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Saturday, March 09, 2019
By Jim Zuckerman
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This is one of my favorite wildlife shots from the 80's, but you can see immediately that this is film because of the black shadows on the bear. The incredible advantage of RAW files that we shoot today is the ability to manage contrast to a large degree. We can lighten shadows and retain detail, and we can darken highlights with the same ability in so many cases. Sure, if contrast is extreme, it's still a problem, but had I photographed this grizzly today, all of the detail in the fur would be clearly defined. In addition, my fully manual Mamiya RZ 67 had to be cocked to advance the film (they had a motor drive that I never used because it gave me one frame per .8 seconds). With a modern camera, I would have taken 10 to 20 frames in the two or three seconds the bear was standing upright. You can see many of the water drops are blurred, and that's because the fastest shutter speed on the camera was 1/400. Today everything would have been tack sharp, even the falling drops, because I would have used at least 1/2000th of a second. My settings for this shot were unrecorded at the time, but I know that the shutter was 1/400 and I used a 500mm Mamiya lens. The aperture was probably f/5.6, and I always used a tripod with this camera. The film would have been Fujichrome Provia 100.

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