Bil Zelman on Strobist

Great post a couple of days ago, David Hobby interviews Bil Zelman.

What this really means to me:

I started shooting digital about 2000. Nice thing, I could quit carrying 2 cameras, one color, one BW. Everything was color and I could get good BW when I needed.

But because I was viewing the images in color, I worried a lot about exposure and ratios and stuff, even when it was going to be BW.

One day I was asked to scan some BW prints from a few years before, and I looked at these and thought “Man, these look exciting!” Instead of being technically perfect, they had a raw but good feel to them. I didn’t light them up and worry about fill. They were shot on 400TMax (or TriX) and the image was more important than the technicals. They had hard and exciting shadows, no depth of field, motion blur, all that good stuff.

This article reminded me of that revelation. I think I need to be smacked like this every few months to remember that everything doesn’t have to be tack sharp and every exposure doesn’t have to be dead on and every shadow doesn’t have to be gently filled by a reflector or light. Sometimes just point the camera and leave the lights in the car.

Check out the interview and the images on Bil’s website.

And be sure to read the hate mail from photographers who think technique is more important than interesting and exciting photos. (hint: it’s under the “press” link)


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"The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality, and eventually in one's own." - Susan Sontag, On Photography
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