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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ask The Pros!

This Article Features Photo Zoom

The crisp detail of this Australian rock art panel approaches or surpasses 35mm though shot with a digital camera.
Q. I have both digital SLRs and film SLRs. Which is the best for scenery photos with pro lenses?
—Dennis Ternent

A. Dennis,
It sounds to me like you could go either way on this question, so I’m going to guess you don’t have a strong love for the “look” of film. Some people just like film better, and I admit to liking it quite a lot, too. Having said that, I’m now an avid digital photographer. Detail, which is important to most landscape photographers, is excellent in most high-megapixel digital cameras. The other advantages of digital? Never running out of film in the field, using high ISO, HDR, no developing and scanning costs, managing focus and always knowing you have a correct exposure in the field, just to name a few.

A final big advantage to digital image-making for landscapes is what can be done in the digital darkroom. With Adobe Lightroom, photographers have more control than ever before over the finished product and can make excellent prints quickly and easily. When I worked only with film, it might have taken me months to introduce a new image to my retail gallery. With Lightroom, I can make prints and sell them on the same day the image is shot. The future of landscape photography is with digital imaging, and I think it will be a great one.
—Tom Till

Q. How can I become a wildlife photographer?
—Autumn Kuhn

A. Autumn,
First, give yourself time to become good. Slow and easy wins the race. Next, be very observant. While not totally accurate and often staged, wildlife documentaries can provide great insight into the way critters react to people and cameras. Look at the light and how it changes the way a critter comes across on film. Lastly, hook up with biologists. I’ve made no secret that the success I’ve enjoyed for the last 30 years comes from all the knowledge biologists have shared with me.
—Moose Peterson

Q. I am considering upgrading my Nikon D80 (which is a great camera) to the Nikon D700 because it is an FX format. If I want to advance my skills and produce the best possible images (keeping in mind I am still an amateur), which format would you recommend? (Money is somewhat of a consideration.)
—Dick Karch

A. Dick,
If you are happy with your D80, you need to ask yourself why get a D700. The so-called full-frame sensor has become this odd goal for photographers, yet most photographers will never see a difference in image quality. The full 35mm-size sensor does offer advantages in better high-ISO performance and the ability to use fast wide-angle lenses at their normal angle of view. However, for standard nature photography shot at normal ISOs, you would be hard pressed to see any difference on prints less than 16x24 inches.

The APS-C-sized sensors today are excellent. They also have some big benefits. You get a smaller camera and a magnification factor for lenses, which will get you more power from smaller, less expensive lenses. The D300 is less expensive than your D700 choice, would be less weight to carry on your shoulder and back, would act like your D80, would give you outstanding image quality and would upgrade your camera to the latest technologies.
—Rob Sheppard


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