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Author Topic: Audubon calendar - no digital!  (Read 4302 times)
BJL
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« on: January 23, 2005, 12:06:32 PM »
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There was a similar discussion started by an editorial in Arizona Highways magazine, explaining their refusal to accept digital images on the basis that the image quality is not as good as scanned large format film. I do not know if AH only accepts LF (though I seriously doubt it), but it is nice to see that the Audobon canendar uses everything down to 35mm format, because that fact rules out any legitimate argument based on image quality.

I can still see a couple of somewhat legitimate reasons why there are no digital images there yet
(a) Audobon's photo editors have not yet extended their skills beyond evaluating transparencies on the light table, and do not have sufficient need to so long as there is still a very large pool of images available on film, or
( Audobon's photographic contributers and sources are a tradition-minded bunch, as befits the organization's ethos, and few have yet changed over to digital SLRs.
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BJL
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2005, 09:30:50 AM »
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Images for some calendars, date books, etc. are purchased several years in advance of publishing.
Howard,
   thanks for that observation. It fits with the general idea that this is purely a matter of the time lag for new technology making its way into an end product that is not at "time sensitive".

Another thought is that they could often be selecting images taken some years earler, especially one selected from stock agencies.
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howard smith
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2005, 04:21:55 PM »
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Digital cameras have some negative environmental impact.  Have all those been weighed against film?
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Paul Beaulieu
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2005, 08:01:38 PM »
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Considering the quality of pro digital images these days, I've been expecting the Audubon Engagement calendars to start to include them, but this has not been the case.

They include images using large format, medium format, and some 35mm, all film. I appreciate the fact that they do list the gear used, and the exposure.

Do you know the selection process for the images? I see that some are from stock houses, like Larry Ulrich. Stock houses have been slow to adopt digital, so perhaps that's the main reason.

One thing with digital is that people can go overboard with Photoshop to the point where the image becomes an oversaturated digital painting instead of a photo. It's harder to cheat with film!

Cheers,
Paul
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Joja
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2005, 09:50:15 AM »
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:laugh:
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Paul Beaulieu
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2005, 06:34:01 PM »
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...but it is nice to see that the Audobon canendar uses everything down to 35mm format, because that fact rules out any legitimate argument based on image quality.
Hi BJL,

The 35mm images in the Audubon engagement calendar are typically the shots that are less practical on MF & LF, such as macro and wildlife.

The lower resolution is often noticeable, even on the smallish ~ 8.5" x 5.4" prints. Perhaps they print at greater than 300dpi(?) I wonder how a 1Ds shot would compare on these pages.
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BJL
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2005, 09:24:26 AM »
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The 35mm images ...

The lower resolution is often noticeable, even on the smallish ~ 8.5" x 5.4" prints. ... I wonder how a 1Ds shot would compare on these pages.
If lower image quality is discernable at sizes like 8.5" x 5.4", then very clearly a 1Ds would produce higher quality; every print quality comparison I have seen, at this site and many other places, makes it clear that you would not see any such image quality fall off on such a tiny print from a 1Ds (except maybe if taken with one of those much maligned Canon wide angle lenses!). Note that 8.5" x 5.4" is 500ppi with 1Ds files, and no calendar is printed at anything like that much resolution.

Indeed, the only way that I can see such small prints showing lower image quality with 35mm film is that the film is used at rather high exposure index (high ISO film or push processing), which could fit with being used for wildlife. Higher ISO levels is one place where the best DSLR have the greatest image quality advantage over 35mm film, and I expect that wildlife along with sports and other action photography is where DSLRs are most strongly preferred to film.
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Paul Beaulieu
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2005, 08:25:20 PM »
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Indeed, the only way that I can see such small prints showing lower image quality with 35mm film is that the film is used at rather high exposure index (high ISO film or push processing), which could fit with being used for wildlife.
The 35mm shots are typically 50 or 100 speed film.

I'm thinking now that perhaps part of the quality difference is the scanning process they use (assuming they are scanning).
And some of the shots are certainly done without mirror lockup, like the wildlife shots.

At that printed size, I think a 1Ds Mk2 shot should look better than a scanned large format, assuming mirror lockup and tripod.
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BJL
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2005, 09:25:54 AM »
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I'm thinking now that perhaps part of the quality difference is the scanning process they use ...
I will defer to the experts of scanning, but to me that is a good guess. The only other thing I can think of is that wildlife shots done with such low speed films might be done with push processing to get high enough shutter speeds.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2005, 04:04:45 PM »
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"Film is almost dead and that is A GOOD THING for the environment."

I may be wrong, but if memory serves, film was originally 'discovered' accidentally when someone was looking to develop an alternative for ivory.  So maybe it was a good thing for the environment, albeit in a different way.

Mike.
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Carl B
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2005, 11:42:28 AM »
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The Audubon and Seirra Club calenders are closed submissions. they have a list of photographers and stock agencies they choose from. Most of these photographers are still using film and most stock agencies only have a small bank of digital images verse millions of film images. You will see more digital images in these and many more calenders as the major photographers and agencies add more digital images to their files.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2005, 08:46:56 PM »
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It's harder to cheat with film!
Not if you use Velvia; it has "cheating" built-in, and pretty much everyone scans film to a digital file before printing, so one can "cheat" as much as desired after that point anyway.
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howard smith
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2005, 08:46:24 AM »
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Images for some calendars, date books, etc. are purchased several years in advance of publishing.  Even if digital images were accepted, it could be 3 or 4 years before they show up (and you get paid for the image).
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JackR
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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2005, 05:19:32 PM »
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You would think being an environmentally consious organization they would reject film based images altogether.

Film is almost dead and that is A GOOD THING for the environment.


JackR
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