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Photography around the block

am a photographer based in Auckland , New Zealand. You can see some of my work at www.seanshadbolt.co.nz

I have been in business for about twenty years, through the most intense time of change the industry ( and many industries ) have seen in the past one hundred years or more . When I started in the industry, my employer still used a half plate ( 6×8 inches ) view camera to take passport photographs, 35mm film wasn’t generally used in the commercial world as scanning technology was still quite primitive and the bigger the original transparency or negative the better. Photographers didn’t need to know much about the technology at all, just how to make a good image on a piece of film . 

These days it seems like a digital madness . while it is great to have all this technology at our fingertips to be able to control the quality of out put to clients , at the same time the amount of new software needed to be learned for both photo production and delivery is extraordinary. And just as you think you have it all sorted out it changes again. Life with a roll of film seems so simple by comparison.
In the past I used multiple formats of film for the production of images . Everything from 4×5 large format film to 35mm and medium format roll film in multiple formats from 6×4.5 to 6 x 17mm sizes. I sill like to shoot a roll of transparency film once in a while to see what a” real ” photograph should look like , but almost all my work is now done on digital equipment for the sake of convenience for both me and my clients , although if the need arises , I still use film . Now the question has changed form ” what format do you prefer to use ” to – how many megapixels do you use. In my opinion , once megapixels moved past the 16 mp range , the question almost is academic .
Originally in digital land I used a 6mp Kodak 760 camera and the files from that camera were used from thumbnail to billboard size and were all satisfactory – at the correct viewing distance..
Nowadays I use 21mp Canon cameras and 22 and 39 mp medium format Hasselblad cameras and apart from the smoothness in the files , the main reason is the ” look ” the larger cameras give – richer and deeper colour and incredible detail. If the images need to be cropped , or details selected and enlarged , then the bigger the file the better, so higher megapixel count cameras give photographers a little bit of insurance in this regard

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