The Photographic Resolution

The resolving power of modern cameras is pretty stunning to me. When the transition from film to digital was just beginning, the state of the art in scanners could do a 2000 dpi scan of a negative. Digital will never come close to this, we said as we (silently) lusted after the original Kodak/Associated Press NC-2000. That camera produced a 3.3 megabyte file while our Kodak RFS-2035 produced about an 8 megabyte file.

From my one-a-day project, inside a parking garage in Atlanta on Sunday, January 2, 2010.

Now we have cameras that will produce 60+ megabyte files with ease, so the camera side of photographic resolution is pretty easy to overcome. However, the photographer side of photographic resolutions is still a problem.

Mike Johnston over on The Online Photographer has a short post up about photographic New Year’s resolutions and he’s taken an interesting twist on it. Aside from dieting and weight loss, most people make theoretical promises to start the new year–be happier, find a soul mate, shoot more photos, etc. Johnston recommends making specific resolutions–shoot a specific number of frames per day/weekend/week, spend a specific amount of time on editing a day, etc.

Is a numerically precise resolution easier to stick to? I have no idea. Over on my personal web site, I made a decision late last year to shoot and post a photo every day. (I even leaned backwards to another of Johnston’s posts about picking just one tool to practice with and am carrying an Olympus E-P2 with me everywhere I go now.) It’s been a great exercise–by having that specific, tangible goal (one I shared with my family and some friends) it makes it easier to just do it.

So what’s your photographic resolution for 2011?

Mark E. Johnson

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