A year in the life...

Into the sunset
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 - Into the sunset - Techno-Impressionist Museum - Techno-Impressionism - art - beautiful - photo photography picture - by Tony Karp

Lots of things have changed in the switch from film to digital cameras. One of the things that hasn't been mentioned is grain. In film, this irregular pattern can bring an interesting texture to an image. Sometimes the grain can be exaggerated to build this effect even more.

But now, with the switch to digital cameras, we seem to be reliving the history of photography. Déjà vu never had it so good. If you read the reviews of the newest cameras, there is an almost obsessive interest in getting the absolute maximum in quality. More megapixels? Check. Shooting in RAW format because we don't trust our cameras or ourselves to handle speedier-to-store formats? Check. Images with the lowest noise? Check.

Noise? Wait a minute. We used to call this grain. Noise has a strange sound for us old timers. But I guess it is noise, since it occurs in predictable patterns as opposed to grain, which is sort of a random clumping. So regular, in fact, was the noise on one of my former cameras, that it actually formed stripes that ran the length of the picture, making it look like badly processed film.

But my newest camera, which has fewer megapixels, has something new. Here is an image that I deliberately played with in order to force the grain (okay, noise) to emerge. And what a pleasant surprise we get. Not only does the noise look like good old fashioned grain, but the detail is retained.

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