Monthly Archives: March 2017

Digital Photography Vs Traditional

Digital photography may be one of the late 20th century’s most innovative technologies. It is about half the cost of traditional photography, with the results being of equal or better quality. You waste nothing; there’s no film required, and since you only print the pictures you need, digital photography is both cost effective and environmentally friendly. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of digital photography is the idea of showing pictures to people wherever they are, as long as they have a computer and an internet connection.

Photography

Photography is a popular hobby, pastime, or even a career for many people. Photography has come a long way since its early days and its popularity has not waned. In fact, digital photography is becoming even more popular and it is slowly replacing film photography, especially in professional environments. Even for experienced photographers, the move to digital capture brings with it a significant learning curve.

The Digital Camera

A digital camera is, in effect, a little computer. Picture quality varies from camera to camera. The quality of digital cameras has increased over the years, yet many people feel it isn’t quite as good as a regular camera yet. When you’re shopping for a digital camera keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how much your camera costs, or how big it is. You’re looking for the camera you’re happy with, and that is what’s most important. One of the things I like about digital cameras is that, unlike film, you can reuse the storage media over and over again with no extra cost. If you’ve ever used a film camera, you will remember how annoying it was that you could only store a few pictures on the film, without the ability to delete them once they were made.

The Digital Age

In a sense, digital photography adds a whole new step to photography. It is no longer just photography, it is digitally post-processed photography. The digital age has brought about the greatest transformation in photography since photography was invented.

Conclusion

Digital and traditional photography are complimentary arts. They each have their respective places in the lives of amateur and professional photographers. The skills acquired in traditional photography will definitely be passed on to the digital world. We can easily see that the world of photography has room for both digital photography and traditional photography. Let’s just hope that digital and traditional photographers can make the best of both worlds and continue to produce great work. After all, digital photography is just another tool of modernization in an ever-changing world.

What is the Future of Digital Photography?

Do you see a future for digital photography? Quite a radical question in the feeding frenzy of digital camera marketing. To me digital photography is the best thing that has ever happened to photography. But, what is its future? A difficult question to answer and possibly a loaded one.

Film photography was always known as just ‘photography’, never film photography. It was the standard. With the emergence of digital photography this standard has been challenged. My question is, “will digital photography become the standard or will it remain the ugly sister of photography”?

I think that it will always remain the ‘poor cousin’ of film photography unless two things happen:

1. All digital cameras need to develop to the point that they are equivalent in quality to that of the most basic film camera. They must eradicate the digital vs film debate. There must be no difference between the two formats. The most expensive digital cameras are getting close to that standard but the point and shoot models cannot compete with their film counterparts. I think that with the pace of development, despite an economic crisis,  consumers are demanding that lower end cameras need to improve in quality. Although, true photography is all about the SLR and I think we are on the road to the quality needed to compete with film cameras.

2. There is a mindset change that quantity is better than quality. Thought that went into taking a photograph with film has all but disappeared. The speed with which digital images are taken degrades the results of good photography. This is evidenced by the quality of images submitted to competitions, placed on forums and displayed on blogs. If this mindset changes and we start putting more thought into photography it does bode well for digital as an art form.

How do we change this so that digital is synonymous with photography? I personally think that the key is education and learning. In the same way that digital photography has changed the face of photography digital has changed the face of publishing.

Great learning material is available in electronic form as free education or reasonably priced education. It is now cheap and easy to learn about photography and the techniques of improvement. It doesn’t take an expensive course or diploma to radically improve your images. It’s as simple as buying an eBook or an electronic course. Many have money back guarantees so the risk is minimal. Easy to find and easy to learn. The key is to learn photography and not just digital photography.

When film photography was born it was perceived as an art and much care was exercised in the execution. It was birthed in and developed with this mindset and, linked to the costs involved, remained mostly as an art form. Even the masses exercised care in its practise.

But, with digital photography it is very different. What it has done is make the art form cheaper, simpler and faster. Whenever you add these three factors to anything in life, it opens the door to loss off technique, lower quality and diminished value. This is seen by the billions of electronic images that remain on DVDs, hard drives and memory cards, unappreciated and valueless.

It’s in this world that the art of photography has to find its place and raise its head again from the chaos of digital. Digital is the best thing since sliced bread.  The only question that now needs to be answered is will it rise to the occasion and become the new art form or will it be the vehicle that is responsible for the loss of a great art form?

Learn Digital Photography

You can call it the digital disease of photography or perhaps the death of photography. The reality is that digital has caused a decline in the quality of photography. There are several reasons, one of them being the speed of digital and the resulting lack of thought before the shutter is released. Quick on the draw and not enough careful consideration.

This has been a hobby horse of mine for a few years and some have said get off and stop flogging a dead horse. They may be right and maybe a little wrong. But, there is a solution or rather a number of solutions. The one I want to consider is getting back to basics. In most vocations when skills diminish it’s time to get back to basics. This is where the problem lies in digital photography. The bottom line is that in order to learn digital photography you need to learn the basics of photography.

There are two things that need to be done then. Get back to the basics or if you haven’t learnt the basics, begin with them. Here is where the big question lies. How do we get back or begin with the basics. The operative word is learning. Learn photography or learn digital photography. Picking up a camera and shooting doesn’t make you a photographer. So what do we do? Acquire the skills. This is much easier said than done.

Our current generation is the most fortunate generation as we have the internet and the ability to read, read and read. Again easier said than done. What I would like to suggest is that acquire specific literature i.e. books on photography. The internet is full of them especially electronic downloadable editions. But lets go beyond this and back to the paper books. There are a number I’d consider to be fundamental to any aspiring photographer’s library. So here are a few suggestions:

1. The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby

Scott Kelby gives you the simple insider tips pros use. It’s easy to understand and very simple to apply resulting in great photographs.

2. Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition) by Bryan Peterson

Exposure and how to use aperture and shutter speed always confused me until I read Bryan Peterson’s book on exposure. A must have book in your library.

3. The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman

Michael has been around for donkey’s years and handles a subject that every digital photographer needs. Composition. By understanding composition your photographs will improve a hundredfold.

4. Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color & Composition in Photography (Updated Edition) by Bryan Peterson

For some of us seeing creatively is a natural ability while with others it’s something we need to learn or acquire. This is one of the best books I have read on creativity in photography.

5. Digital Photography Masterclass by Tom Ang

Tom Ang has been around a long time and with this book takes you further along you photographic journey. Great assignments throughout this book. He will take you to a new level.

6. Understanding Shutter Speed: Creative Action and Low-Light Photography Beyond 1/125 Second by Bryan Peterson

This book is linked with his other one on exposure and helps cement your understanding of how to use your shutter speed.

7. Understanding Digital Photography: Techniques for Getting Great Pictures by Bryan Peterson

Getting the shot is what it is all about. Bryan gets you thinking before your press the shutter button too quickly and succumb to the disease of digital. If there was a one man solution to this problem it’s Bryan Peterson.

These are just some of my favourite authors and photographers who have enhanced my photography dramatically. By going back to the principles of good photographic composition and learning photography and not just digital photography you’ll become a better a more rounded photographer. Don’t allow digital to take you backwards. Take the principles of great photography and apply them to digital. Remember, great photographers take great photos using any medium, digital or film. Keep learning and don’t stop making great images.

Learn Digital Photography

Yes, digital photography is dead in the water IF ‘photography’ is taken out of digital photography. As Kodak’s brownie box camera and their Instamatic brought photography to the masses in the 20th century, so the digital camera has done the same in the 21st. But, once the ‘ability to take photos novelty’ wears off, the lack of skills will relegate the digital camera to the hobby drawer.

There is a principle in management science that says in business a person is promoted to the level of their own incompetence and no further. It’s called the ‘Peter Principle’ formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter in his book of the same name. After that they stagnate and can only move sideways. This is true for photography also. Once you reach your level of incompetence or maximum ability, there you sit. It’s at this point the interest wanes and your camera outings become more and more infrequent. In other words, another death of digital photography.

There will always be the hardliners in any field who will continue to practise to the level of their incompetence, but, the average Joe who was once excited by digital photography is no more. The enthusiast has lost his enthusiasm.

So what’s the answer to the problem? The focus, as in any hobby or pastime, is a continual learning process. In the business world we call it upskilling. Adding competency and qualifications to your existing tool bag will keep you moving up the ladder of promotion. It is the same with photography. Learning is imperative.

Most of us are at some stage dissatisfied with our photos. They don’t quite look like those in the glossy magazines and daily newspapers. What is it that they have that rest don’t? They’ve learnt the techniques and disciplines of photography and have applied them on a continual learning journey to great photos.

A hobby, as with any plant or animal, has to be nurtured if it is to show any signs of growth. Buying a digital camera with the sole purpose of just snapping away without the high costs of film, will on most occasions result in the death of digital photography. If your digital photography is going to flourish it will need three key ingredients:

1. Time

As with anything of value in life time is a key ingredient to its success. Unless you take the time to invest in any venture you will probably reap an equivalent reward. Garbage in garbage out. No pain no gain as the old adage goes.  There is no instant photography.

2. Passion

Unless you are enthusiastic about a hobby or pastime it is inevitable that it will gradually diminish with time and eventually fizzle out. I speak from experience. Developing your passion is essential to growth. Passion is the fuel that fires your hobby.

3. Ability

Some are born with natural ability but for most of us we have to work at it. Practise makes perfect. If you don’t have ability then acquire it in whatever way you legally can. Acquiring ability is a process and for many of us a journey of discovery. Something we have to work at.

Take any of these three points out of digital photography and its demise is well on the way. But, the key point is photography. Learning photography and acquiring creative photography skills will nurture digital photography and keep it alive.

Photography is not governed by the medium it uses, digital, film, pinhole or Polaroid. Photography stands alone and independent of the tools or media. As with beauty it’s in the eye of the beholder. It is not contained in a box, a camera or digital sensor. Its results can be seen on a computer, t-shirt or magazine.

Digital photography is the answer to photography because of its ease of use, methods of distribution and costs. But take photography out of digital and it will result in the death of digital photography.