A while back I was commenting on the different between digital and film and ISO intolerance, which basically means there is no change in ISO in digital.

WAIT you say. How come there is an ISO dial on my digital camera? It is a throwback to film days a way of maintaining understanding. It is useful in calculating the outcome in JPG images and live view. In reality it is just a gain dial. When you use RAW it is not as important to the final image.

So here is an exercise, shoot a scene at high ISO then reshoot using the same Aperture and Shutter settings but drop the ISO to a low value. The post processing will be different but normalize the exposure to look the same in both images. The final images will look remarkably the same. There will be a very slight difference in the highlights. The lower ISO will look better. This difference has to do more with the storing of data than the ‘ISO’ of the chip.

With the image above I shot it with the same Aperture and shutterbug also wit a number of different ISO starting at ISO 400 and going to ISO 6400. There was no difference in the final processing. In the field I found ISO 1600 best only because it allowed my camera to see Jupiter in real time and thus focus on it easier. The sensor received the same amount of light in all shots the ISO selection was just a gain to allow me to see the Image in the camera.

Fine Art?

At my stage of life I am not much interested in how my photograph is labeled. I take picture and I make pictures.

I take picture for recording. I make pictures of things that appeal to me on a viseral level. Sometimes these lines are blurred. The same subject can be and is often is handled differently. My wife sits down for a meal I snap to remember our meal is very different than my wife sitting down, the sun light filters through her hair and I snap because am struck by the beauty. One is a memory, and the other is an emotion.

Art is a dialogue between the subject and the artist, the subject speaks to the artist the artist catches that emotion. Great art is a  trialogue between the subject, artist and audience. The more accurately the artist conveys his dialog with the subject to the viewer then the more successful is the art .

This brings me back to the title of this note. What is Fine Art? I have no idea.


Yesterday was cold and damp so I decided on and indoor project.

I do shoot in RAW and as close as I can I shoot old school. Shooting manual including focus is very easy with the camera I use but there is one thing that can’t be replicated from film days, That is film. Way back in the Good Old Days we chose a film and the choice dictated the final image. Once your choice was made you had Colour or B&W, colour balance, and ISO set. In digital all this can be changed in post. While this does add more choice it can also add more complexity.

My idea was to shoot these cones in black and white. But when I saw the colour version I wasn’t so sure. I don’t believe either one is better or worse but they do offer different feeling. So if I am going to put one forward i do have to make yet another choice.

Tale of two Cameras

Today is a cold and damp and rain and cold. A day more for dreaming than for shooting. So I started to look at, what else, cameras.

I have had many cameras but my first camera, like my first love, holds a special place in my heart. While all cameras I got after that were progressively better, and could do much more, they never captured the feeling of my first camera.

In March 2014 I bought a camera, it was a new camera and I got the first model shipped to Nova Scotia with the understanding I could return it if i hated it. Well I loved it. It was mirrorless, it was retro and it was, a do every thing, type camera. I now had a digital camera that almost matched the love of my very first camera. Almost!

A few months later I got a chance to buy second hand version of a really retro camera by the same manufacturer. It was very sleek and very sexy. It was not a work horse, it could not do everything. it was clunky, it was a niche camera. The price was so good I just intended to flip it.

Before flipping it I took it out for a test spin. Every automatic feature on the camera was less than stellar. So I decided to use it in manual mode, even hand focus it. The images were excellent but that was to be expected. But what wasn’t expected changed my views on cameras.

In the process of slowing down, in the process of hand rolling my photos it rekindled the emotions of my early years of photography. The number of photos I was taking went down, the mumbler of good photos I was making when up. I have always liked photography but now was I in love again. So I decided to keep it.

I came to the realization there are two types of cameras. There are the work horse cameras, the cameras that do everything, that have the best specs and offer no limitations. Then there is the cameras that just make you want to take photographs. This camera made me realize which type I preferred.

I now have a camera that I like better than my first camera.