Sunday, January 27, 2008

Growing in Photography

You don't take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it.
Author Unknown

After my accident I received a bit more then I thought I would for the payoff of my car. While the majority of it went to my new car, I decided to complete building my digital darkroom. That meant finally getting, Alien Skin's Exposure 2, a plug-in which simulates a number of film stocks and a smaller camera to carry with me for everyday use. Luckily by becoming a long distance student I was able to get an academic version of the plug-in and after extensive research I decided to go after a Panasonic DMC-FZ8. Again, the universe smiled on me and I got my hands on one for a reasonable price. What I wanted the most was the ability of a camera besides being smaller was to shoot in RAW and this had it as well a electric viewfinder. But best of all it has a Leica lens. I love the sound of the shutter when I take a photo, it reminds me of the film cameras I started shooting with. Finally I have the B/W Styler from the Plugin Site. So this weekend while the rains continued (along with more flooding), I was able to work on the wedding I shot last weekend using versions of film stock in the plug-ins. It was incredible, it was like being back in the darkroom minus the chemicals (I kind of miss that, but with the asthma I developed in moving to California, it became a no-no after two years). I found that I use the black and white settings slightly more from the B/W Styler. I had also tried the DxO Film Pack on a trial basis. It is good and more reasonable cost wise then Alien Skin Exposure 2, but when I tried the Alien Skin Exposure trial, I really fell in love with it. The photo above was done with the B/W Styler (taken this evening after a major rainfall with the sun setting). It allowed me to set it up with T-Max 100, and as a silver gelatin print, but with a saturation mask that allowed some of the yellow from the original color photo to peek through.

As you can tell from the paean to my digital darkroom, I've finally found the bridge between the film and digital world. Now I just need to keep studying, taking photos, refining technical skills and hopefully I'll find myself growing in photography.

Because the photography process is that of beauty and beast, here is Stevie Nicks, "Beauty and the Beast":

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting tech talk-thanks for the info-often wondered about the B&w styler. keep us posted as you work with it!

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