Newsletter No. 16: October, 2006
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
1. Two upcoming book launches at the Gallery
Harold Rhenisch presents his latest book: The Wolves of Evelyn.
At once a memoir, a work of philosophy, a story of European immigration to Canada’s ‘dark places of the earth,’ and an exploration of the roots and effects of colonialism . . .
Opium, heroin, cocaine, the Cariboo Gold grown in hydroponic installations under haystacks in Forest Grove and Buffalo Creek and powered by stolen propane trucks, even the bud grown in rental houses throughout Burnaby and Chilliwack or tended in clearings in the cedar forests of Nelson and Sorrento and False Bay, are cheap substitutes for the real thing. The real drug is land. It is the primary bacillus, the Ebola virus, so to speak, of the epidemic of civilization. My grandfather was not immune to it. He could not have been immune to it. There is no vaccine.
We are once again very pleased and proud to host Harold at the Gallery for a reading of his work. Seating is limited; please come early. You can reserve a seat by phone or email. Signed books will be available for purchase.
Chris Czajkowski will be at the Gallery to present her new book Wildfire in the Wilderness. More details about the book will be available closer to the launch date but this promises to be a memorable evening as Chris exhibits her art work, presents a slide show, and reads from her new book. Signed copies will be available for purchase.
Reservations are strongly recommended. Please call or email.
Admission is by donation with a suggested minimum of $10.00. Chris has generously offered part of the evening’s proceeds to support the Grasslands Awareness Project and we gratefully acknowledge her support.
In response to continued requests for my photo seminars, I am now bringing them online as an ongoing feature in my Newsletter. They are designed to give you techniques and insights gained from my experience in the field in the hope that they inspire you in your own image making.
Part III: Your Choice – RAW or JPEG
As there are dozens of books and magazine articles on the technical aspect of photography and the use of processing software such as Photoshop, the primary purpose of this newsletter feature is to discuss the artistic side of the craft. There is, however, one basic decision you must make when shooting digital – whether to shoot in RAW or JPEG format. If you are just getting started with digital photography, you should understand your options here.
When you used film, you sent it to the lab to be processed (developed). If you now shoot JPEG’s with your digital camera, the camera does the processing for you. If you shoot in RAW format, you will become the lab and process the RAW original (“digital negative”) yourself using processing software such as Photoshop. Being in the digital darkroom gives you maximum control but requires considerable time, like in the old wet or chemical darkroom.
JPEG’s are an excellent format for digital slideshows, websites, e-mail, or other usages where file size is more important than quality. However, these smaller sized JPEG files are compressed files, and every time you make a change (for example, increase its saturation) and re-save it, the file is compressed again. With every compression you loose more pixels and thus image quality. Most digital cameras capture 12-14 bits of image data and save it as a file. If shot as a JPEG, the camera compresses the file to 8 bits, whereas, if shot in RAW format, the file is converted upwards to a 16 bit file. The result is, the 16 bit RAW file will have 65,536 levels of brightness compared to 256 levels in the 8 bit JPEG file. With so many more tonal and colour values captured and retained in the RAW image, you are able to tweak exposure and colour balance errors in such a way as to not loose any image quality. This is powerful stuff if your final image output is for publication or large display art print.
Remember, however, RAW is not for everyone. With JPEG you get far more image files on your flash card and the camera will do all the processing for you saving hours in the darkroom – not to mention the learning curve and extra hardware and software costs. The added quality as well as control and flexibility does come at a cost! For more information on this important subject, refer to books or magazine articles geared to digital photographers.
I should mention that new software is coming on the market that will make processing RAW images much more intuitive and less time consuming. For those of you who have always shot camera processed JPEG images and have never seen an unprocessed RAW image file, I have included one of each so you can see the difference.
UNPROCESSED RAW FILE
(shown as a jpeg for your viewing)
PROCESSED JPEG FILE
As you can see, by not extracting all the tonal and colour information from the unprocessed pixels (above left), it would be easy to delete an unprocessed file thinking it was a terrible shot. By processing the ‘digital negative’ (above right) yourself, you can create the image that most resembles exactly what you saw at the time of capture. Exciting stuff! So think about your photographic goals and decide which format is best for you. Actually, some camera’s enable you to capture each image in both RAW and JPEG formats. This means you could use the JPEG images for general use and still have the original RAW file to work on at a later date should you, for example, wish to make a large print. The choice is yours: RAW or JPEG.
Fifteen years after the release of my very first book The Bowron Lakes: British Columbia’s Wilderness Canoe Circuit, I am about to publish a completely new Bowron Lake book titled The Bowron Lakes: A Lifetime Journey. With a fresh, new design, this 176-page coffee table book will feature over 150 new images of the Bowron Lake circuit.
Later this month I will publish a special newsletter with full details about its release and how it can be purchased.
The Grasslands Book Project
invites you to play a part