NBC: More digital drivel.

P.W. Fenton pwfenton@p-dub.com
Sun May 23 14:55:51 EDT 2004

Actually I'm going to try and put some "BC" back in this otherwise "NBC"
thread.  I want to share one of my favorite pictures.  It's one that I
don't think I could have produced without starting with a good digital
source.  It's of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  If you've ever been to
Preservation Hall you'll know what I was up against, and I hope you'll
agree that I pretty well capture what you would see with your own
eyes.  Preservation Hall preserves EVERYTHING about early Jazz and Blues,
not just the music.  The venue itself has no heat, no air conditioning, no
seats (maybe there's a few on the sides), and the crudest lighting
available.  Even when you are there with your own eyes it seems dim, and
they don't want you to ruin the atmosphere with a flash.


This is the picture after quite a bit of manipulation.  A drug store print
from a film camera would have printed it to show the drummer as well as
possible, but everything else would have been dark to black.   I was able
to show all the musicians, and to me, the point of the photo... the
reverent crowd, sitting on the floor, receding into the darkness.  In a
digital format you can manipulate brightness and contrast based on various
levels (highlights, mid-tones, and blacks) rather than the darkroom method
of physically shortening the paper's exposure by blocking the light from
the enlarger by hand.  You could get a print like this from a negative, in
a darkroom, but it would be very difficult and time consuming, not to
mention un-repeatable (another advantage of digital).

One of the digital cameras I have owned had a feature that allowed you,
with one shutter push, to take several exposures, all within a second, at
varying exposure levels.  Using a technique like this and then combining
the images, you could achieve photos that would be impossible to reproduce
in the darkroom.

Major motion pictures are now "filmed" entirely in digital format, and then
are transferred to film for projection, only in their final stages.  I
think it's time to go digital.  I envy my buddy Waterman and his FREE Fuji
S2.  Personally, my dream camera is the new Kodak DCS slr, available with
either Canon, or Nikon lens mounts, and a 24 X 36mm sensor (same size as a
35mm frame so all your lenses work the same) yielding just under 14

P.W. Fenton
New Port Richey, FL
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