Why I Prefer Digital

For every frame like this...

For every frame like this…

Many years ago, an automotive journalist invited me to join him for a photo shoot. I showed up with my camera and a couple of rolls of film.  He showed up with his camera and a giant garbage bag full of rolls of film. He told me he’d noticed that the difference between the professional and amateur photographers he worked with was the fact that the professionals were not afraid to burn a lot of film to get what they needed. After all, he pointed out, the client was paying for the film.

...I get about fifty like this.

…I get about fifty like this.

Now, before you start lecturing me about shot discipline, let me just tell you: I’m not listening. I’m working on shot discipline all the time, but the subjects I photograph – mainly birds and people – move. I have to shoot in burst mode in hopes of catching the moment, and digital lets me do that without going broke or second guessing each trip of the shutter. I call this the premier blog for lazy, disorganized, impatient photographers, and digital makes our very existence possible.

I can fire off a couple hundred frames during a few minutes of shooting in the backyard. In my film days, such extravagance might have cost me fifty bucks and leave me at the mercy of a third party processor.

I can fire off a couple hundred frames during a few minutes of shooting in the backyard. In my film days, such extravagance might have cost me fifty bucks and leave me at the mercy of a third party processor.

Plus, I don’t have to work in the darkroom anymore. In fact, I processed the photos in this post while eating berry pie and drinking coffee. Hail to digital photography!

Focusing on small birds is difficult. Thank goodness I can afford to make mistakes now.

Focusing on small birds is difficult. Thank goodness I can afford to make mistakes now.

Digital allows me to explore and experiment in ways I simply could not afford with film.

Digital allows me to explore and experiment in ways I simply could not afford with film.

Digital frees me to make pointless photos for the sheer pleasure of making them. Of course, they're not really pointless, because I learn something about photography from every one.

Digital frees me to make pointless photos for the sheer pleasure of making them. Of course, they’re not really pointless, because I learn something about photography from every one.

Editing hundreds of frames like this gets mighty frustrating, but I'm mindful of Robert Frost's observation that...

Editing hundreds of frames like this gets mighty frustrating, but I’m mindful of Robert Frost’s observation that…

..."Out of quantity comes quality."

…”Out of quantity comes quality.”

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Filed under Camera Gear, Nature Photography, Post Processing, Professional vs. Amateur

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