Learn Digital Phoptography

by Warren Dixon

Question: What do you think of digital photography? Answer: For many years I was a dedicated film user and was reluctant to switch to digital. With a few Photoshop classes for nature photographers behind me I wish I had made the switch years earlier. Digital cameras and Photoshop are incredibly powerful tools and they will only get better.There are a plethora of choices today! I personally have converted to this new medium, (thus I don’t have to pack bags of film or worry about airport X-ray issues!) I have the following points to offer you: If you are buying an SLR camera that will take your existing interchangeable lenses, expect to spend serious money. The Nikon D100 body alone can be found selling for about U.S. $ 1,000.00 (May 2006), and the excellent new Nikon D70 for $ 999.00.

What is your opinion of digital photography ? There is no question that some of today’s digital cameras can produce an image that is sharper and shows more detail than film.But digital is a very different medium than film and I still feel film has some useful qualities that are not yet present in digital. Also film can always be scanned into a digital format later (the way most Hollywood movies and TV commercials and shows are made.) The critical factor for you should be how good the photographer is at using the medium of their choice.Answer: For many years I was a dedicated film user and was reluctant to switch to digital.

What are the best digital photography web sites? Luminous Landscape (useful comparisons shot with different gear, but I often disagree with their conclusions)I no longer own a Sony camera and many of the questions and answers in that section were becoming outdated.

Why did you switch to digital photography? A. I never have to limit the number of images I can photograph at your wedding. I am not wasting film, so I can keep shooting until I get the exact moment I want. B. We used to be limited to the type of film in our camera, no more. Now I can give you any image you want in color, black & white or sepia. C. Digital has made all kinds of art work more available and affordable.

What can I do to improve my digital photography? Digital cameras offer you a very important advantage over film. They give you the capability to see and evaluate your pictures immediately. The downside of digital cameras, though, is that they are not nearly as forgiving of mistakes as film. For example, film has an extremely wide exposure latitudethe amount you can miss your exposure by and still get a good printthat extends from one stop under to three stops over. Digital cameras give you only plus or minus 1/2 stop.The candid/photojournalistic aspects of your Wedding Day will be shot in High Resolution Digital, and you have the option of having your formal/portrait photography shot in Digital as well, or on Medium Format Film. Though I recommend Medium Format for all portrait work, I want to leave that choice up to you. I offer either option at the same price because I don’t want cost to be a factor in your decision.

Have you thought about publishing this as a book? Part of what makes the FAQ interesting for me and useful for other is, I think, that it’s a living document. It’s constantly evolving and contains many links that people can follow to get more information. I’m afraid that it would lose some of this appeal in printed form.Low-resolution digital images can be transmitted instantly via e-mail to anywhere in the world. Large prints can be produced from high-resolution digital images. Graphics and labeling can easily be added to digital images. Digital proof images can be viewed by the client the same day as the flight. Custom cropping, color correction and haze-reduction techniques can be applied to digital images in the “Digital Darkroom”.I’m Ron Parr.

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