Stefano with 8x20"


Thinking about 11000011, Sensors, Megapixels, Photographers

I / O O / I is not the much rumored new album by Peter Gabriel, but a reflection on the race of producers to Megapixel. Reading on a forum of this race of producers, some thoughts came to mind. I hope interesting, which made me think. As you know my photographic work is mainly done in black and white with large format cameras. But with a reasoned maturity, I think that digital is, especially for colour, now a consolidated reality. While the use of colour film is more an anachronistic fact than a real need. And this Megapixel escalation is not just marketing but also a need for improvement.

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Kodak Advertisement

Obviously, the sensor manufacturers are looking for a constant improvement of the product. As well as the big brands to improve performance and image quality. This improvement reminds me of a lot of the search for quality that in the past was done for the film.

New colors… New film…

I remember very well the advertisements Kodak, Fuji and Agfa. The exaltation of new films; the new colour couplers will give your photographs realistic colours. A grain so fine, that the details will be more and more defined. This reminds me of what is happening now with the increase in megapixels on current sensors.

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Film Advertisement

Cameras with 100 megapixels are currently accessible. Obviously, the cost is still high, but not like a few years ago. But do we really need all these improvements? I think so. I believe that as photographers, we are always looking for improvement, be it technical or creative. A habit, perhaps, but personally it is more curiosity for me and pushing me forward. Excuse Stefano, but you are a slow photographer, how do you think this improvement can serve you? It’s simple, I don’t need it, but I know there is, and this is important to me in the future evolution.

Megapixel Images & Monkeys.

Could it be that this increase in pixels is a shortcut to make up for our current lack of photographic culture? think of shooting without caring about composition and then working with a digital darkroom, being able to heavily cut an image to create what we want, it becomes so easy.

We will become the monkeys of our camera, shooting without a logical sense, just because they taught us to push the button. Already now, many create photographs, in this way, taking pictures without following a minimum of composition, so then I can modify everything with the various photo editing programs. Monkeys, without offence for these nice primates, but my fear is this, thinking of taking pictures without artistic, critical and a little technical logic, so afterwards I can correct everything.

Sensor - O/I I/O - 11000011 megapixels sensors photographers

Think, a 50 or 60 megapixels camera, you can cut an image that still has all the details and information you need to create a photograph. This desert of images that is emerging around us, I believe that could lead us to a sort of spontaneous acceptance of a very low-level photography culture.

I hope I’m wrong because I believe that giving this technology to photographers and not monkeys, however, can instead lead to a creation of images, of great visual impact, emotional. In my experience, even taking very few digital pictures, my approach is always as if I were shooting like a normal analogue camera. I want a perfect shot in the camera already, I don’t have to twist it to get what I’ve seen and heard. Sure, Stefano, you’re used to taking pictures with large format machines, you’re old.

The zen and the tripod.

It is true, I am old, I use a heavy and large camera to take black and white photos. You would be able to carry on your shoulders a few dozen kilos, between various lenses, lots of film holders, and he the only true friend of the photographer, the tripod.

Because now the photographers take only freehand, of course, all the stabilizers in the cameras have made us bourgeois, having a blurred image is almost impossible. I’m almost sure that if every photographer used a tripod, he would finally start taking a more reasoned photograph. Taking a free hand is necessary in some situations, street-photography for example, but then the rest does not have this need for freedom.

You are a Taliban?

Large Format Camera - O/I I/O - 11000011 megapixels sensors photographers
Lotus 8×20″

You are a Taliban Stefano, you think that today we must have your Zen philosophy of slowness and attention. Find what you want to photograph, mount tripod and camera, choose the right focal length, compose the image in the frosted glass, take the exposure, and then … maybe choose not to take that picture.

I don’t think I’m that Taliban, on the contrary, with my photographic maturation, I realized that we can’t stop this technological renewal. I don’t understand, for example, the choice to take out colour films, we really felt the need, I didn’t. I believe that digital is perfect for colour. I believe that with all this technology I could also take a black and white print, with the same quality as the one I print in a darkroom.

Stefano, you’re not becoming a digital photographer. Here’s one thing I really can’t stand, make this distinction. I’m a photographer, I don’t care about labels.

It is time to go, there is a beautiful light, and the clouds play quickly in the sky, the camera is on my shoulders, the film holders are full of film, and time to walk and look for something to watch. Oh .. I forgot one thing, a peanut bag, you never know, I could meet monkeys.

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