The BS of Digital Photography

Jack Davis jdavisf8 at
Tue Oct 6 07:59:57 EDT 2009

Brief response. In the case of film, I think the delay between making the shot and seeing the image tends to allow one to more readily accept the results. This anticipation period lends itself to a broad range of reactions from stinging disappointed to the satisfaction of pleasing surprise enhanced by the delay. 


--- On Tue, 10/6/09, Tom C <cakaltm at> wrote:

> From: Tom C <cakaltm at>
> Subject: The BS of Digital Photography
> To: "Pentax-Discuss Mail List" <pdml at>
> Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 12:07 AM
> I just ordered a K-7 against what may
> may be my better judgement...
> I'm optimistic that it will meet my present needs, though
> I'm pretty
> sure it's far too noisy for any astrophotography.
> It has started me thinking though about the tradeoffs
> between film and digital.
> WIth film (E6 or positives specifically):
> One had to wait for the results.
> What you saw is what you got.
> Notwithstanding the development process, the largest
> variables in the
> result was the metering accuracy of the camera body (MX or
> Pz-1P, both
> overall excellent), the attributes of the film that was
> selected, and
> the judgement of the photographer.
> When I scanned a transparency, I pretty much considered
> that it was,
> as recorded, based upon my decisions at exposure time. It
> was a 1st
> generation image.
> With digital (shooting RAW):
> I see the 'results' (almost immediately).
> I'm unsure what processing has occurred in camera.
> I'm unsure how the sensor has responded to the scene and
> how the
> software in the camera has adjusted the image. I can guess,
> but I'm
> not sure.
> I'm unsure if the image shown on the playback screen is an
> accurate
> representation of the scene or if it will match what I see
> on the
> computer screen.
> I'm unsure if Photoshop or ACR, or whatever software used,
> is
> displaying an accurate representation of the recorded
> image.
> Screen calibration is an issue unto itself.
> Maybe there was just as many variables with E6 and they
> were taken for
> granted at the time, because we didn't (or I didn't) have
> the
> knowledge 6 - 10 years ago to know the difference.
> Certainly all the
> post-capture and transposition to digital issues existed.
> Nevertheless, with the advent of digital capture, it seems
> or feels as
> if the process is far more complicated.  Maybe my RAW
> image is the
> equivalent of my transparency, but it just does not feel
> the same. It
> seemed that I could look at a transparency and say "Wow,
> that looks
> exactly like what I saw" or "Wow, I messed that one
> up".  With digital
> I feel much more insecure.  Was it me, the camera, the
> software, the
> hardware?
> It seems the almost instant gratification of digital
> capture and the
> speediness of results has been eclipsed by the, OMG factor,
> and 'what
> do I have to do to adjust this image?'.  Time saved by
> instant results
> is erased by time spent post-capture processing.
> Does it seem that way to others as well?
> Tom C.
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