Friday, May 16, 2008

DP1 a return to film

As I was without my DP1 for a week I had the opportunity to study some of my previous images and try to understand what it is about this camera that impresses me so.

Being what is called an "Early adopter" I am prone to look favorably on new technological gadgets.  The idea of a large sensor in a small silent body is worthy of my support and the lens is a very pleasant surprise.  Still, given the slowness between shots of this camera, and the slowness to focus (in low light I'm not able to use the manual focus well at all) the bloom should be off the rose by now.  It's not.  Rather I am finding myself more enamored of it.

I believe that what I have identified as it's ability to deal with subtleties is in fact quite reminiscent of film.  I have never had the time or the money to get good at color darkroom work.  I have had some opportunities to experiment and i have been fortunate to have had associates who I consider good.  The quality I have come to expect from color film, slides and also negative, is just not evident in digital.  Sorry, it just isn't.  Where with film I would see a certain number of distinct subtle tones / colors, with digital I see several less.  The colors I see are in fact well (over?) saturated and so the image just jumps into your eyes.  Scanned film on home scanners is very good, but not great.  I for one could never afford to have my negatives / slides professionally scanned and so I have learned to dial up the saturation a bit...or do a large radius USM.

With this new DP1 I am seeing many many more shades.  This is quite exciting.

I think that just as film and digital are in fact different mediums, so this camera is a different medium from my other digital cameras, somewhat closer to film.

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