Pigments vs Pixels – Film vs Digital Photography #3

Photographic film uses pigmented particles to display color.  Electronic display screens use electronic means to display color with density rated in pixels.  The results are similar but not the same.  Back 40 years ago the photographer in the family bought Kodachrome 64 and shot slides.  When developed they were displayed by projecting the images on a screen.  Kodachrome 64 was capable of very saturated colors with deep reds.  It had very fine detail rendition.  To get this result took decades of development.  In my opinion, today for the best display of brilliant colors looking at slides on a light table or projecting them on a screen is still the best result.

botanical gardens bldg

The above picture was taken with a Motorola Droid Maxx phone camera.  This picture was taken in January and basically this is what came out of the camera.

Even before I started buying digital cameras about 15 years ago I still considered it a chore to get out the slide projector and show the latest batch of them.  Today nearly no one will do this.  So is it worth it to shoot film when you are only going to see the results on a flat screen?  Yes.  When you capture that image with either negative film or slide film you always have the original film.  You can have prints made from the film.  You can rescan the film as that process improves.  If you take a digital picture you only have the digital file.

Frazier on walk

This is our dog Frazier shot with an Olympus Stylus Infinity using Fuji Supurbia (cheap print film).  I had it developed by The Darkroom and they sent me the results scanned and negatives.  The original scan was about 4 megs and I slightly upped the color saturation using iPhoto

This sounds very complicated but simply put, if you have some red roses in your back yard you want a good picture of you may not be able to get the red you want if you do not have a camera and display screen capable of capturing and displaying the red tones you want.  On the other hand a camera loaded with Fuji Velvia or Kodak Ektar 100 will give you the colors you want easily.  And if your display cannot reproduce the colors you want today if you take film and get a better display later you will be able to see the picture you wanted to capture.

But for most people modern digital cameras take very good pictures easily.

DSC_0011 2

The picture above was using a Nikon DSLR.  It was taken at mid day and the reds on the Jeep are relatively true and vivid.  

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But nowhere near as nice as this reddish rose taken with my Olympus DSL and Velvia 50.  Admittedly part of the appeal of the rose picture is the subtle bokeh.  

As I said in post #1 on photography I have both types of cameras and intend to use both.  If photography is fun for you I suggest the same.

 

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