I had to accentuate the colour and contrast for this shot. People like debating this point: to what extent should you use Photoshop or similar, and does photography become graphics if it’s extreme. I think it does. I use the term aesthetic limits to describe my own approach. If you couldn’t do it with film and a darkroom, for me it’s going too far. Even that however needs qualifying and understanding. You can achieve digital results which are little more than a technical correction far beyond the flexibility of film. If I’d been shooting film for this shot I’d have also needed a filter. You can replicate the same effect in Photoshop and with more control. There are two filters which remain technically useful when you have the power of digital work flow. The first is a neutral density filter if you want to use a very slow shutter speed. You might want to render the sea for example as a luminous blur with an exposure of twenty or thirty seconds. You have to reduce the amount of light your sensor detects to achieve that. A graduated neutral density is useful too if you have bright sky and dark land. That depends however on the dynamic range and latitude of your sensor. If you can capture the range without losing dark detail and highlights, there’s no concern.

It’s astonishing that even now, major advances are appearing in cameras. The Sony A7R, which I use, is a good example. Enormously high ISO is possible, the resolution equals medium format film, in a beautifully compact body. Sony are leading the way because of electronics expertise, and the fact that a digital camera is a computer with light processing powers. Note however, you still need a good lens.


Peak District Views

Sunday January 25, 2015