Canon and Salgado

Mike sends me this snippet with link to the article…  I like the part where “the audience gasps.”

Frankly, I don’t understand the whole 645 ratio.  The full frame dSLR is the same ratio as the Leica M or any 35mm camera.  “And he has the images processed to look like Tri-x.”  Yeah, right.  The world – she’s filled with so much hype, so much misinformation.  Give me a break.  I just got word from HCB’s ghost who has been haunting my apartment for the last few nights.  He confided in me that if he were to begin shooting now, he’d be using a digital p/s.  He says my article about using the dSLR for street photography was pretty good – tres bon – but that it’s not the camera – it’s the eye behind the camera.  I think that’s what he said, my French not being what it once was.

And Joel Meyerowitz is printing on an HP.  I mean – when the big boys do these switches all of a sudden the new technology is given the okay.  Soon you’ll see them in print ads with their endorsements of the new-fangled equipment.  Things that the worker bees knew about years ago.

And just so you know – I’ve seen Salgado’s prints when they were in NY, and they are lovely.  I don’t mean to say anything about him, or Meyerowitz who I am also partial to.  It’s just the idea of the audience of fans finding out that Dylan has gone electric.  Good golly.  How could he.  He’s betrayed something.  Get over it.

Oh – so here’s the snippet and the link to the article that caused the gasps.  What would make me gasp would be if Salgado decided to use a view camera.  There is a good point in there about the problems with film going through all the security stuff these days; and it is a comfortable feeling for me – even when I just go to Top of the Rock or wherever I’m subjected to having the camera scanned that I don’t need to worry about fogged film.

and now comes news that Sebastiao Salgado is using Canon:

One of his friends suggested that he try digital, which at first he resisted. However, he did try a medium format 645 back and was quite impressed by the quality. Since the medium format back setup was a bit large, he eventually settled on the Canon full frame (1Ds-something?). However, he still uses it like in the film days: his assistant makes contact sheets for him, and his camera is modified to give the same 645 ratio he is used to. He also has the images processed to look like Tri-X. For prints, a lab converts the data into a 645 negative and prints using traditional darkroom process!

Found at


5 thoughts on “Canon and Salgado

  1. HCB using a digital P&S. That cracks me up.

    I think that it’s perfectly fine for anyone to choose the “tool” of their choice to get the image that they would like to project to someone and/or themselves.

    However I firmly do beleive that when using a digital camera and then Photoshop/LR, that they are then not photographers but digital graphic artists.

  2. “Then they are not photographers but digital graphic artists…”

    Maybe. I don’t know about that. It’s a slippery slope. I could give many examples of well-known photographers that routinely manipulated prints, i.e. they had a glass plate of a cloudy sky which they’d use whenever the sky was too burnt out by sandwiching it in during the printing…

    The pictorialists did all sorts of post-shooting stuff; and the surreal printers also did a lot of post-shooting stuff (three enlargers for one print) etc.

    So I don’t really know anymore at what point the photography ends and the graphic art begins. I doubt if anyone does.

    We’d prob. all agree that burning / dodging / removing dust in PS doesn’t turn you into a graphic artist. It’s a matter of degree. But it isn’t an easy line to define.

    My own definition – if they took the picture with a camera – they’re photographers. If someone else takes the picture and gives it to someone to fix up – that person is a graphic artist. Something like that.

  3. Thanks for pointing us to the Salgado post, and for your comments.Although it does not matter, I agree that HCB might be using a digital camera if he were around to photograph today. If I remember correctly, he was never that interested in prints, and felt his photos were for reproduction in books and magazines. 90 percent of my work is film, but I do have a G10, and think it is a superb, rangefinder like, camera.

    I also think that arguing over who is a real photographer when it comes to film vs. digital, is silly, and a waste of time.

  4. :I also think that arguing over who is a real photographer when it comes to film vs. digital, is silly, and a waste of time.

    So do I. Art is art. I don’t care very much about the tools the artist decides to use or why. I did – a long time ago. It’s not that the equipment doesn’t matter, but I did very well with my old Canonet which I used for over a year when I was just starting. If I switch cameras (which I do about every two years) it’s usually just out of boredom, or wanting to try something new. But no matter what camera I use – I wind up with the same number of “good” images per year; it’s just that the resulting style may be different. Not better. Not worse. Just different.

Comments are closed.