March 2009

Images of the week

Each week, I will be looking at some of the best images seen in the news this week, and touch on what makes them great. Natural disasters often create eery, dramatic images that are made all the more interesting by strange compositions that wouldn't normally be seen.

The return of digital to film

The benefits of digital photography have quickly become apparent.  Digital media allows photographers to achieve significantly greater productivity and makes it fast and convenient to share images with their clients. Shooting digital is more efficient and economical than shooting with film.

Trouble is, digital media are fundamentally unsuitable for long-term archiving. Images stored on CDs or DVDs could begin to degrade chemically in just a few years, if not sooner. Images stored on hard drives are subject to mechanical failure, magnetic failure and loss caused by the future obsolescence of today’s hardware and software.

It is likely that many of today’s digital images will become unusable and unrecoverable within 10 years. When these images are lost, so are their commercial value, artistic legacy and countless cherished personal memories will be gone.

ISO settings

While it’s important to make sure your camera’s shutter speed and aperture settings are in sync, you must also remember that your ISO speed is also an important part of the equation when taking crisp, clear photos. If you are using a film camera, or playing with the settings of a digital camera using it in manual function, make sure you know how to adjust the ISO settings. In film cameras, the ISO refers to the speed of the film, however in digital photography ISO indicates the sensitivity of the image sensor to light. It’s measured in numbers such as 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1600, although some cameras may have slightly different numbering systems. In general, the lower the number is, the slower the speed and sensitivity and this means the finer the grain will be in the shots that you are taking.