Memory Matters


I’ve been nerding out looking at memory cards over the last week or so. Although in principal I don’t need ‘fast memory’ cards the latest gadgets always catch my eye. So it was with these Lexar cards that are 1066x, sounds faster than my 300x cards but 1066 times what. It turns out this is in reference to the speed of the original CD-ROM of 150 KB/sec. So cards that are rated 300x have sustained write speeds of 45Mb/s and cards that are rated 1006 will have write speeds of ~160Mb/s. To me this seems important in two places – if you’re shooting fast action such as sports or chasing your kids around and when you’re downloading the cards where faster cards will download faster.

It seems that even with the faster cards for the long exposures that I take at the fringes of the day the write time is roughly equivalent to the length of the exposure. So a 20 second exposure will mean a 20 second write. While I know I ought to be more relaxed about it that can seem like an awfully long time between shots.

The other thing that I’m trying to balance in addition to write time is how large should the card be. I like to have enough memory cards on hand so that when I go off shooting for a couple of days I don’t have to reformat any of the cards. This gives me a third back up in addition to storage on my hard drives. I have typically settled on 16GB cards as a good size, I get a good number of images per card – often a morning or an afternoons shoot per card – without it being too many that if I were to lose the card or if it were to crash I wouldn’t have lost the entire trip.

Black & White – Winter Trees

I’m still futzing with making black and white photographs. The winter trees above taken during a rare (at least for this winter) snow flurry is my latest effort at black and white. A little easier to visualize this time since the subject is ostensibly black and white. Comments as always appreciated.

I’m not exactly comfortable with the try it and see approach, although that will surely work, and so I have been looking around for tools and resources that could help educate and train my eye. The book ‘Seeing in Black and White‘ by Alan Gilchrist seems like it would give a solid theoretical understanding and was recommended by Vincent Versace in his recent interview with Ibarionex Perello on The Candid Frame. I’m also looking forward to seeing Vincent Versace’s book on black and white conversion techniques, ‘From Oz to Kansas: Almost Every Black and White Technique Known to Man‘, which should appear in the next couple of months.

The tool that I’ve found that looks intriguing is the Tiffen #1 B&W Viewing filter, essentially a Kodak Wratten 90 monochromatic viewing Filter but in a more user friendly holder. Apparently it is able to remove the color and gives a monochromatic view more like that which would be captured by black and white film. Sounds intriguing and I can’t wait to give it a go. Read more about the filter in an excellent article by George DeWolfe here.