Twentieth Century Craftsmanship + State of the Art Twenty-First Century Technology
For most of my career I have worked with 4x5 film. The size of the camera, its complex setting, handling large format film and balancing complicated lighting conditions meant that an image could take an hour plus to create. Also, the cost of film, processing and Polaroids were prohibitive. Because of all of those factors, there wasn’t any margin for error and the craft skills had to be finely applied at all times. My skills were fine tuned during that time.
I have been told by prospective clients that they were having problems getting quality photos and “I guess the photographer just has to take a hundred pictures and hope one comes out”. I have seen those images and they prove that the shotgun approach does not work: a hundred OK photos is no substitute for twenty great photos. When I have an assignment: I get all of the information I can, study my subject throughly, know what the best angle for each image, when is the right time and that all of the lighting is correct and/or corrected. I know that for dusk photographs: when and where the sun is going to set and exactly where and when the photograph should be taken. For any subject or type of image: Experience plus Preparation plus Craftsmanship results in High Quality images.
Recently Nikon has begun working with the 36 MP CMOS Sony sensor. The Nikon/Sony hybrid is now being used in their line of professional cameras. Historically, one of the many short comings of digital cameras has been the lack of dynamic range which has been a chronic problem until this sensor was developed. Film has a dynamic range of 11 stops, digital cameras “pre-Nikon/Sony” had 8-9 stops but the new Nikon/Sony sensor now has a dynamic capture range of 15+ shops. Also, the new Professional Nikons also have the ability to shoot in 16 bit color, which when combined with the new generation of Nikon lenses make it possible to create 300 meg wide that are free of distortion, sharp, rich and truly stunning.
Ansel Adams, the patron saint of all photographers, used an approach called Visualization to create his images. He could see the image in his imagination, apply his craft skills to create the negative and then knew how to process the film and print in the darkroom so it would match what he had originally imagined.
Now it is possible that, with the Experience, the Craft Skills, the Technology and advanced Post Production aka Photoshop Skills, a large number of high quality “Visualized” images can be created much more quickly which saves the client money, is easier on the business owner or home owner and an offers an opportunity to cost share where everyone gets what they want.