Digital Photograpy

or why I will never shoot another roll of film.
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The important thing in photography is not the equipment or the work flow. No fancy equipment or work flow can replace the shot that was missed. In some cases a slightly bad shot can be improved upon, but not beyond the skills of the photographer. If I manage to shoot a particularly good picture, IMHO, I may put it on display in my gallery.

I semi-regularly make blog entries about stuff I read up on. I also try to keep my relevant bookmarks on, under keywords such as:

I have spent quite a lot of time reading up on techniques for digital photography. On the way, I have noticed that learning has radically affected the way I shoot pictures. It has also allowed me to construct my own favourite digital work flow.


Quality Light. What can I say that has not yet been said? For instance, Alain Briot wrote How to Find the Best Light for a Specific Photograph. Remember to look at your light.

Careful Composition. Note that I did not say careful cropping. Cropping has its uses, but with composition I really like to think along the lines of CJ Morgan’s idea of “Kill The Clutter”. There are things you cannot remove by cropping. This means you either leave them out when you shoot, or tear your hair out in post-processing. My hair is thin enough as it is, thank you. Not to mention that I have better things to do than to play with “clone” tools.

There is a lot more to composition, but I’m not quite there yet. I have collected some links on composition.



I cannot stress the importance of archiving your originals. After downloading the originals using a card reader, I immediately make a backup to another hard drive. At this point, I add any IPTC data I feel necesary. Bi-weekly, I dump a full backup on an external hard drive that I ordinarily keep off-site. Rules:

  1. Never overwrite your originals
  2. Keep several copies, at least one at another location

There are exactly two kinds of data. Data that has been backed up; and data that hasn’t yet been lost.


I shoot RAW. Jpeg originals may have many problems which cannot easily be corrected:

RAW has a larger dynamic range (probably a couple of stops), a significantly larger color gamut and a much finer range of tones (12 bits vs. 8 bits). This means that I can bring out colors which the AdobeRGB jpeg clips, I can compensate for smaller exposure errors, and all this without fear of artifacts.

In addition to cropping a picture, I may do one or more of:

Many of the above operations can benefit greatly from the use of masks or careful selection of thresholds.


The Luminous Landscape contains a number of excellent articles on digital photography: does Norman Koren’s site about digital photograpy. Most are in the series Making fine prints in your digital darkroom

A lot of “common sense” can also be extracted from the pages of Ken Rockwell. Beware, though, Ken’s writing style is fiery.

A really good explanation of exposure can be found at the Ultimate Exposure Computer.

Here is a range of zones for gamma 2.2 blatantly ripped from Norman Koren’s web site.

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$Date: 2009-01-27 13:35:03+02 $