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Messages - dryanparker

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16
Photography Technique / Re: What makes a photo great?
« on: December 24, 2013, 04:31:09 PM »
If we construct a Cartesian graph with X and Y axes, with X representing the technical merits of the photograph, and Y representing the artistic/social merits of the photograph, then answering the question "What makes a photo great" becomes an exercise in mathematics.  We assign a numerical score to both a photo's technical execution as well as the importance of it's artistic/social content. We then plot those values on the appropriate axis of the graph. If a photograph excels in the technical merit - i.e. is well lit, thoughtful composition, in focus, etc etc, but depicts nothing of social/artistic importance, it's plot will fall in the lower right quadrant of the graph.  If the subject matter is of significant artistic/social importance, but poorly executed from a technical standpoint, its plot will fall in the upper left quadrant of the graph.  In both cases, the photo has failed to achieve an measure of "greatness".  Only a photo whose plot falls in the upper right quadrant - one that is of a worthy artistic/social subject but also technically well executed - will be considered a "great" photograph.

Of course, all that is a load of s**t - nothing more than a tongue and cheek nod to same simplistic analysis ridiculed by Robin Williams' character as the literature teach in "Dead Poets' Society".  But I just couldn't help myself.  When I read the question, that scene was the first thing to pop in to my head :)

Extraordinarily well played.

+1

17
Canon General / Re: Renaming and storing photos
« on: December 21, 2013, 11:18:26 PM »
If you've ever seen Chase Jarvis' YouTube video on his workflow and backup methodology, he goes over file naming as well. I've adopted a variation of his naming...

Date_project_camera_initials+sequence.ext

So, this: 20131221_SISWIM_5D3_DRP0013.JPG

4 digits is good for project sequences, unless you're shooting 10,000 frames in each session...in which case you may have bigger issues than file naming!

18
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« on: December 21, 2013, 02:00:12 PM »
Not sure I understand the correlation between a flagship studio camera and a switchable Optical/EVF. If I'm doing studio work and need the EVF feature, I'd much prefer Live View. Am I alone here?

Seems EVF makes a lot more sense on smaller cameras, particularly mirrorless or rangefinders.

19
Photography Technique / Re: What makes a photo great?
« on: December 20, 2013, 03:27:41 PM »
I don't think it matters whether a photo has good IQ or bad IQ, and neither do I think that a world renown great photo "has" to have crappy IQ. The key is simply that it has emotional impact. Any photo, of anything, can have emotional impact, doesn't matter if it is of a person, people, animals, landscapes, still life, whatever.

Agree 100%

20
Photography Technique / Re: What makes a photo great?
« on: December 20, 2013, 02:30:48 PM »
...sadly you don't get legendary status unless your in ver special circumstances...in these cases your in the presence of living history...we can only say that because for something to be historic and iconic it does have to pass the test of time. ... All the tech, gear and passion in the world doesn't get you that iconic image unless your at that location, the spot where something of history is taking place...

We're on the same page here. The way I see it, "iconic" photos can be captured any time. However, "legendary" photos have passed the test of time.

The thing is...a "great" photo can be any of these—including the high-dollar macro mural you mentioned. The concern I get sometimes (and what spurred the post in the first place) is that "great" photos are often defined in technical terms, and I wanted to get people thinking in different terms. Terms like passion, creativity, awareness, and yes even LUCK! The bottom line is the gear doesn't matter all that much to the greatness of an image. What matters is that you made the image for the love of making the image, however you choose to do it.

Great Ali + Fab Four picture!

21
Photography Technique / Re: What makes a photo great?
« on: December 20, 2013, 12:08:13 AM »
.
The examples of "iconic" pictures here don't seem to clarify the issue. Most are mediocre pictures at best, and when a background story is needed to make them important, they are reduced to simply supporting documents. One thing I most love about the Ali picture is to see the expressions on the faces of photographers behind Ali. They all know the guy on the other side of the ring just got the great shot, and all they have is Ali's rear end -- such is sport photography.

Really appreciate your thoughts, though I'll take some issue with this bit. These four images I chose...do you need the background story for them to be compelling visuals? I certainly don't. I suppose if I didn't know anything about them, I might find the Ali picture the least compelling of the four, while still a great image.

22
Photography Technique / Re: What makes a photo great?
« on: December 17, 2013, 09:56:05 AM »
Visual impact

+1

This is what it's all about. I mean, it might be a captivating wall-sized print of an Arizona sunset captured with $80,000 in gear...or it could be a street photo made on ISO 3200 film in 1982.

I guess my point is...it doesn't matter how you capture the moment. It's about being there and recognizing the power in making images that are meaningful to YOU.

23
Photography Technique / Re: What makes a photo great?
« on: December 16, 2013, 01:55:10 PM »
Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster..... two of the worst iconic photos ever taken :)

Uniqueness has a lot to do with it....

Ha! No doubt. But as you say, they are iconic!

24
Photography Technique / What makes a photo great?
« on: December 16, 2013, 01:37:06 PM »
We love CR, and we're here because it's fun to discuss and debate new technology, engage and speculate upon rumors, share techniques and advice...among so many other great reasons. That said, I feel like someone needs to lower the boom every once in a while to keep things in check. MTF charts, megapixels, noise and JPEG artifacts have their place!

Let's not forget what an iconic photo looks like. The reality is most of them are soft and grainy; and any one of us would be blessed to bear witness and capture such a moment just once in our lifetime.

The last thing I want in my portfolio is a bunch of perfectly-lit, ultra-sharp, mural-sized, noise-free crappy photos. I'd be happy with a single epic image that I can be proud to have captured. That search continues.

Soapbox dismount!

