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Re: [OM] New additions to the Living History Farm

Subject: Re: [OM] New additions to the Living History Farm
From: Ken Norton <ken@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2020 09:48:00 -0800
Wayne wrote:
> I think the E-1 in Ken's hands, when he pushes the button, gives different 
> colors than if I pushed the same button.
> His eyes and mind pull in all those color photons into the camera. We are 
> drawn to the camera that best fits our minds eye.

Camera, Film, type of canvas, etc. There is an age-old question about
artistic influences. Do the techniques drive the results or does the
desired results define the choice of techniques?

With film cameras, I was absolutely influenced by the type of film I
had in the camera at the time. When it was loaded with Velvia, I would
seek out pictures that exploited the unique traits of that film. If
B&W film, I would seek out pictures that exploited patterns, contrast,
etc. When shooting events/weddings/portraits, I would reverse this and
make sure I used a film that matched the application. For my own
personal work, I would match the application to the film.

I've carried this on with digital photography, starting with the
Minolta A1. The A1 came along while I was in the midst of my B&W
renaissance and was very pleased with that camera because it actually
did a fantastic job of mimicking the look/feel of 4x5 film cameras. It
was OK with color, but not great. The E-1, on the other hand, was all
about color and produced barely tolerable B&W images. The L1 brought
digital B&W back into the fray and it still does better at B&W (all
files converted to B&W in Lightroom) than any other digital camera
I've used.

For my own entertainment, (like anybody else really cares), I'll grab
a couple different cameras and run out in the evening for my mountain
sunsets. The one safe assumption is that the E-1 will capture an
entirely different image than anything else. We're talking EXTREME
differences that have absolutely nothing in common with each other. As
you skim through the images in Lightroom, you say "that's nice, that's
nice, that's nice, WHOA NELLIE!!!!!!" The E-1 image doesn't just jump
off the screen, it comes crashing right through it like the Kool-Aid
Man. However, once I "auto-tone" the images in Lightroom, the
differences become less in-your-face and are more normalized with each
other. There are still plenty of differences, but the shouting has
died down a lot. You can still identify the E-1 images, but your
eyebrows have returned from their journey halfway up your forehead.

At issue is the native tone and color science profiles that are built
into the cameras (raw ain't raw when it comes to the E-1). The E-1's
profiles are SO different from anything else (even the E-300 is
"mainstream" in comparison), I want to shoot pictures that exploit
that trait. While I can usually get other camera images to come close
to that of the E-1 in Lightroom, it doesn't come naturally. There are
some very interesting response curves in the E-1 that even normalizing
the images can't totally erase. Also, the E-1 exposes the images
differently than other cameras in that it will slightly underexpose
the image and apply a corrective curve through dithering noise and
other magic to keep the shadows from blocking up. It's just different.
The E-300 and E-400 aren't even the same.

AG Schnozz
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