Digital Wedding Photography

Digital photography, until recently, has been viewed as an outsider to film wedding photography. It was considered useful for candid shots but if images were intended to be enlarged to more then 8×10 inch size, most photographers preferred film. Add to this most people were printing out their images on low quality, consumer-grade inkjet printers, and it’s not hard to see why film photography was prioritized. However, the technology behind digital photography is growing at a very rapid rate. Prints made from digital images are indistinguishable and from 35mm film, and today’s newest professional digital cameras equal and surpass 35mm color film. Some today’s 17+ Megapixel cameras even match medium format cameras in quality.Another advantage of digital wedding photography is the ability to manipulate the raw images and save in a variety of safe places. With film, the negatives are vulnerable to dust and scratches and other physical factors. They can also be lost in the mail being sent out for developing or reprints, or the photo lab can accidentally slip them into another customer’s order (I once received someone’s else’s negatives). While digital images run the risk of being erased off a hard drive, duplicating the images to DVD or another computer first will ensure your important images are safe and never lost. However, even digital files can be corrupted if the camera has software or hardware problems. To solve this problem, some cameras have two slots for memory cards for simultaneous writing. It is obvious that digital images never fade. While the prints made from digital images may slowly fade, the original digital files won’t. So prints made from those files twenty years from now will look just as sharp and just as vibrant as the day the photos were taken. Color negatives will fade will time, as will black and white negatives if not properly treated and stored.Digital images can be almost anything you want them to be. Every image can be color or black and white. They can be sepia-toned or they can be hand-colored. Blemishes can be removed, skin tones evened, red-eye eliminated, backgrounds blurred. And all of this is from the same original image. The changes one can make in a “digital darkroom” far exceed what can be done in a traditional darkroom. The only limits are time and imagination.Digital images also have a wide variety of “output” options. You can easily post them on web pages, create a DVD slide shows or print them to your home printer to share with friends and family whenever you want. Digital images can be hosted on a special website for you to order additional prints from at any time, all with perfect quality.With film based wedding photography, the process to getting proofs back begins with the photographer sending the film off to the lab within a few days of the event, often through the mail. The lab receives the film a few days later, develops it, makes proofs, and sends the proofs back to the photographer, sometimes hanging on to the negatives, sometimes sending them back, depending on the lab and the arrangement. A few days later the photographer receives the proofs, labels them, and then arranges a time for the client to review the proofs. Eventually the client reviews the proofs, picks out which ones he or she likes, and the order is mailed back to the lab for more prints to be made. Weeks can go by. The lab eventually sends back prints to the photographer to frame or create an album with. The whole process takes weeks. With digital wedding photography, the photographer uploads the photos to his website as quickly as 24 hours after the event. The client can view the prints at any point thereafter with any computer with Internet access anywhere in the world, and even have family and friends view the online proofs as well. Orders can be placed immediately, and the prints will arrive in a matter of days, not weeks.

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