Pa’i ki’i Imagery

January 25, 2009

Why Digital Photography

I’m reading the book Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography If you’re considering going beyond point and shoot I recommend this book before others because of the way he covers the subject.  Typical intro books start off with “How to choose your camera” and go from there covering basic how to take a photo information. That can be what you need to start. But, once you got one of those books you don’t need another; even though there might be one or two chapters you find useful. Johnson’s book is like having all those additional chapters in one book.

Reading Stephen Johnson’s book is like having a friend who “knows” digital photography.  He’s the person you go to when you don’t understand color management for instance.  “Here’s what you need to know to start with.” He says.  By the time he’s done you feel comfortable about the subject because he didn’t overwhelm you with a lot of detail. The creative process, printing black and white, photography as art,scanning are just some of the subjects he covers.  This is the kind of book I looked for 8 years ago as I began using a Nikon Coolpix 800.

A typical discussion on photography is digital versus film.  Here’s how Stephen Johnson covers it.

Why Digital Photography
Immediacy: Seeing as you go is a core reason for the digital craze.  Sharing the moment captured, being sure you have it, immediate gratification accounts for as much of digital camera sales ascendancy.
Connection to the moment: With digital, photographs can be more connected to the moment than ever before.  You can see and understand your results while you’re still on site.  It’s the difference between comparing the image to the experience, instead of the memory of the experience seen weeks later on a screen back in your workplace.
Control over results: Rendering of the photograph can be more effectively controlled with digital.  You can easily remake your photographs until you are satisfied.
Versatility: You can do almost anything you want with a digitized image, and very quickly.  The photo can be used on a web page, burned on CD or DVD, printed and framed, or transmitted around the world, in only minutes.
Accuracy: The digital camera sensor can be matched to the scene to record light similarly to the human experience of vision and color.  This is a major improvement over film. (Although often not recognized as many of the automatic camera settings actually reduce the potential image quality.)
FUN: The “Gee Whiz” factor. “Wow we can see the pictures right now!”  That is a good reason: for the play of it.



  1. Having not read the book, this seems like a succinct summary. I would generally agree with this argument for digital versus film. The ability to throw out the junk shots at no cost is such a big plus. Personally, I don’t care for all of the digital manipulation that can happen on the computer, but it does come in handy in those crooked moments!

    Comment by bradtroyphotography — January 25, 2009 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

  2. If the digital manipulation allows you to create a photo that never happened,( I saw a technique putting a fireworks display behind the Statue of Liberty using Photoshop)without telling the viewer then I agree.

    Comment by paikiiimagery — January 25, 2009 @ 4:09 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: