Saturday, April 25, 2009


click photo to enlarge
At the end of last year my CRT monitor died. I'd only had it three or four years and had bought it when it was quite difficult to get hold of anything that wasn't an LCD panel. My purchase raised a few eyebrows amongst people I know, because I'd gone against what was seen as an overwhelming tide placing a better product before us. I wasn't blind to the advantages of LCD monitors - lower power usage, lower emissions, more desk-space released and more screen area for the money were what I was denying myself. So why did I buy a CRT monitor? Quite simply, the image I saw on an "old-style" screen was more like a printed photograph than the image produced by any LCD monitor that I could afford. The slight blurring together of the pixels by a CRT emulated the finish of film and inkjet output very well. And, just as importantly, my eyes saw the same colours all over the screen regardless of how I positioned my head in front of it.

However, you can only hold out so long, and when I came to replace my defunct monitor I had to go for the ubiquitous LCD. I've had it for several months now, and I've got used to the very slight pixellation of images, though I think my purchase is better than many in this respect. But what I haven't got used to, and what drives me nuts sometimes, is the way the colours and contrast change if I position my head slightly lower, higher, to the left or to the right. I have to be much more careful in this respect using my new monitor than I did with the old one, and adjusting colour and contrast is a more fraught task. The other thing I noticed is that the LCD panel is much less forgiving of my processing than the CRT was, revealing sky noise, block pixelation and mask edges that were formerly invisible to my eye. You might think that this is an improvement, and in some ways it is, but most of these things were not visible in the printed output (up to 13in. X 19 in.) so it's less helpful than might be imagined. In all other respects I like my new monitor. But, until designers fix the colour/contrast problem I'm never going to see the LCD as the final display solution for photographers.

Today's photograph is what I call a "bits and pieces" photograph. Any good qualities it has come not from a main subject, but from the several silhouettes and lines spread across the frame. It's a shot for the eye to wander over in much the same way as the people are wandering over Cromer beach. Incidentally, the old tractors (ancient Fordsons) and trailers, that look like sea-creatures that have dragged themselves up onto the beach, are waiting for some of the small inshore fishing boats that work out of this small Norfolk town.

photograph & text T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 113mm (226mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/2000 seconds
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On