Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Case for Filmspeed Adjustment...


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My UK trip in late 2006 was my first really major digital foray, at least with an up to date camera with sophisticated capabilities. I wasn't clear on many of the functions and had heard all sorts of conflicting stories about just how digital photography compared and contrasted with the physical age. Show me a Pentax K1000 and a roll of film, and I'll make it sit up and talk... "Virtual grain" was a concept I was worried about, and prefered to minimise motion than risk resolution damage, especially as I was looking to cram as many shots as possible onto my flashcards and was shooting at only 2mp to start with. This shot was taken at the RAF Museum, Hendon, in the northern suburbs of London, in early December '06. You might think that so many lights glaring off polished aluminium would make for ample illumination, but not so: with a filmspeed of 200 selected, to increase light gain but still stay safely in the fine-grain range, the camera was on the verge of motion problems all the time. I started using steadying supports -- beams, railings, anything. In this shot of the B-17G, the camera is on top of a post in the walkway fence -- see it snaking toward the POV at left? Don't even ask about flash, the FinePix S5600's flash wouldn't reach as far as the propellors. Of course, it turns out I could have raised the filmspeed by a factor of four before encountering virtual grain, but I didn't know that at the time... Photo by Mike, 2006.

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