Comment: Travelling with your camera.

Good 'article' John. Should be very helpful to some.
I do agree about the questionable progress from film to digital photography. My first camera was a Kodak box. (Actually, the first was a Kodak Baby Brownie but I soon upgraded). That box camera had only one control, the shutter release, so there was no opportunity to obtain optimum exposure other than being somewhat selective about weather conditions. Nevertheless, I did produce some reasonable images in black & white. This makes your point about choice of subject and composition as there was no other available variable. The available light became part of the composition. I progressed to superior film cameras with shutter and aperture control and even focusing adjustment. Some exposures improved and many were worse due to experimentation. Flash photography was fascinating but expensive with non reusable flash bulbs. Exposure shortcomings could be somewhat compensated in the darkroom, a peaceful place.
With the advent of digital cameras a veritable Pandora's Box was opened. Although speed and aperture controls were available, the performance of the electronic programmes were such that it was often tempting to just leave it to the camera. Worse however was that the motivation to carefully select subject and compose the shot was somewhat forgotten. Simpler to take multiple exposures and select the best later at home in front of a computer and making adjustments.
My current photos are technically superior, but I think that some of my early B&W's somehow better captured the essence of the scene or occasion. So I am embarking on returning to B&W exposures without auto programme control together with a 90mm prime lens and see what happens. (Or maybe see how long it happens)

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 01:25

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 01:25
Hi Allan,

Great to hear from you, and thank you for your interesting remarks - for the benefit of others, I think Allan's early references relate to how things were back in the 1940's, maybe a bit earlier. Am I about right Allan? (An aside - at a local Trash and Treasure market recently I came across the workings of a very old 35mm movie projector, the label, rivetted on during manufacture, suggested very early 1900's. The shutter was a wheel in front of the lens, supporting such a date. Looked as if it had been stored for a century low down in a much used cow shed, and that, together with wifely remarks about dissipating junk rather than collecting meant I didn't bring it home!)

I too plan to play more with monochrome. I've recently seen some impressive work done by dropping saturation down to zero to produce a monochrome backdrop, then superimposing the subject in its original colour back in its original position. Very dramatic. Technology has made us lazy artists, but it has provided lots of new tools!


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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