Gone Digital or Merry Christmas, Shawna!
by Shawna Black

I’ve been denying the digital world of photography forever. After working for so many years with fine grain black and white film and having total control over the printing process I had a hard time accepting digital cameras and the images that they produce. Fuck digital. It’ll never be as good as film.

All that changed for me on Sunday.

I work for an advertising agency in North Carolina. Every Christmas past, the boss planned a great day (sometimes days) of celebration. One year, it was a three-day cruise, all expenses paid, for all of the employees and their spouses. Last year, we boarded a tour bus at 7:30 on a Saturday morning, having no idea where we were going. Three hours later we stopped in Durham, NC at the mall, the boss handed all of us $500 in cash and we were given two hours to spend it. My kids wanted electronics; didn’t take me long at all to blow the whole thing, even after multiple drinks on the bus on the way there.

This year didn’t disappoint. We played “Lbay”. The boss bought a whole bunch of stuff and gave us all $500 fake money with which to bid on the items available. One of the items I won is an xBox 360. The kids will be very happy on Christmas morning. Heh. I will be very happy on Christmas morning playing the new games on the new system.

The other item I won: A Canon Rebel xti 10 megapixel digital SLR camera. 10 megapixels. TEN!

What’s a megapixel and why does this excite me? Read all about it here . Bottom line is, the more pixels in the image, the better. More pixels, more detail; more detail, the sharper the image. The result? A photographer’s hard-on.

I had never used anything more than a 5 megapixel digital camera. Shitty. Digital wasn’t there yet, the detail was poor and would never compare to t-max 100 film.

Then I used my new Canon this weekend. The detail! The sharpness! I hadn’t experienced a digital camera that produced this quality of image ever. I am sold.

I’ve been really sick so I haven’t had the opportunity to really explore my new camera yet, but I did snap off these shots of my daughter on Sunday night, who is also really sick today. She was just starting to get sick when I took these pictures, the reason why she was such a willing participant.

The eyes are sharp; I can see the detail in her hair; I can almost count her eyelashes.

I’m gonna have some fun with this camera. More digital to come!

Merry Christmas, FTTW. Hope everyone gets what they want this year! I did.




Shawna says Santa is going to get a little extra "something" in addition to cookies and milk this year.



Welcome to the dark side, Shawna.

We actually still use Nikon D1s in my office, so we're still in the 6 - 6.5 megapixel range. But there's a difference in quality between a 6 megapixel point-and-shoot consumer model and the Digital SLR model. In-camera processing and what not. 6 MP produces a very fine print.

But Canon's top-of-the-line 16 megapixel EOS fills me with awe. Couple that with the full 35mm-sized CCD sensor and Canon's got it all over Nikon right now.


We were all crossing our fingers for you that night. WOO HOO!


And yet more ...

Shawna, I'm interested in your opinion/experience with depth of field with digital photography. Intellectually, I've known the difference for a while, but it hasn't been until lately that I've really started noticing the difference.

I saw some wildlife shots with a really tight depth of field, sea lions nice and sharp and the surrounding water nice and fuzzy. It just made the subject pop. And I immediately knew that those photos were taken with print film.

So, over the course of the past couple of days, I've been playing with depth of field of bit, but you just can't get that same pop with digital that you do with print and it's starting to bug me.

Just wondering if you have any thoughts on the subject.


Cullen, I've been wondering the same thing. I haven't had a chance to put the camera on manual (which is how I always shoot with my Nikon) but I'll probably mess around with it this weekend.

I'm just hoping I don't lose control of certain things that I'm use to manipulating. It'll be fun figuring it all out, though.


I've done a lot of experimenting with DOF on my digital and I'm happy with the results.

I find that shooting in RAW makes the DOF photos look a lot better, too.


ive had my digital for a few years and i'm ready to go back to film.


I find that shooting in RAW makes the DOF photos look a lot better, too.

That makes a lot of sense. We can't install the RAW converters on our computers at work (yay, Navy/Marine Corps Internet), but I think I'm going to start processing some of my work photos at home.


I just got one myself and I'm so excited. It's not actually as much the high Megapixels that give such quality photos as it is the quality of the camera and the complete control you have to do whatever you want with it. And the lenses! My God! All those beautiful lenses! Digital SLR's have come a LONG way in the past few years. Have fun with your new toy :)


Yeah, Rockstar, all of that matters. Gotta have a good lens and a good body, that's a given. But with digital, I just hadn't seen the same comparison to a good fine grain film. We're getting closer, tho!


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