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About the Photos

I'm not primarily a photographer, and I've learned mostly through picking up tips here and there, combined with trial and error.

The photos were taken using a Sigma 50mm macro lens on a Pentax P30 body, with the lens stopped to f32, using a tripod and a cable release. The film is Fuji ASA 800 print film, with processing from my local supermarket using the "Kodak Photo CD" option. This costs less than $9 for a 24-photo roll. (I imagine if I shopped around, I could get it cheaper still.)

Lighting was two 500-watt 3200K bulbs and one 250-watt 3200K bulb mounted in shop light reflectors. In addition, room lighting is 4-foot Sylvania Designer 50 fluorescent bulbs mounted on approximate 4-foot centers. This was left on while the photos were taken. The result, based on the camera's light meter, was exposure times in the 1/8 to 1/4 second range. I overexposed the shots one increment over the recommended exposure time in the camera's light meter.

The members of The 4L List on Yahoo Groups, The Loyal Legion of Logged-on Loggers, have been very patient and generous in answering my questions about cameras and photography. Based on information from Marc Reusser of this group, print film photos provided on Kodak Photo CDs are JPG files that correspond to 72 dots per inch (DPI), which is acceptable for use on web sites like this one, but not acceptable for publication in a print magazine. Magazines prefer TIFF format and about 600 DPI. Arved Grass from the same list adds, "Basically, the CD just saves the data from the scan they did of the negative to make the print. I've never done PhotoCD or other CDs from film, but my understanding is the pictures are 1000x1500 pixels. You get higher resolution using even the low end film scanners."

Some people have asked me why I don't get a digital camera, and I would have to answer that for now, I'm satisfied with the results I'm getting on this site, and don't see the need for the additional investment and learning curve (I'm still learning how to use the equipment I've got).

The only reason for me to move to a digital camera now would be if I wanted to get my layout photos published in a model railroad magazine. Why in the world would I want to:

It seems to me that the web is changing the dynamic here, to good effect. So far, I'm happy with this medium and the tools I'm using to communicate in it, and have no plans to upgrade. It's just not cost-effective.

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