Headlamp I

Even though the D800 does a very good job with creating exactly the monochrome tones that I want, there's just something more satisfying about doing it properly. I know that only the results matter for the people who see the image, but the process itself is something that I enjoy and find value in. Black and white film – even the chromogenic stuff – has a certain integrity and dedication that the "oh, I wonder how this will look in monochrome with a Tri-X effects processing" fiddling about lacks.

But at the same time I have no patience for the "colour records how something looks, black and white photographs the soul" crowd. I have no desire to be a pretentious aesthete. Using film isn't a virtue, it's just a different way to do something.

One of the things that I've learned over the years is that something can be objectively better – a modern lens design, a newer-generation camera – without it being an improvement. Sometimes things just match up and create a synergy that leads to better creativity and, hopefully, art, even if the process isn't inherently visible in the results. This is why I own both the modern 50/1.4G and older 50/1.4D; matching the appropriate lens generation to my D800 and F5 creates cameras that I want to use, while crossing them leaves me feeling awkward and incorrect. The difference in the end result is negligible – or it would be, if I was ever willing to create something with such a mismatch, which I'm really not.

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I have broken the links to hundreds and hundreds of photos, which will take a long time to repair. The workaround is to replace "photo.matthewpiers" in the link URL with "matthewpiers.smugmug". Awkward, but only temporary.

This is happening because I have revamped matthewpiers dot com. More of what I write and photograph will be going there, so check it out as well.

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