Cheat or not?

I started out on film, printed my B&W photos myself and tried to master the usual darkroom techniques as cropping, dodging and burning to improve composition, lighten the white of the eyes or darken the skies and backgrounds, etc. The first thing you would do was to pick the right paper to get the desired contrast. Pre-flash it to control blown-out highlights, if needed. You get the idea.

Now, recently I have seen some comments in forums and in some Facebook groups dedicated to film photography where people wouldn’t like to adjust a scanned image to adjust contrast or use any of the other basic Lightroom adjustments, they feel like it’s cheating if they would. I do appreciate them shooting on film, but I don’t see how bringing out the best in your photo in the darkroom is any different, they are basically the same techniques.

And that is if you ignore the impact of the software you used when scanning, it probably corrected the levels and contrast already unless the image was scanned RAW.

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