Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Technically Easier To Shoot Digital

I am finding the Mark II digital camera technically easier to shoot than the Leica's. I can shoot faster with the zoom and auto focus that I can with the Leica rangefinders and I can also work in much lower light conditions. The two main reasons I bought the camera were to photograph dad with a higher res camera and to shoot in low light. Today I did pictures that encompassed both of those digi benefits, photos of dad in a darker room. Not having to change film, not running out of film, not having to focus, deal with light leaks or changing lens makes for easier shooting. I find the Mark II with 24-70mm digital much easier to shoot as compared to 2 Leica M6 film camera. You also have the benefit of instant feedback on the LCD to ensure your on the right track, you can make corrections if your going wrong. When you shoot film your committed and mistakes are often not realized until the darkroom, when it's to late.

I am shopping for a 24mm F1.4 which will become my main lens for the camera. I am copying the way my friend Larry shoots, he has done great work with a Mark II and Mark III and the 24mm F1.4. There are two versions of the lens, it should cost me somewhere between $1000 and $1400 USD. After I buy this lens I will shut down on gear buying for another 3 or 4 years until I purchase a used Mark III ( from Larry?).

Another advantage with digital is when you want the clarity and detail in your shots you get it. I can shoot this 35mm film style camera for detail and the Leica's with film for more of a traditional look and feel. The grain, higher contrasts and fiber paper of film photography has the very strong look I prefer but at times its good to have other options.

I will also do all my future color work with the digital camera. I plan on doing the sex tourist/worker relationship series in color and will probably find other projects that work better in colour as well, the Mark II will allow for easier creation in those worlds.

Still as always tools are only tools and you need good light, the right situation, the right subject, the right moment captured and the right story to make good photographs. Good photographs are very complex things, there is lots that goes into their making, plenty beyond cameras and lens. We should try not get to much gear fixated.

The other important thing to remember is that all tools that help you make better photos should be used. If it's digital fine, if it's film fine, whatever works, who gives a flying f-ck! what camera you use. I used to belong to a photography group where only film was allowed, no digital images were accepted. Whenever I face a creative situation where people tell me "No you cannot do that!" I tend to rebel and fight back. Rules that prohibit creativity are wrong, plain and simple.The end photograph is all that matters, what tools you use to get there is of very minor importance.