+/- Step down, Step Back

I’m gearing up the camera pack. After batteries, hard drives, memory cards, lenses, and a laptop to backup the data the pack starts add up in weight. I have streamlined the pack so many times. Taking only what I might need for a day photo shoot or a couple days in the back country. So I decided to start thinking in a more simple way. The method of shooting with film as opposed to digital is a concept we can learn from and also teeter back and forth in. My struggle from time to time has been the turnaround for images. From the time I take the photograph, back it up and then edit. I have found and actualization in shooting film that can also be practiced in shooting digital, which is just shoot less photos. Take time to watch the light, measure the light with a light meter (on camera or handheld), and decide how you want the image to look. First rule of photography, get the idea out of your head that you will be able to capture the image exactly as you see it with your naked eye. No matter how many megapixels you are working with. The cameras we build are not the same as the human eye. So rather than go through an extensive digital editing process to make the image look as close as it may have, I’ve decided to just take the photo for what it is. Film or digital. Leave the blown out sky, the dust on the lens, the hair on the film. This will build some confidence in the way I shoot, also keep me aware of the composition of an image. Wait! What about shooting RAW? Well, I will still shoot RAW for work. Most of the time companies want edited JPEGS. Large files, but still JPEG. Every image that gets printed has to be processed down to JPEG anyway. So why not shoot slide film, scan it down to JPEG. Use a high DPI resolution and it is damn near 50megapixels. This practice will take some time and understand that every camera meters light in a little bit of a different way, so there is still a learning curve when it comes each camera. Shoot more frequently, and shoot in different conditions. Cloudy, sunny, snowy, rainy.

This all ties into the beginning. Weight. Packing a film camera with a handful of film, a tripod and a few lenses starts to weigh significantly less that the digital camera, batteries, hard drives, computer. I am not saying that this is the way I will shoot for the rest of my clients now, I am just realizing that this concept can begin to be a way of shooting photos from now on. Being aware of the shots and the surrounding. As Galen Rowell once said, “follow the rule of action photography, if it looks good shoot it, if it still looks good, shoot it again.”

(Left) Liz standing at Munra Point. (right) Sunset on the Columbia River Gorge, OR
(left) Golden leaves on the trail to Munra Point. (right) Sunburst through the low tree cover, trail to Munra Point.
(left) Elowah Falls. (right) Up above McCord creek.

Here are some shots that I did not edit. They were shot in RAW, saved to my hard drive then processed down to JPEGS to share and upload easier. Any and all feedback is welcome. Thank you for reading.

Loving and living,

Gabriel