Jan Kaluza LOGO camera linux

Photography

[camera] Photography has changed a whole lot in my time and certainly in huge leaps since the pioneers like Niépce, Talbot and Daguerre. Those first fixers of images set the stage in the 1830's. Some three decades on, Petzval's lens design made exposures shorter so on-site photography became possible. Wet plate gave way to film, Eastman Kodak and Agfa carried 35mm into fame and popularity. Though the pros like Adams still lugged an 8x10" wetplate system around, and many used larger 120 film (and still do).

After kidding about with a Kodak33, I got my start with 35mm film - C41 colour print and later E6 colour slide. With print film you still had 3-4 stops of latitude that a good lab could use (or recover from). The E6 slide was not at all forgiving - maybe 1 stop. This, and with all the costs around film and processing, ensured that I developed an eye for the correct exposure and no waste shots. Well, as few as possible.

I did a few weddings back then, it was an exactly timed ritual across three spools of C41 (normally one of the nice Fuji films) with a fourth roll "in reserve." With almost zero margin for error, even the changing of the film rolls had to be precisely timed so no key moments would be lost.

How different to today, where Mr Clickit and his three stooges rock up with two digital cameras apiece, machinegun all day from every angle, and then spend a week picking out the best 1,000 shots - from 20,000 or more.

I work differently, because of that film background. I might take more than one shot, but the first mostly ends up being the best one anyway. So nowadays I shoot for my own fun and pleasure. Landscapes - this is New Zealand after all, though not the more scenic South Island. Also I enjoy macro, and sometime get asked for portraits or passport photos. The odd event comes along, but sadly I find they hardly ever have planned a budget. Chips and sodas aren't free, haircuts aren't free, fuel isn't free… so? People forget that photographic equipment is not free. Nor is my time. Read the FAQ.

So in the late 1990's digital arrived. After some faltering steps it took hold and now you battle to find film. It may be "back" in some countries, but not where I am. Here it is rare, expensive and even more expensive to process.

With digital I started in 1998 with a Sony Mavica - yes, VGA 640x480px, saved to a 3½" diskette. My first dSLR was a Canon 10D with 6mpx. I still have it and it still works! Of course I have newer models…

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