Well its happened ... you're looking for a photographer and the one you have your heart set on shoots digital. And we know just what you're thinking. Are you taking a chance? Will your images look okay? Will you ever be able to get that life size enlargement you always wanted ... okay maybe a bit extreme, but you may want a beautiful portrait for the wall and we realize that!!
And you've heard all of the urban legends about digital. Digital is grainy. You can't enlarge digital past an 8x10. Digital isn't printed on the same paper. Digital isn't archivable. Digital black & white looks flat and lifeless. Digital is just plain scary ... and why is that, well its because the people that are telling you about digital don't generally know for sure, so they guess. Well we're going to try to clarify all of that for you and make it a not so scary choice when you're looking for a photographer.
THE REAL DEAL ON DIGITAL
First let's start by reassuring you that digital is not "new". Digital cameras have been around for a long time. A lot of newspaper photographers have been using digital for years. Canada is a bit behind the scenes when it comes to digital photography being used for weddings. The most developed country on the edge of digital is Australia. Very few leading edge wedding photographers in Australia shoot with anything but digital cameras. To make you feel a little better here are a few digital wedding photographers that will blow your socks off in Australia and The U.S.
In Canada, we're trailing a bit behind but we have a few photographers that are now working extensively with digital ... examples :
In Vancouver - Jen & Stephen Bebb - Tying the Knot
In Edmonton - Dave & Quinn - DQ Studios
In Toronto - Jackson Huang ... Stephen Sager ... Judy Cormier - Elementz ... Cliff Spicer
Okay, so we've now convinced you that digital photography can look awesome. We just need to assure you that some of the things you've heard are not true.
DIGITAL IS GRAINY AND YOU CAN'T ENLARGEMENT IT PAST AN 8X10!!
Digital cameras that are being used in today's market are NOT grainy. Its the nature of how the photo is exposed and what settings are used to capture your photograph that can affect its outcome. The newest digital cameras on the market have almost no grain at high ISOs like 1600, which will give your photographer great flexibility for different lighting situations and produce photos that easily rival film. Cameras today capture in pixels ... pro level digital cameras are producing results that beat out medium format film when it comes to the quality of enlargements. If you walk into a studio, they shoot digital, and they have a 20x30 print on the wall and it makes you stop and say WOW ... I'd say the grainy issue is a thing of the past. The examples that your photographer shows you will represent their work. If you stare at any photo long enough, you'll see grain ... but believe us when we say that digital doesn't produce any more grain then film in today's digital age.
DIGITAL ISN'T PRINTED ON THE SAME PAPER AS FILM
Professional labs use machines that create your photos on photographic paper. The paper does not change from film to digital. There is no difference ... repeat after us ... there is no difference. Now there are some photographers that have perfected their own printing on the new Epson printers that are available. The inks and papers used with these printers are just as archivable as anything you'll get in a lab. Trust your photographer in that they are providing you with a product that they know has to last. As a side note ... if you decide that you want to display your photos in direct sunlight ... then don't go running to your photographer crying when the photos disappear!!! Okay, we're just being smart mouthed as usual LOL ... but what we're trying to say here is that storing your photos is of the utmost importance. No matter what medium your photographer uses to capture your day, you still need to use the basic principles of storage when it comes to the prints.
DIGITAL ISN'T ARCHIVABLE
Actually it is. Digital negatives can be copied and copied and copied and copied and copied. If you have purchased and/or your digital negatives are included with your package, you have the ability of making multiple copies and then you can store them in many different locations. The images will not ever degrade just from being copied from CD to CD. What will cause your images to degrade is saving over top of them ... so you would need to open them in Photoshop and save over them about 100 times and then you may notice some degradation in the quality of the image. Simply making multiple copies of the original files WILL NOT DEGRADE THEM.
A few tips on looking after your digital negatives on CD or DVD:
- When handling your CD/DVD of digital files, try to handle the disc by its edges. Most especially do not touch the back of the CD/DVD with your bare fingers. The oils and dust on your fingertips can remain on your CD/DVD and over time will damage the coating and the digital files.
- Should you need to clean the back of the CD/DVD to remove prints or dust spots, use a soft dry cloth in a circular motion. You may also use any of the commercially available CD/DVD cleaning fluids to clean the back of the CD/DVD.
- We recommend that you make a copy of the CD/DVD(s) for your daily use and keep the original CD/DVD(s) in the jewel cases provided. When not using your CD/DVD(s), keep them in a jewel case to protect them from dust and scratches. We also recommend keeping a set of CD/DVDs offsite to protect against fire and/or water damage in your own home.
- Keep your CD/DVDs in a cool, dry location. Moisture and heat are damaging to the media and will cause the loss of images.
DIGITAL DOESN'T PRODUCE NICE BLACK & WHITE
If anything digital provides your photographer with the opportunity to produce some incredible photos for you in colour, black & white and sepia. Most digital captures are done all in colour. Then conversions are made in Photoshop to produce your black & white and sepia images. More control of the entire image is handed over to the photographer for enhancements. Just because it wasn't captured on black & white film, doesn't mean you can't have a hauntingly beautiful black & white image from digital ... it definitely can be done!
TODAY'S DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHER ...
The digital photographer is a new breed. They essentially are the photographer and lab rolled into one. Photoshop and other programs, along with the trusty computer, have become the essentials of a good digital pro.
What will set your photographer apart from others is their knowledge of the digital realm, the software and what they can do with your photos. Most digital photographers develop a style and edge to their photos that they could never get before. Embrace the difference ... you can now get DVD slideshows, online ordering, custom designed coffee table style albums, reception slideshows of your days photos ... you'll even find some photographers offering "photo booths" for your guests at your reception.
PUTTING ASIDE THE "DIGITAL" QUESTION
When you walk into a photographer's studio and you sit down with their work, put aside the digital issue. Honestly, if you love their work, the medium they used to capture it is irrelevant. A photographer's equipment is just simply a tool and extension of their creativity. If they master the tools, then the end result will be something that you will enjoy for the rest of your lives together!