Ignore grain, embrace the moment

Lately I have been prompted to shoot more digital photos along side my film work. Specifically, in 2016 my photographic aim is to photograph more of my daily life and my family and friends. This started before Christmas when I realized quite how much I appreciated my parents putting photo albums together over the years, preserving the memories of our family. 

I'm determined to continue with this tradition so that if hard drives crash and all my archive is lost, I still have something to remind me of the good times I spent with my wife and family. With that in mind I aimed to shoot family pictures with a 'street photography style', showing people as part of the scene rather than isolating them and making them the sole focus of the image. 

Anyway, I'm quickly learning that often the best photos come from extremely challenging situations. Low light, back-lit, foggy, whatever. These are not conditions that are generally thought of as conducive of producing great shots, but I beg to differ. The best, most famous shots often come from sub-optimal scenarios. In the past, I would never have turned up the ISO to it's maximum and would have missed so many memorable shots as a result. Everyone talks about the lack of image quality at high ISO, but my view is that it's so much better to get the shot and preserve the memory, irrespective of image quality. Take the shot below, for example, this was a darkened room, in winter, in the UK, whilst it was raining outside. There really wasn't much light at all. But I knew that to photograph a toddler I needed at least 1/125th second. As a result I set the ISO to 6400 and still had to boost exposure when I processed the picture. So really, there has never been a stronger justification for digital photography than this, in spite of my love for film.

This is a photo which simply would not exist if I was shooting with HP5 so for that reason I'm happy just to get the shot. Grain or no grain, it's a keeper to me.