Saturday, May 24, 2008

Even a film holdout uses digital

That's right, I'm a digital shooter too. I think there are plenty of areas where digital and its instant feedback are useful, for example, still life. You can check lighting, composition, focus, depth of field, all within a second and adjust. The more you play with it, the more likely you are to get good results on the first try. No more bracketing shots!

And for learning off-camera lighting, a la Strobist, digital cameras are a godsend. Pop off a few shots and check them to see if your flash is at the right angle and power, and you're good to go. Honestly, I'm lost trying to do bounce flash with a film camera - it's an insurmountable task for me. With digital, just pop a few shots to get it dialed in.

Some people think its lazy, learning via trial and error like this, and not making the attempt to learn the math behind lighting and focus. They may be right, I don't know, but in this era I think you would be insane to use film in many circumstances. I think the shot of Morel mushrooms I've posted here would have been quite difficult to get right on the first try with my big Mamiya camera, but using the instant feedback of digital, I dialed it in.

Now if I wanted to reshoot the shot with a film camera for a particular effect, all I have to do is get the settings from my digital, set my film camera up similarly, and bingo bango you have the shot. Years ago pros would use Polaroids to make sure their shots were coming out correctly exposed. That was expensive and slow. I still use Polaroids of course, but digital has to be king for shot proofing now.

No comments: