Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Shoot Digital

Welcome back to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place! I trust everyone enjoyed the wonderful weather today!

Today let’s talk about thinking. So often, we’re thinking about how to get that great image onto our computer. We’re all about digits. Digital is the way of the future and analog is dead, right? Actually, that’s not true.

What? Aren’t we using digital cameras, editing on our computers, and sharing our work online? That’s digital, duh! Actually that’s true, but have we thought about how light works? Have thought about how we work? Have we thought about how our camera works? Or how our flash works?

Light travels in waves. It’s an analog signal. Those variations in intensity are caused by the signal’s amplitude. It’s a little more involved when we talk about our cameras. When we shoot fast shutter speeds, the shutter is never fully opened; a slit travels across your sensor exposing it in slices. That’s why we have sync speeds for our flash. Digital means it’s either opened or closed; it can’t be both. That’s why focal plane, diaphragm shutters give faster sync speeds, because they are opened, exposing your whole medium for the duration of the shot, although they are in the process of opening, there is still the entire sensor or film exposed.

When you get right down to it, although the medium used to capture light is digital, camera basics are pretty the same now as they were 100 years ago. A medium is placed in a light proof space, an opening is created, then shut, the medium is processed, and a photo is born. The only differences are automation, medium, and sensitivity. We have more automation in the process of creating our image, we shoot to a digital sensor that requires no chemicals or wait, and our sensors can reach speeds unheard of in past decades. Does that mean we no longer need to think through our processes of image creation? No it doesn’t, not now, and probably never.

When shooting film, people took a slower pace in creating a shot. An almost crafting of a shot. Taking the time to see the light, feel the light, and imagine the scene displayed meant fewer pictures, but more works that were pleasing. It’s the same in most pursuits like golf, drawing, or woodworking.

I’m encouraging everyone to slow down some. Take your time crafting your shot. My friend, Mark, used a good expression when he said we used to shoot film like snipers, taking our time, and now we’re machine-gunning everything we see. For even the next few days, make each shot count, and you’ll make each shot a winner. It’s time to slow down, time to “think analog, shoot digital.” You will see an improvement, and others will notice, as well.

Don’t forget our theme this week, blurring the lines. Here’s wishing a great week, and some killer shots!

Don’t forget to post any of your images you’d like to see here at the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page and to get your vote in for next week’s theme. Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too!

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