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Contact: revlmh@btconnect.com
Tel: 07525 762538

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Technical information

1. Cameras and Editing: The Advantages of Digital.
2. Exploding the Myths - Is Digital Photography Cheap?
3. Exploding the Myths - Pixel Power is not everything.

4. Potential image sizes
5. An example of web use versus print use

6. How we supply - file formats

1. Cameras and Editing: The Advantages of Digital

In 2006 we transferred completely to digital. We now use Canon high resolution SLR's with APS-C and full-frame sensors. In the early days, a battle of film versus digital raged. Whilst there will always be a market for film, we and many others recongnise the tremendous advantages that digital brings. Firstly, it allows you to be more involved in the creative process, working with the photographer to achieve the 'look' that you want. Secondly, digital editing makes applying specific effects easier - ie black and white, E6/C41 cross processing, colour infra-red, tinting. These effects will also be reversible. When we used to shoot in film we used a specific emulsion - i.e black and white, velvia - and there was no going back. Now we shoot in colour and convert, keeping the original file. On occasion we will hire specialist equipment and pass the cost on to you.

From L to R: Original, Cross-Processed, IR film, Selective Grayscale, Sepia, Grayscale from blue channel.

2. Exploding the myths: Digital Photography is easy and cheap!

Err, no! We are afraid not. In essence, you pay for what you get! When you commission us for a shoot, you are paying for the skill and expertise of a photographer. Secondly, you are paying a contribution towards our equipment. This rule of life does not escape any business! In recent years there has been a drammatic rise in digital photography - and cheap cameras. Much investment has been made in the production of compact cameras with an emphasis on sensor size, then optical zoom, then digital zoom. Ultimately, there is no cutting corners and even with the best consumer (or prosumer) cameras, quaility is lost when they are compared to professional cameras. The first problem is with the quality of the original image. The second is with size. The third is with the ability of the camera and lens to produce results in demanding conditions (eg low light). Finally. there is an issue about how creative your camera will allow you to be. For example, you may have an image that looks wonderful on the screen but when you view it at pixel size it lacks clarity - or when you print it you are disappointed. You pay for what you get. Beyond the issue of image quality, there is also a need for editing skills - and the issue of colour matching and getting decent prints can be a nightmare!

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3. Pixel Power is not everything

Just because you have the muscle does not mean that you have the brains! The number of pixels is often presented as a selling point of digital cameras - but it is only one measure among many. The ability of your camera lens to perform under demanding conditions really counts. You may think that you are unlikely to push your camera in this way - but something as simple as a portrait demands the ability to trigger the shutter when you want (and not five minutes after you have pressed it). You will also need skin tones that look realistic. Other important areas include the camera's ability ability to show details in both highlights and shadows, a (genuine) manual override feature - including an ability to adjust both the flash and camera exposure, and that the on camera flash (that will never really produce great great results anyway) has a decent range.

Hence, in essence, pixel power is one part of the equation. It is not uncommmon for us to handle images from compact cameras for digital editing. The most common errors we note are blur (owning to handshake), overexposure of highlights, low powered flash leaving shots underexposed and a general inability for cameras to work well under low light. This said, digital compacts are capable of some very nice pictures, but do be aware of their limitations. The most common frustration with digital images passed on to us by businesses is that we have to crop in more tightly to give a shot more impact - and in doing so we can lose up to 1/3rd of the original picture. The lack of detail close-up leaves the image borderline on acceptabilty for web use and only useable in print at very small dimensions. The most frequent advice we give to volunteers is 'Read the Manual!' This turns us full circle to paying a photographer to provide a service, and at least knowing in advance what will be difficult.

For those who are interested, our cameras use larger sensors, can operate at ISO's from 50 to 3200 and are attached to pro lenses that are stabilised to counteract handshake.

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4. Potential Image sizes

We are able to make enlargements from the digital file to make prints of 30x20 images and beyond. Digital enlargements are of far higher quality than their film counterparts, incorporating less grain and much smoother tonal transitions. (On occasion the quality of the enlargement is so good, we have to simulate film grain to give more texture or mood.) An alternative route, for those wanting even larger prints, is to scan in a copy of the high quality print at high detail and enlarge this. The possibilities using digital technology are endless!

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5. Web use versus print use:

We should point out that there is a vast difference between the amount of detail required for print use as opposed to web use. The first picture on the left shows the complete original image resized as a thumbnail. The image to the right shows the pixel detail at 100%. There is a huge potential to use a very small section of image for web use. Unfortunately the reverse is not true; if you begin with a web sized image and want to enlarge the possibility of achieving a satisfactory result is negligible. This is why we shoot all images in RAW.

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The supply of digital files:
RAW files are converted to TIFF or JPEG. Typically we will produce two versions of your photograph: a low resolution version for screen viewing and use in projection and a high resolution version for print use. We also provide contact sheets. We can supply a limited number of images over the web at short notice. Typically we burn your images to CD/DVD and keep a backup copy ourselves.

General Enquiries:
If you have any enquiries about the equipment we use or the versatility of our products, please do not hesitate to e-mail us. (Click here to return)