08-20-12 Glamorous Grain

Some of you remember Tri-X Pan black and white film. It was made by Kodak and was a standard “high speed” film with an ISO of 400. That meant that you could shoot in relatively low light with this film. The down side was that you got quite a bit of grain.

I can remember that when digital DSLRs hit the market, some photographers bemoaned the fact that digital photos were so smooth – there was no grain. That prompted software companies to make filters that added grain. It was an artistic effect but it also soothed the jangled nerves of photographers who were raised on film.

I never missed grain, though I did play with the filters in software from time to time. This photo is evidence of that. It was shot with my 1D II, a camera that led the market at the time and which produced pretty smooth photos at ISO 100, which is what this studio photo was shot with.

It occurs to me as I head back into the classroom tomorrow to meet a new group of photography candidates that much of what I’ve talked about in this post will be foreign to them. But so are phones with cords and movies on cassette tapes. The times, they are a changing, as Dylan says. Or was that Ecclesiastes?

Canon 1DII 1/250s f/8.0 ISO100 40mm

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