Travel Photography Technical Summary

Most of my photographs were shot with a standard SLR 35mm camera. Currently, my constant traveling companion is a Nikon N50. Although a few of my earliest scenics, dating from the late 1970's, were shot on print film, the overwhelming majority of my photos were shot as slides. For many years, I restricted my film choice exclusively to Kodachrome 64, which, when slightly underexposed, has excellent color saturation. Recently, however, alternative slide films have been developed that are comparably vivid. Now that I shoot as many European cathedrals as redrock canyons, I find that I prefer the color balance of Fujichrome Velvia, a slide film that is also renowned for intense color saturation. Velvia is now available at 100 ASA, which is one more reason that I will likely use Kodachrome 64 even less in the future. Velvia has the additional advantage that it is an E-6 film and can be processed within a few hours.

A small number of my images were obtained with a Nikon Coolpix 950 digital camera. Like most serious photographers, I initially regarded digital photography as relatively useless and assumed that it would be eternally relegated to real estate agents and insurance adjusters. In other words, digital photography would only appeal to those that had an immediate need for a practical, but visually bland, photograph. As the quality of digital images began to improve, however, I purchased a digital camera as a backup to my conventional Nikon. This was intended only as a convenient, "better than nothing" replacement in case my primary camera suddenly malfunctioned in a situation where it was impossible to secure a replacement. Eventually, however, I discovered several immediate and practical uses for the digital camera. I quickly realized the utility of digital photography in providing immediate feedback when assessing potential scene compositions. Also, I developed a habit of using the digital camera to obtain "peace of mind" backup shots in the event that one or more defective rolls of film ever found their way into my camera. As I acquire more experience in the digital realm, some of the images that I have obtained with the Nikon Coolpix 950, which is a relatively sophisticated camera, have been of sufficient quality to be included in my photo galleries.