Digital vs. film: One photographer's experience
Part III: The Tedious Part of Digital Photography
Break Time or Lack of It
I am accustomed to being able to take breaks while on a shoot. If I'm on the road, I can stop to read or eat lunch during harsh mid-day light, and not have to even think about photos until later. Likewise, if I'm at a tennis event, between matches I can eat, chat with other photographers, etc.
Those breaks are not always possible when shooting digital. All my down time at Fed Cup was spent uploading files to my laptop in order to start shooting the next match with empty cards. In three tries, not once did I get back on court in time for the start of the next match. And I had no break, which left me more tired than usual at the end of the day. Not ideal working conditions.
And that was the easy part.
The part I really didn't like was the editing. Organizing and editing film takes far less time than organizing and editing digital photos.
After my two days of shooting digital at Fed Cup, I came home with about 290 frames. The next day I used eight rolls of slide film for a shoot in New York, also about 290 frames.
To upload, to sort through, to organize and to print proof sheets for the 290 digital frames took about six hours of my time on the computers, and about another four hours of time for the computer to run batch processes on the photo files (and I have pretty good computers). That's about ten hours to edit that shoot.
To edit my eight rolls of film, to enter the photo info into my computer database and assign each photo a file number, and to label the slides ... that all took a grand total of two hours.
Some photographers would argue that by changing different parts of my workflow, I could have saved some time with digital photography. Perhaps that's true. But there were reasons I worked the way I did. Let's check out a few of these individual issues of working with digital photos.
© 2002 - 2008 Chris Nicholson