzzle. Actually, if I wanted truely great images everytime, I would take all the money I spend making my own and buy the Master's.)
Then along comes Epson with a Super Dynamic Range printer/paper combo and I want a camera with another 6 stops of dynamic range.
Seems that if the dynamic range of the camera is made large enough, there would be no real need for a meter any more. Write a Photoshop plugin called Focus-all, and you have the ultimate in point and shoot cameras. You might be approaching the elimination of the need for a photographer if you mount this bad boy on your robot that knows a great image when it sees it.
Yes, I am frustrated.
If Adams hadn't lost his light meter, maybe he would also have had a better time, although it would be hard to imagine just how much better it could have gotten. One of the beauties to me of the Hernandez image is that it was difficult for a master, and that not just anyone with a $50K Canon could have done the same thing easier. Maybe Adams enjoyed the challenge also, having to quickly recognize the potential, draw on his knowledge and then work hard in the darkroom to coax out the latent image to look like the image in his head.