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Sunday, August 1, 2004

Two Seasons In Patagonia

Exploring the poetic beauty of Chilean Patagonia and the practical benefits of digital capture

Two Seasons In Patagonia

Photography means many things to many people. To me, photography is first and foremost an adventure. I'm not thinking about extreme physical adventures like rock climbing or river running with a camera around my neck, but rather an adventure in seeing, in wrestling with the world around me and trying to interpret and reinterpret it.

Adventure implies uncertainty and risk and taking chances. If I know in advance how things will work out, then it isn't an adventure. That's why I'm an outdoor photographer, probing nature with my camera in search of fleeting images, rather than a studio photographer, arranging known objects under controlled light.

If the unpredictable light of landscape photography represents one level of uncertainty and adventure, then the transition from film to digital represents another adventure. Digital photography is my latest passion, and the transition to digital has its share of risks, new problems to solve, new possibilities and new rewards.

Why Digital?
Why did I switch? The answer has several parts, but the main reason is image quality. I've always worked in 35mm, so any new method of image capture has to be compared to my beloved Fujichrome Velvia carefully exposed on a tripod. With Nikon and Canon now battling each other to offer affordable, professional-quality digital SLRs, the quality factor has tilted dramatically toward digital.


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