Another Pic From Route 66

Gas Station on Route 66

Gas Station on Route 66

Next Segment, New Photo Review Series: Line, Light, and Color with David Saffir and Sally Wiener Grotta March 2, 2012

David Saffir waited 45 minutes in this underground canyon for just the right light. In his discussion about this picture with fellow photographer Sally Wiener Grotta, David explains how he chose his exposure to define the sense of space, texture and movement.In addition, they explore the various elements that make it such a successful picture.
Image © David Saffir
(Video is part of the Light, Line, and Color series © 2012 by Sally Wiener Grotta and David Saffir.)

Sedona PhotoFest Conference-Speaking Engagements and Events

I will be speaking at the Sedona PhotoFest event. My topics will be: “Monochrome In The Digital Age”, and “Printing Tips and Techniques for Photographers: Getting the Most Out Of Your Inkjet Printer”. (NEW) I will also participate in a panel discussion on “Making the Web Work for You”

The event will be held July 18-25, 2010.

Sedona PhotoFest 2010 brings together Pulitzer-winning photographer Jack Dykinga, “Sedona Masters” and six competing “Apprentice Photographers” juried from Arizona high schools for three days of photography in Sedona’s stunning red rock country.

"Determination" © D Saffir

Keynote talks, symposium presentations and panel discussions, and gala evening events make this week ideal for photographers, educators, students, families and art buyers worldwide to celebrate Southwest photography’s contribution to the fine arts.

Boston, Galleries, and Partnerships

In Boston yesterday and today for discussions about partnerships in a number of areas. More exciting, starting to move forward toward representation from one or more galleries here in the Northeast, and the the Southern US for my work in scenics and images from the natural world. We’ll see how it goes!

Offshore Breeze, San Simeon Sunset

Offshore Breeze, San Simeon Sunset

Medium Format Gaining on DSLRs – Part Two

I’ve received a number of emails and comments regarding changing attitudes among photographers regarding medium format digital vs. DSLRs. Seems to me, first of all, that it’s not about the equipment. My daddy used to say, “it’s not the car, it’s the nut behind the wheel”. That said, I find that I can often see the difference between medium format (MF) images I’ve created, and those taken with a DSLR. My own approach has changed quite a bit; I think it is fair to say that I use my MF cameras much more nowadays than the DSLRs.

Some of the things I notice are sharpness, resolution, acutance, dimensionality, subtleties in tone transitions, and detail in shadow/highlights. In some cases, a MF lens will also show a difference in bokeh (smoothness of out of focus areas). In all of these, excluding the last item, I feel it is a combination of factors that makes up one’s perception of “difference”. For example high acutance coupled with low resolution looks much different than a situation where both are high. (a typical look for the former is a so-called “over-sharpened” image with that crispy look with lots of edge halos).

At the end of the day, images I’ve made with my MF cameras usually look quite different than those from the DSLR world – this is particularly the case when I’ve made a large print. The image below communicates some of these in spite of the limitations of computer screens. In print, it has amazing depth and dimensionality, and impressive detail in the leaves and textures in the rocks.

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge

Hasselblad H-series camera body, P25 back, 100mm lens, f/11, approx one second exposure. It is true that one can make a very “sellable” image using a high-end DSLR. But can one achieve that look, that feeling of a unique image or print that one can almost walk right into? Doesn’t this affect both creative approach and one’s competitive position in an environment that challenges us all? And what about client’s perceptions? Haven’t many of use had the experience of a client choosing a photographer who owns MF digital vs DSLR? Does this set one apart from the pack? Thinking back, it’s made a difference for me – I’ve made far more money with MF than I ever have with my DSLRs. I’m working right now on a tour of seven cities, teaching use of MF digital cameras, high resolution printers, fine art printmaking, and art reproduction. The interest from photographers in MF is intense – something of a wake up call, in fact. More to follow.

Here’s a recent review of the Mamiya AFD III with the Leaf Aptus digital back.

Medium Format Gaining on DSLRs

A quick thought which I’ll write more about later in the week: in the latest series of workshops, I am getting a lot of feedback from photographers that they are re-evaluating the usefulness of medium format cameras vs. 35mm format DSLRs.

Prices are converging – for example, Mamiya is offering a 28MP digital back along with their state-of-the-art AFD III camera with an 80mm lens and Capture software for around 10-11k. The image quality pretty much kicks 35mm to the curb – and that competitive edge, along with the new pricing is getting a lot of attention.

Not too long ago I wrote a review of this camera, which you can see here.

Tour 09: Fine Art Printing and Fine Art Reproduction Update

We’ve been having a great time. We held our Tech Expo (day 1)  and Workshop Session (day 2) at the Denver Studio Complex and Denver Pro Photo. This was the first of seven events planned, ranging through Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

The Tech Expo featured wide format printers from Canon, Epson, and HP, color management tools from X-Rite, displays from Eizo, cameras from Mamiya/Leaf, papers and print finishing products from Premier, lighting from Westcott, Eizo, and more!


The Tech Expo was very well attended, and we had reps from a number of companies present.

Dennis Halley (digital2you) was the primary host. During the course of the day, we fielded questions regarding inkjet printing, color management, print finishing, art reproduction, media selection, medium format cameras, and displays from Eizo.


We also had quite a bit of original artwork on hand, and print reproductions of many of these examples.

On day 2, we held our workshop on Fine Art Printmaking and Fine Art Reproduction. The session was very well attended; we had approximately 20 students in attendance.

We not only covered the “how to” aspects of fine art printmaking, we also got into the details of the business model for fine art printmaking, using your wide-format printer to make prints for other photographers, art reproduction, color management, print finishing, and more.


We had a complete fine art printmaking setup, and of course a studio setup for fine art repro:

I encourage you to attend one of the next sessions. We will be in Glenwood Springs, Santa Fe, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson, and Albuquerque.

To register for the workshop session, please go to the Digital2You web site here or CALL FOR DETAILS 303-934-2777