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A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Film Is Cheap

Indian Chief.  Camera: Nikon CoolPix 8800
To me this photo I shot back in 2008 of an exceptionally nice Indian Chief proves two things.  The first is that you don't have to have a fancy DSLR to get nice pictures.  The second is that I couldn't remember what model year the bike is.

Something I was slow to catch on to when shooting pictures at vintage bike shows was to take one shot of the show placard with the bike so that I could know for sure later what make, model, year, and maybe who the owner is.  I'm certain I looked at the placard with this bike; I should have photographed it too because trusting my memory is getting increasingly risky.  

Digital "film" is cheap, unlike 36 shot emulsion film rolls in the old days where every shot cost real money for film, processing, and printing and none of those things were reusable.  So your tip of the week is to shoot more pictures of each bike including the details like the show placard.  There are more than 36 exposures in most camera memory cards.  Take more pictures of your friends too, they are at least as important as the machinery.

6 comments:

No Name said...

I've have about 20 rolls of Fuji Provia 35mm film in my refrigerator for a few years now, and once in a while I try to figure out what to do with it. Seems screwy to just toss it. To tell you the truth, I kinda miss the old days, with my N90 and a small cooler for my film. Photography once took actual skill, as opposed to today's digital cameras and PCs and Photoshop.

Doug said...

No Name, your old film might find a ready buyer on Ebay. There are still lots of practicing film aficionados out there. The problem is that getting color film processed is getting to be more and more of a problem and more and more expensive.

I think digital photography takes the same level of skill as film does but it does not take the same level of planning and patience because the per shot costs are so low and we feel free to rush about snapping away rather than planning and setting up a shot. Good photographers still have to stop and consider the balance of ISO, f-stop, and shutter speed just as always.

My photography improved rapidly when I switched to digital in 2000 because I finally felt free to experiment more because of the low costs involved.

But there is an undeniable magic to shooting and printing from film just as there is with riding an old motorcycle in these modern times.

Canajun said...

I made the switch to digital some time back and I must say I do miss handling film. And I know I took better pictures with film than I do with digital - the costs imposed a level of discipline I have trouble maintaining when I can shoot a hundred pictures and hope that a couple turn out okay. Just laziness, I know.
Great old Indian picture by the way.
LOL - verification: rustrot

No Name said...

I have to admit that next month in Sturgis, it will be much easier with my Canon PowerShot than with a big shoulder bag full of Nikon bodies and lenses and filters and a tripod and ...

Webster World said...

Thats almost as pretty as the Ariel painting.

wolf motorcycle clothing said...

Nice ride. I love vintage bikes. As for the film vs. digital photography argument, I’ll always favor digital, sorry. Aside from being inexpensive and allowing you to experiment, digital cameras just allow you more freedom to take as many pictures as you want. And as for post-processing, who says editing a picture is easy? Handling Photoshop and other picture editors out there takes skill, I tell you.

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