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Sunday, July 04, 2004

I think I stood by the fence somewhere around 37th street and the East River for about four hours before the fireworks started, and I shot three different films: xp2, tmax 100, and fujicolor 400 (probably too slow a speed for fireworks but that was the only color film I had).

I think I got my best shots before the fireworks began: twilight shots.  People were oohing and ahing over the fireworks - but I don't think they translate that well into pictures - you need that feeling of the booms going through you, the smoke wafting into your nostrils.  But we'll see...

Also met a photographer with the Canon EOS MARK II 1D.  More on that tomorrow.  Suffice to say he let me handle it, and of course it is heavier and bulkier than my little Elan 7 - and able to shoot at something like 8.5 frames per second.  I am guessing that the photographer shot about 300 shots to every one shot I took (I kid you not).

Some of this may just have been testing on his part as he had just gotten the machine.  Dust on the sensors was still a problem for him.

- - -

Well, at any rate - what I could see is the absolute end of medium and large format as a concept or a type of camera, since there will just be a gradation of megapixel count.  The square viewfinder that you look down into will certainly be a thing of the past when you shoot 8, 10, 20 megapixels in the 35mm frame. 

The main benefit - is that you can shoot more pictures, and move them around the world faster.  I don't imagine it will have any beneficial effect on picture quality improving any more than the word processor had on novels becoming better - though with spell check they may be more technically proficient.  But no one that I know reads a novel because the spelling is great.

It is, and will become, even easier for kids to get involved at an early age with picture taking.  The camera is already in the cell phone.  It may even be that people will get used to lower-resolution images as the way things look, sort of a pre-tri-x film look only with pixels jumping out at you instead of grains of silver halide - and that 20 years from now there will be a whole group of middle aged photographers who like the cell-phone image look and refuse to use anything else.

- - -

hi dave,
just reading your journal and it occurs to me that what you may be looking for is what i'm about to get myself.
a Ricoh Caplio GX - this is reputed to have almost no shutter lag (0.12 sec) and is about the only compact which goes to ISO1600.  it can be used in full manual as well as AV etc and from what i've read is quite robust.
what you will find with these compacts is that after a while you'll just use the lcd display to frame your shots as almost all of them have poor viewfinders. you may however find it difficult to find in the U.S. as i believe Ricoh does very
little marketing there.

for a carry around everywhere digicam i've been using a Canon S45 for about the last year or more and it's been very very good.  it's been living in my motorcycle jacket pocket everyday and has had a fairly rough life so far but still works perfectly and has not let me down.  BUT,  it has a bit of shutter lag!

not too bad but not nearly as good as the Ricoh. by the way the latest upgrade of the S45 is the S60.
the S500 that you mention is nice and small but i don't think you can use full manual (i'm not 100% sure)
hope this helps a little!
all the best - Paul

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11:15:48 PM    

Rusty Corner

What is fascinating to me, going through some of my color work and reprinting it on the 7960, is that this is probably my favorite shot. It was shot on Park Avenue - and as I remember it was the rusted edge of part of a corporate office reflecting pool. Yes, the water is blue - and there is a sense of brownish rust - but really there isn't that much that gives a true color reference point. Did those touches of almost fossilized leaves really look like that? Was the water the color of pool water? The truth is - not exactly.

If you're not dealing with flesh tones - or red apples - well, I don't feel the need for realistic colors and might not even know them if I did see them.  And that seems to fit in with the tendency for abstraction that black and white automatically forces you into.

5:59:25 AM    

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