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March 16, 2012
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DIGITAL STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

Journal Entry: Fri Mar 16, 2012, 2:20 AM


And then, one day we stopped talking about negatives and darkrooms and discovered jpgs, raws and tiffs and photo-editing software instead. The transition was much easier back then for those who already owned a computer for the rest it took a short or a longer while. Digital, changed the photography industry, bringing the whole photography world upside-down.
I had been shooting with film cameras, both negative and positive film (transparencies) since I was a teenager. Lately, I shot only transparencies as their quality and impact were superior to that of printed images. They cost a lot and transparency boxes were piling in my apartment.  
What did digital photography mean to me?
It meant I could shoot my heart out without thinking of the expenses.
It meant I could immediately see (and show to others) what I had just shot.
It meant I could DEVELOP my own shots and not rely to any clumsy photo-lab.
It meant freedom and creativity.
So I turned digital.
Do I miss the film era? Yes I do. Because deep down I'm a romantic.
This is why I have kept most of my film cameras (and all my vinyl records).
Am I a digital fanatic? I wouldn't say so.
What pisses me off in digital is that you almost need to be a computer geek in order to understand and shoot with a digi camera (I'm not talking about the compacts here). Cameras look more like e-gadgets than cameras. The war of the MPixels gets to my nerves. I'm very frustrated that the brand new, damn expensive camera body I bought today will be old and outdated in few months when the new model will hit the selves.
Still, I keep shooting digital. Because the world moves forward.
People often ask me: "what digi-camera is good for street?"
I usually answer that the best camera for street is the one you can always have with you.
Street photography is always around us so we'd better have always a camera handy in our pockets.
Is this possible? Not yet, but soon I guess it will be!

What would be my top choices for street if I were a millionaire?
Let's see:

1. Leica M9 - 7,000$, body only, add an extra heap of $ for lens(es) www.dpreview.com/previews/leic…

  

Why a Leica? Come on...! cause it's a Leica :lol:



2. Fujifilm FinePix X100 - 1200$ Fixed lens 35mm www.dpreview.com/reviews/Fujif…

  

Why? cause it's sexy, it's classic, it's discreet
Why not? for some the fixed lens might be an issue.




3. Enthusiast raw-shooting compact cameras 328 - 600$ www.dpreview.com/articles/4333…

  

Why? cause they're invisible, silent, they fit in a pocket and they shoot raw!
Why not? cause they've got a shutter lag and a poor perfomance in high ISO.


What about DSLRS? can't we shoot street with them?
Sure we can. But they're bulky, heavy, noisy, we can't carry them around all the times, can we? ;)



DIGITAL GALLERY FEATURE


  

"Time square serene..."
by cweeks and a Leica M9




  

"Tuxedo pee break"
by du-jamais-vu and a Fujifilm FinePix X100



  

"Warning"
by djailledie and a SAMSUNG EX1


written by StamatisGR on behalf of the Yard's Digi Gallery Team


Where can you find the Yard?




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:iconearthhart:
EarthHart Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for putting into words the feelings I have for digital, Tam :ahoy:
I was spending 40-50 a week on film & processing, so digital has helped my bank-balance no end :D
As for 'up-grading', I'm still learning, and the D70 is OK for me. If I came into a windfall I might, but for now I'm happy.
I still have my film cameras, and won't be parting with them, and still have film in the fridge :D
Reply
:iconjonniedee:
jonniedee Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Great Article. Even though I am moving towards Black and White film and the darkroom, it is so convenient to shoot digital.
Reply
:icondu-jamais-vu:
du-jamais-vu Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012
great read, stam... you're right when you say that the best camera for street is the one you can always have with you. i would like to add that it's not the camera that is important, but the ability of the photographer. i've seen some pretty amazing street photos with 'crappy' point and shoot cameras and some crappy photos from people using a leica m8... the fuji x100 has a fixed 23mm lens on it, not a 35mm like you mentioned in the article. though 23mm is comparable with 35mm full frame, so maybe that is why you wrote it like this... btw, cheers for the honor including one of my pictures in this journal...
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:iconafricanobserver:
AfricanObserver Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Great thoughts, and discussion below.

One thread that hasn't been pick through is on the redundancy of technology.
When I read the TimeLife photography books 35 years ago, they had a warning about the "equipment trip" - the kit dominating over making pictures.
I have loved computers since I first set eyes on one in highschool, and the 'equipment trip' lesson holds there too.

And when I buy either photographic or computer kit, there is a strong functional focus - will this do the job I want it to? Latest/ top of the range come at a premium. How meaningful are the additional features? How caught up in marketing do we get, rather than applying our own brains? How often will that near-to-bottom of the model from a good range actually do the job (camera or computer)?

The reasons my pictures are not awesome have nothing to do with the kit I have, but how much time and emotion and risk I am willing to put into an image.

A camera is a tool. Some are so poorly made (lag/ resolution/ etc) that they can't do the job. But there are many that can and do do the job. Many DSLR's are as small as the older viewfinders. Plonk on a prime lens with decent focus and f-stop rings, and you have everything you wanted from the old world, without the schlep of a darkroom and cost of film and printing.

Beware the marketing-driven equipment trip!

My R0.02
Reply
:icondjailledie:
djailledie Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
After many years, carrying all kind of film and digital cameras, I believe that all is the photographers head... so as I know upfront that I will likely not shoot anything I go out, the compact - light - camera is a good trade-of. Another drawback that I see however in these cameras is the depth of field, usually too large with the compacts.
Thanks choosing this image of mine, Stam!
Reply
:iconrobvinc:
RobVinc Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
You missed the R-D1
Reply
:iconpen-at-work:
PEN-at-Work Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
:)
Reply
:iconaaroffy:
aaroffy Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
Hey Stam,
Great journal, I was just lusting over an m8 again and this made me more. What are we photographers without our gear lusting :). I used the m8 before and loved the manual operation of it. I actually got rid of it though cuz it wasn't as usable in other situations. Been using a Pentax k5. Extremely small and light, especially combined with their tiny limited lens, it's shutter is the quietest shutter I have ever owned (more than Leica and ep3). Combined with its silky manual focus it is near silent. Plus no one knows what Pentax is so you don't get the looks canikons bring.

Agree with you though, every camera has its limitations, the best one is the one you have on you!
Reply
:iconrastislav:
Rastislav Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
I was lucky enough to shoot the M9 with a 35/2.0 for a full day and I have to say it’s not that easy to get used to. I was taken back but how different it felt from any other camera I’ve used. But then a very generous soul lent me a nocti for a couple of minutes and I fell in love!!! So I still think it’s more about the optics than anything else. I’m nor ready to cross over to digital for street just yet. I just got a Hexar AF and the results are amazing! Will be posting some soon!
Reply
:iconstraightfromcamera:
straightfromcamera Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012  Professional Photographer
Had you shot a Leica rangefinder before then? I felt the same when starting to shoot my M6
Reply
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