Why I shoot digital Locked

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
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Great post
In reply to brianric, 8 months ago

brianric wrote:

Photography has been a hobby of mine since the mid 1960ies. First SLR was a Nikkormat, then the legendary Nikon FTN. Over the years I've shot with Canon and Minoltas SLRs, Koni-Omega and Omegaflex 6x7, Mamiya C330F, Minolta APS, and more digital cameras than I can remember. My first digital camera was a HP C20. I was a delta tester for HP, which meant I was given the camera for free to use, and submit reports to HP on the use of the camera. When the testing phase was over, the camera was mine to keep. I first started digitizing my pictures in 1989 for my newsletter of my charity bicycle rides by scanning in the pictures I took of the event by scanning the printed pictures. I switched completely over to digital in 2003, when the resolution on digital cameras was good enough for my use, and allowed me to skip the scanning part to digitized my pictures.

I shoot digital exclusively since 2003 because:

I can go out on an all day event and vary my ISO. I would have to change film to do that.

50% of the time I'm shooting at ISO 1600 or higher. Back in the day shooting film it was Tri-X film at ASA 400. Way to much grain for my taste.

Never having a dark room, digital freed me from having someone else deciding what to crop. I remember using Lustre Color in Canton Mass, and I was given two cropping masks to use on 35mm, and I thing up to seven to choose on 6x7. Digital allows me to specify exactly what I want.

First time I printed a 20x30 print was from a picture taken by a Canon 20D, an 8 MP camera. I was totally blown away at how sharp and lack of grain in the picture. I rarely printed larger than 8x10 using 35mm film because of the grain. If I knew I needed larger prints using film I would use my Koni-Omegas or my C330F.

It was a royal PIA if I need to shoot just two or three photos using film, and either wait until I finish the roll, or have the film developed wasting the unused portion to get the pictures that I needed. I now can show up to take team photos at the school I shoot sports for, and get the photos to the school within an hour after I get home.

With digital, I can send all the shots I took to the organization I shoot for, and allow them to decide which ones to use, and do whatever cropping they decide to use. If necessary I can send my digital “negative” out, as I shoot raw, if the organization wants further control.

No longer having to mail out film or negatives to be processed, being at the mercy of the USPS and worrying if my film/negatives got lost.

Easier to find a picture taken years ago. I file my digital files by year, organization, event, and date. So if the American Cancer Society is looking for a picture taken at the 2010 Pennsville NJ Relay for Life, I can quickly find the file. Would take forever to go through 300 negatives.

Easier to backup and store digital files versus negatives. I have every digital file shot and kept as keepers since 2003. I can't say the same of my negatives/slides taken since mid 1960ies.

Easier to share my pictures using digital. I'm a volunteer event photographer for several local charities and a volunteer sports photographer for a local Christian grammar school. I end up sending anywhere from 5 to 40 dvds out of an event for whatever the organization I shoot for wants. I can send out my files using Wetransfer.com to those organizations that are computer literate and need the files ASAP, as they are on a tight deadline to do a news article of the event.

Most of my clients don't want prints. A photo show dvd using ProShow Producer works for them, plus a photo book from My Producer is all they need.

For prints that the organizations do need, I can upload my file(s) to whoever I want to get printed, and either have the company I have to make the prints ship direct to the organization or to me for personal delivery.

IMHO, digital has surpassed film in 35mm and medium format.

I can shoot an event without having to change film. It was a royal pia shooting with 120 film when shooting events.

I don't have to add a motor drive to the camera when shooting digital.

I'm not a great photographer. I shoot events. Digital allows me to shoot many more pictures than I shoot with film, and keep the ones that I want the client to see, especially when shooting sports.

I can easily edit my picture using Photoshop by shooting digital. Spent countless time editing team photos on a charity event removing an unwanted beer can. Made me a better photographer now because I now look for those unwanted objects and remove before taking the shot. For those objects I can't remove, like a telephone pole, I can edit it out of the file.

No longer have to buy film for a specific color temperature, or use filters to offset if I'm using daylight color film indoors without flash. Love the ability to correct my white balance in Photoshop by shooting raw.

There are many more reasons why I shoot digital. One thing I can definitely say I will never shoot film again, and haven't since 2003.

All those things are definitely benefits. Personally, I find film still has its place. I would rather take a film camera to Pyongyang than my digital FF. Doesn't attract as much attention. Also good for street photography sometimes if it's in a quieter place and you just don't want to attract any attention. B&w portraits can also benefit from film. Other than that, digital is superior for everything.

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