A continuation of "I'd like to see a photo."

Started Feb 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
Skip M
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Re: A continuation of "I'd like to see a photo."
In reply to Nigel Wilkins, Feb 13, 2013

Nigel Wilkins wrote:

Skip M wrote:

It's an interesting theme that I think needs expansion. Would any of these images have been more salable in digital form, particularly if shot with present day digitals with more than 10 stops of DR? They were shot on Kodachrome, for the most part, including that famous one of the Afghan Girl, which had a DR of less than 4 stops.

http://stevemccurry.com/galleries/portraits

http://stevemccurry.com/galleries/last-roll-kodachrome

Isn't more about learning the capabilities of our tools and working with them, rather than chasing the holy grail of technological "improvements?" I know,that's just a re-phrasing of "it's the photographer, not the camera," but really...

I'm not sure I understand your question. On the one hand, you're suggesting you'll be a better photographer by learning the capabilities of our tools. That, I fully agree with.

On the other hand, you're suggesting we should be doing that rather than chasing technological improvements. Surely, they go hand-in-hand? If not, should we not be all using monochrome glass plate negatives in pinhole cameras? If that was the case, none of the photos you refer to would be possible in their current form.

Obviously they are possible, due to a good photographer with a decent camera, lenses & film working together. How much better could they have been if the photographer had a modern digital camera & a similar level of experience with it? The colours would almost certainly have been different, maybe better, maybe worse. That would be dependant more on the photographer than the camera. He would have had more choice in how the final image ended up.

That, in my opinion, is the difference technology brings. Not necessarily an improvement in the final image, but more choice in how the photographer can express his or her final vision.

Maybe the point could be read as being that we shouldn't feel the need to chase what are incremental improvements and wail and tear our hair when whatever brand we use doesn't come up to the expected level.  We are already so far beyond film capability that the less than two stop difference in DR between a 5D3 and a D800 is completely inconsequential.  For more than 20 years, when I shot color film, I shot K25.  I knew its limitations compared to, for instance Fuji Reala, but I liked the look and knew what I was going to get.

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Skip M
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