Monday, December 14, 2009

digital photography

I was musing this morning about how digital tech has made the art of photography so much easier and thus more enjoyable.

For one, it's much less time-consuming.

For another, you could immediately see your capture in the LDC-equivalent of the viewfinder, in just a second after you clicked your cam. It is certified true through-the-lens viewing. You don't have to wait until printing while tensely hoping that you got the right balance of light and color. You could view it right then and there, and have a retake immediately if you decide that you don't quite like how it turned out.

Gone are the days of trial-and-error bracketing. Thanks to the new digital viewfinder, you more or less have an idea of where to start after the first shot. No more need for a wide bracket. You no longer need to consume time on several permutations of f-stops and shutters in the hope of getting just the right exposure.

It's just as well if you don't have a light-meter. For that matter, you don't really need a light-meter anymore.

It's ultimately easier on the money. You don't need to buy several rolls of film with various speeds because the ISO-equivalent is easily simulated with the turn of the DSLR's dial. You don't need to purchase different grades of photo paper that create different contrasts, because contrast can be adjusted on the camera's settings too.

You don't need to spend several thousands on converting your extra room into a darkroom, no need for its numerous trappings - panels, electricals, plumbing, fireproofing ... enlargers tables pans chemicals canisters darkboxes curtains equipment ... Because there's no messy darkroom processing. No need for the tricky step of prying the roll with a pair of pliers in a dark box and winding the film around the coil, relying solely on touch, nor the time-consuming process of shaking-and-slamming a chemical-filled metal canister while anxiously hoping you have no kinks, sticks or bubbles in there.

No need for the meticulous methods with the enlarger - no contact prints, no test strips, none of the endless adjusting just to get the print right. No need to wait for the fixing and drying.

The digital "darkroom" is so much more convenient - plug cable to USB port and download. Contrast and color correction is a piece of cake. No need for testing various lengths of exposure against various enlarger f-stops against three different kinds of photo paper. Placing borders and watermarks - even fancy ones - is a cinch with Photoshop. You no longer have to cut cardboard for the borders or make an acetate overlay.

And when you want to create a special effect on your capture, you don't need to waste time and expensive photo paper experimenting, because you can just click on the various filters and styles on Photoshop, and easily undo if it isn't quite what you want.

Printing is just a few clicks of a mouse. Just install your photo-quality paper of choice into a good printer, click here, click there, and voila! For that matter, you don't even need to make prints. You can easily share your photos by uploading them on your site or FB account.

Digital photography is so easy, that anyone can be a "photographer" these days (That's not exactly a good thing though :p ) . But lemme just say not everyone can be an artistic photographer.