In my library I have a very good collection of photo books which are mostly from the other century. Of late I have been looking at some of the b+w masters like Tina Modotti and Edward Weston. These two used 8x10 view cameras (what they saw on the dim ground glass behind the camera was dim). They shot mostly with the stellar Mexican light and because they used the photo materials of the day their portraits were low in contrast and had little detail in the shadows. Because their view cameras had critically short focus these portraits had sharp eyes and everything else went mostly soft.
In this century with the ultra-sharp lenses of digital cameras the amount of detail is outstanding.
When I was going through my Ns in my files today I found these negatives of two men from a June 1996 story that I called “fish story”. The files are under Newton, Chris. It is my hope that the man seen here is Mr.Newton.
I purposely scanned this 6x7cm b+w dark and did not attempt to bring up the detail that is there in the shadows. I also toned down the contrast.
This is not a Weston print. But I must admit that it is not that bad. And yes there are some things that cannot be achieved with a digital camera. What is interesting for those who might not know, I lit Mr. Newton with a venerable Norman 200B flash inside a medium sized softbox.