RE: benefit of digital camera

From: Jim Collum ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 04/13/04-04:29:52 PM Z
Message-id: <>



-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 3:10 PM
Subject: Re: benefit of digital camera


It's fascinating to hear what everyones' relationship to digital is.

Does it make you get sloppy? I always ask myself if auto-exposure and
auto-focus has made me sloppy...I still prefer my manual Nikons when I
shoot 35mm but I have been known to go out with several small
auto-everything pocket cameras - all with "prime" lenses of different
focal lengths - in my vest pockets and use them. Personally, I miss the
days when I just had obe camera body and a fifty mm lens...I used to
shoot like crazy and, in retrospect, these were some of my strongest
images. Were they technically perfect? Not always, but I doubt that I
would even have a tenth of them if I had held out for technical
perfection. I had to become a good printer to get a decent print out of
some of them and it not only made my printing technique better but it
made me more concious of how I could get more printable results by being
smarter while shooting. The improvement of technique had a "trickle
down" effect (thanks, Ronnie!) on my shooting when I moved into medium
and large format. I learned, I adapted.


I'm shooting with a 1ds. Sloppy? I guess it's a choice. I still use
manual exposure and manual focus (most of the time I need to cuz I'm
working with the extreme ends of the tilt/shift lenses). Pretty much
always have it on a tripod (some ol' 4x5 habits die hard.). Mirror
lockup and cable release are the norm.

Digital occupies that niche for me now. I have a lot of digital images
that I wish I had made with silver halide materials just because they're
good images. I can only do so much with them as digital files...of
course I could make internegs out of them if I wanted but it's just not
the same!


Have to admit, the digital negatives don't quite have the same physical
presence that a good 8x10 or 11x14 film negative has. But I can still do
quite a bit with them. Since most of my exposures are manual, and take
the same amount of work/time that I'd put in to a 4x5 image.. I can make
sure that I capture more dynamic range than I could with film. Of
course, it means that for some 'complete' images, I have 9 separate
frames that I need to work with ( tilt/shift's left/middle/right frames,
then a shadow, midtone, highlight exposure for each one). I'm finding
that I'm enjoying a lot more freedom with the digital camera, and it's
resulted in many more keepers. But even with all that work, I still find
I spend less time with the digital darkroom getting my final image, than
I did in my chemical darkroom (contrast/color masking was always a pain,
and separation negatives even more so)


Do we make value judgements on the quality or legitimacy of an image
based on the format or medium that it's made with? Rhetorical question.
Is an 8X10 original of a mundane or mediocre image inherently more legit
than a 35mm original of a really inspired image? If the process is
simple is it less artistic than an arcane and labor intensive one?

questions, questions, questions....




Received on Tue Apr 13 16:31:43 2004

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