Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Black Helicopter With Cranes

Creative Resolution

People who know me know that I have a passion for making photographs. People who know me well or who have seen my photographs printed, know that I have a passion for making photographs with high resolution cameras.

And why not? We never know how we might use a photograph in the future. I figure that I might as well capture as much detail as I can, given practical constraints such as budget and portability. The more detail we capture, the more options we have.

Here's a recent case. I loved cropping in close on the helicopter. Even at this tight crop, I can see fine details in the fuselage of the craft. Seeing the atmospheric distortion from the exhaust fumes blows my mind. I couldn't see that at all with my naked eye or even through the camera lens.

a photo of a black helicopter taking off in new york city
Black Helicopter With Cranes

The original photo looked like this. Even at a long telephoto setting of 400 millimeters, this was as much of the helicopter as I could capture. I was working to frame it against the backdrop that included the colorful cranes and shipping containers.

a photo of a black helicopter taking off over new york east river
Image as Captured at 400 mm

You can see how tightly I cropped the photo to produce the first image, and yet it still has eye-popping detail.

Speaking of options, here is a vertical crop of the helicopter with the cranes.

a photo of a black helicopter flying over new york city
Vertical Crop Highlighting The Helicopter And The Cranes

Which of the three images is your favorite? I have to confess that I like all of three of them. Each one tells a different part of what was happening in that instant. This is why it's great to have options. Through creative cropping, we can create different perspectives from a single image. 

It's important to compose well and to capture details accurately, but it's helpful to abandon the notion that there is one and only one correct way to capture a photograph. Cropping is not a crutch for salvaging a failed photograph. The middle photo above is not a mistake. It's not poorly composed. But within that image, I found two addition crops, each of which I found to be just as compelling as the middle one. 

Keep in mind that the middle image pushed my lens, which is a rather powerful lens, to its limits. Cropping and a clean, high-resolution capture extended the capabilities of my gear. And even if a had a super long lens that could have produced the tighter crops, the helicopter would have moved to a different position before I could have used it.

Shoot in a way that provides as many options as possible. You'll thank yourself later.

Camera: Sony a7R III

Lens:     Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.

Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved