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, the cost and handling of film and complicated light sources meant that an image could take an hour plus to create, My craft skills were fine tuned during that time because there wasn’t any margin for error.
The demand for quality images remains the same despite my being told by prospective clients: “I guess the photographer just has to take a hundred pictures and hope one comes out”. The shotgun approach does not work and a fifty OK photos is no substitute for twenty great photos. When I have an assignment:I do my research and know what the best angle and best time for each image to be created. I know that for dusk photographs: exactly when and where the sun is going to set and exactly and how the light will shape the image. For any subject or type of image: Experience + Preparation + Craftsmanship = High Quality images.
Historically, one of the many short comings of digital cameras has been the lack of low light detail and dynamic range. Film has a dynamic range of 11 stops and digital cameras were capable of 8-9 stops which meant that it was possible to get detail in the highlights or shadows but not both. Recently Nikon has begun working with the 36 MP CMOS Sony sensor they have improved on this sensor and it is now being used in their line of professional cameras and it capable of capturing 16 stops. Nikon also remove their High Pass filter which also improves contrast and detail. 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 files 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.