Monday, June 1, 2009

Digital Jargon

Yes, I've been a little absent from the blog ... but I promise I've been busy learning and practicing.

I've started my Dark Room Lab course and I'm learning a lot about film (pelicula or carete), film processing (revelado) and printing (positivado). I'm combining some of what I learn to my digital photographs. Sometimes with success, other times, not so much.

In digital we were beginning to work with studio lights and portrature. I've always had difficulty with portrait shots because I get nervous when directing the model. When I'm not nervous I'm focusing on the camera and forgetting to give the model instruction and direction. So I decided to take my good friend Sarah Milligan's advice and put myself in front of the camera. (Note: Sarah gave me this advice while I was shooting her [with my camera that is], she was a fantastic model, directing herself wonderfully.)
I decided to do a self portrait session. In addition, I liked the grainy effect you get when you shoot with a high ISO film. So I took to the streets, set up my tripod, and set my ISO to 800.

NOTE: In film a high ISO gives grain. In digital a high ISO gives noise. NOT THE SAME THING. In digital that noise (grain) is the camera making up pixels --- never a good idea.

Lesson learned: In digital, shoot at the lowest ISO your camera has available, you can always add a grain effect later in Photoshop. But for your viewing, here are some shots from that day:

Here are two frames shot at ISO 200, which is as low as my Nikon D40 goes. Some cameras have ISO 100 available. Just go on and keep it at the lowest your camera offers.

On a different note, La Feria del Libro (The Fair of the Book) is currently set up in El Retiro Park. There are stands and stands of books, all at discounted prices, and of every genre you can imagine. It's here for two weeks but I've seen the stands going up for weeks and as soon as the doors opened I headed down to take a look. My mission -- to find the latest from Annie Leibovitz titled "Annie Leibovitz At Work".

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