Richard Shoaf

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No debate even when carrying the weight – Film & Digital Photographers (Tim Layton & Richard Shoaf)

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No rhyme was intended when the title of this article was thrust from my mind.  (And I still debate its removal for the sheer corniness of it) We can check the Palin dictionary if “corniness” is indeed a word, but I am going with it.

Waiting for that long exposure - good time to pose for a bracketed shot for HDR?

This summer we discussed sharing a day trip and comparing what I had captured with fellow professional photographer Tim Layton.  You may already know him from his blog on “analog” photography, Film Photography – Analog Photography in a Digital World.  Tim specializes in large format, black and white photography.  As a former film person myself I can really appreciate his work and yes I have inhaled the vapors and had my share of time in the dark room.

I personally shoot digital 99.95% of the time.  I still have a 35mm film camera for specific abet rare use.  When Tim and I met we chatted about heading out and shooting some great landscapes he had scouted out.  He has a substantial file folder of locations on his “to do” list.

I suggested that we head out together and shoot along side each other with the comparison and contrast of digital and film.  It was not to engage in that ever so often banter of which is better or worse, only to appreciate the differences.

When ever you get the chance to go shoot with another photographer, especially one who works in other genres as yourself, carpe diem (seize the day) and aude sapere (dare to know).  Photography is an art and you can expand your art by learning from how others see things.

We met at an agreed location and 2.5 hours after our embarkation we arrived at our site.  When we started to unload I realized something ironic in the similarity of our planning and preparation of the day.  The weight of our gear was nearly identical.

Tim’s large format camera, film and tripod weighed him down just as much as my digital gear (I will let him expound on what gear he carried).  Now to be honest I did grab one lens that would have off-set the near perfect comparison (AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II @ 6.3 lbs), which I did not end up using the entire day.  Now, in defense of the weight I was carrying, I am sort of an “everything plus the kitchen sink” kind of guy, including a backup body in the event of a camera body failure.

It's lonely at the top.

During the time Tim spend setting up his 3 shots of the day, I was able to climb, wonder, shoot and even help load in and load out some of Tim’s gear.  (I had stashed my pelican case with lenses on a nearby perch for easy access)

Art is long, and time is fleeting” and within 90 minutes the onslaught of families arrived at our destination.  As our desire was not for long exposures of women in bikinis (today anyway) we departed for our reward, lunch at Russell’s Restaurant in Caledonia, MO.   The fare was normal for central Missouri with local catfish as the special for the day.  I took the recommendation of the proficient wait staff and was happily astounded of the great food – a location not to miss if you are in the area.

Nice people, GREAT FOOD!

I would like to thank Tim for a great experience and hope to head out on another trek soon.

Note:  For those wondering what gear was used for my photos in this posting (Nikon D3s,  AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 ED VR, AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 ED,  and Hahnel Giga T Pro 300′ Wireless Shutter Release Timer Remote)


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