Monday, 28 February 2011

Filmic Delusions

A short update on my photography and where it is going and what decisions have been made.  This review will be expanded on my website under the title "state of play".
So here goes. The dilemma is do I shoot film i.e. large format film or do I shoot digital. Well having shot both I have a very good comparison. The tool of choice for comparison has become an iMac with a 27" screen running Aperture 3 with the full NIK software range of add ons. So how do they compare. Firstly having come back from Nepal more than a year ago with 18000+ images, something I am not particularly proud of, I had a major challenge to manage this material. Out of this has come an understanding of how to manage a large dataset and that means, for me, Aperture 3.0. And Aperture means an Apple iMAC. A really key thing is the ordering and management of the database. Aperture in conjunctions with the 27" screen allows me to manage and review the large group of images more quickly and more efficiently than anything I have used in the PC world. It helps me to get to the best image. With the addition of the NIK software for black and white conversion and local colour control.
So what criteria do I apply. Quality and quality and finally quality is the starting point. Sharp well exposed images. And here is where digital technically wins out. The exposure in digital is always better than in analogue. For as much as I try. Period. It is also sharper. On Large format analogue the optics are better. Strange that but the area of focus and depth of field control is better on my large Format camera than my Nikon D700.

So where does it take me. If all things are equal, and they are not, then you would go digital for the convenience. So why are they not. The digital images on the iMac are clearly sharper. Finally for those stuck on film who believe that film has a quality that is missing in digital I suggest they try NIK software’s Silver Efex Pro 2. A truely remarkable piece of software.  For those of us who were brought up in the dark room.  We could never have imagined that such a magical tool would be invented. The black and white conversion tools can reproduce anything you can imagine that is “filmic” and beyond.

I rest my case.

Converted by Nik Silver Efex Pro
Original image