Ask a Photographer – Part 1

I asked some of my Facebook friends if they had any questions for a photographer, here’s the original Facebook thread.

  1. Shala Haslam: Why do some photographers prefer to shoot photos at certain hours?
    Sunsets are often referred as the “golden hour”, because the temperature of light is typically very warm and this produces pleasant colors for portraiture and can enhance landscapes. Also, it is easier to avoid harsh shadows and highlights during the golden hours. On a clear day with the sun overhead the color of light can make skin tones appear washed out. There is also the problem of contrast, surfaces being hit with direct sunlight will be very bright, and areas of shadow will be much darker and you may lose detail in both areas. Not to mention, people tend to squint in bright sunlight.
    Compare the brightness of the model’s hands to her eyes in the photo on the left; the photo on the right was taken just before the sun set. Some of the details in highlights and shadows may be recovered using photo editing software but it is always easier to start with a great photograph.

    High Contrast midday Portrait at sunset


  2. Paul Lemen: Film vs. digital…differences and why do some photographers insist on film.
    Film cameras don’t necessarily require batteries and are great for long exposures, whereas digital camera sensors collect unwanted noise over long exposures; there are methods to get around this but that’s for another post. Noise, when talking about digital sensors, is unintentional details and discoloration; this effect is commonly found when using a high ISO.  35mm film may not be much better than the best digital cameras on the market today. Medium and large format film offers resolution and sharpness that surpasses virtually all digital cameras on the market. My friend and fellow photographer, Mike Pomazal recently made an excellent review and comparison between 
    Nikon’s D810 vs 4×5 Large Format.

    One major advantage of digital over film is the cost and ease of use. Film processing is expensive and messy, it is difficult to create backups and in a traditional darkroom a single mistake will ruin a whole batch of film or a set of prints. Even if you are not using a darkroom and scan your film, dust is still very serious issue.

  3. Kelly P Bachmann: Do how to get amazing pictures with a simple point and shoot digital camera.
    I’m glad you asked! I just wrote a post on that very topic and will be published later this week.

Part 2 is coming soon! Leave a comment if you have any questions.