25
Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 11, 2013, 12:49:10 PM »
One final note on the 80MP: files that size are most helpful in areas like fashion photography when you're cropping into an image and need to maintain a high resulting resolution.

...or you're an animal who shoots landscapes or architecture and just loves making massive images. Who are we kidding? That's a totally viable use of the platform. And thank goodness, because that's why I got into medium format. (Of course, I had to opt for film due to the price, but it's definitely fun!)

Best of luck with the shoot!

26
Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 11, 2013, 12:36:50 PM »
I may go ahead with 5d3 on this one, but I have made a promise to myself that I am going to test out the medium formats personally in the near future and judge for myself.

For the life of me I cant figure out why so many of you are saying there will not be an IQ difference on a coffee table book if shot on a 35mm 23mp camera vs a larger 60mp sensor....

Must get to the bottom of this!

I'd say this is an excellent idea.

The 5D3 is more than capable of delivering professional results with knowledgeable operation and an eye for composition. I believe a great image is made when you know how to use the tools at your disposal. Some of my favorite images were made with a 7D, and those 18MP look great even on a 24x36 canvas.

80MP images aren't necessarily better...only larger. You still have to know how to use the tools to match your creative vision. I'd much rather have a beautiful 23MP image than poor 80MP!

One final note on the 80MP: files that size are most helpful in areas like fashion photography when you're cropping into an image and need to maintain a high resulting resolution.

27
Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 11, 2013, 08:08:42 AM »
Well, I have to admit, reading more of the comments and seeing the location has changed my view a bit.

1) If you've never used a medium format digital system, this is probably not the best time to test drive it. Even accomplished photographers will have some measure of learning when changing formats. Not saying it can't be done, I just wouldn't dive into it blind. If you have a week or so ahead of the shoot, extending the rental would be hugely beneficial for practice. (I'm assuming you're already a competent and accomplished photographer.) I'd also get input from the rental company's representative as to the best system and lens for this particular shoot.

2) As mentioned in prior posts, I'm a medium format guy, but if I'm in your position, I wouldn't use it for this. It's just not needed, and I have my doubts that your client will notice the difference. Remember: IQ doesn't necessarily follow image size. 60-80MP are awesome to have, but most images in coffee table books weren't shot using that kind of gear.

3) As for the scene, I think you'll have trouble isolating or removing all the people. That's a tricky move that will require careful planning and a number of exposures. Also, I think shift movements are important given the proximity to the buildings, but that is based on the look you'd like to achieve.

Recommendation: 5D3 + TS-E 24 II (with or without movements, it's a brilliant lens)

28
Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 10, 2013, 11:20:21 AM »
Just how big is this "coffee table book?"

I can't imagine it will be larger than the largest size print you would make from a 1D or 5D. The reproduction is going to be in CMYK at about 300 DPI, right? Which means it can't possibly be more demanding than an actual print. So long as you shoot at ISO 400 or less, what advantage would larger format offer?

What am I missing here?

You're not missing a thing. I'm a Medium Format devotee, but it's generally unnecessary without a specific need for what it offers. Some will tout the "look"...but only a trained eye can spot that. I got into it because I wanted resolving power for very large prints.

I have to say, if I was the one hired for this shot, I'd be using a 5D3 and a 24mm TSE. If I wanted more resolution, I'd rent the Schneider-Kreuznach 50mm PC lens and do some stitching.

29
Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 10, 2013, 09:23:01 AM »
A friend of mine have the latest 80MP Phase One. He made some shots in the Pyrenees this fall, which I saw in high quality 1mx1.5m prints. Incredible dynamics, resolution, color, the lot.

I'll second this. Phase One and Leaf make huge sensor medium format digital backs. I'd say it's probably worth renting that kind of system for the shoot if your budget allows. Truth is, for a magazine spread you don't need 80MP, or anywhere near it, but it will yield the most headroom for post work.

Thank you both. So I will look up Phase on and Leaf. Are these complete cameras? I do not know what 'back means'. And yes headroom in post work is what is required for this job. I am allowed to rent whatever I want, so why not the best? The rental will be perhaps not so much compared to other expenses: Flights, hotels, etc.
Thx.

Medium Format cameras tend to be modular in design. That is, the body, lens, viewfinder and sensor (called the "back") are separate elements that are assembled to create the camera. The benefit is that you can use the same camera body (just a box with some electronics, really) with any compatible back. The newest generation of backs go up to 80MP. Both Phase One and Mamiya Leaf make those. Hasselblad is another leading Medium Format player. Leica makes a "Medium Format" DSLR-style camera, the S system. It's a fully-contained system like your interchangeable lens DSLR with a 37.5MP sensor. My understanding is the Leica S is exceptional.

The interchangeable digital backs are very expensive. The 80MP varieties are in the $40k range. As such, the modular system allows you to upgrade the backs without upgrading your entire camera.

Even though it's (arguably) the highest quality, I might warn against blindly renting a system like this for an important shoot if you haven't worked with different formats before. They aren't exactly "plug-and-play", and like anything else, it will most certainly take some practice with the system to get the most from it.

My thinking is the Leica S would offer a more familiar and streamlined workflow. Either way, sounds like a great assignment! Best of luck!!

30
Technical Support / Re: Best Possible IQ
« on: December 10, 2013, 07:53:53 AM »
A friend of mine have the latest 80MP Phase One. He made some shots in the Pyrenees this fall, which I saw in high quality 1mx1.5m prints. Incredible dynamics, resolution, color, the lot.

I'll second this. Phase One and Leaf make huge sensor medium format digital backs. I'd say it's probably worth renting that kind of system for the shoot if your budget allows. Truth is, for a magazine spread you don't need 80MP, or anywhere near it, but it will yield the most headroom for post work.

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