Welcome to episode 39 of The Circle of Confusion, the professional photography podcast.
This episode is just Roger and Neil again. We talk about a document from Alpa that explains the use of lens shift and tilt for all you technical-minded photographers.
We also talk about the portraits of the US Olympic Team that are what you might say are “sub-standard.” A bride tells her guests to put away their cameras during the wedding, which has both good and bad points.
Roger was asked to photograph Peter’s son’s christening and there is a story behind this. Also we hear about Rogers filming on a boat… or not.
We respond to a question from a listener, Timothy Reaves, on the subject of HDR and then wrap up with some chat about Roger’s food blog and the switch to documentary photography.
To hear episode 39, hit the play button below. You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes. We’d love it if you did.
Alpa of Switzerland
Walter E. Schön, technical journalist and optics specialist, wrote a paper covering the aspects of parallel shift and Scheimpflug lens tilt for ALPA. The very informative and educational 6-page paper is available as PDF in English and Germand for download. For free, of course, here LINK
People are unhappy with a series of portraits of American Olympians shot at the US Olympic Committee’s Media Summit in Dallas. Words like “amateur” and “shoddy” come to mind. We know what Roger & Neil think but what are your thoughts on the photographs? Are we over reacting or do you agree with the guys? LINK to the Solstice website post.
“The unplugged wedding : couples tell guests to put down their devices”
The full post can be read from this LINK off the Offbeat Bride website. The talk is about what do you do as a photographer at a wedding where everybody has either a camera or phone and is snapping away. You are hired by the bride & groom and you have to go with their wishes. It’s a fact of life now for professional wedding photographers. What do you think about these couples who want their guest to stop taking photos and enjoy the ceremony?
And just for Roger :
Seasickness explained and the remedy and 50 ways professional Mariners tackle it!
Full Timothy Reaves text :
I wanted to post this to your site for discussion, but, as it did not apply directly to a recent podcast, was not sure where to. If you’d prefer me not to e-mail you directly with ideas for discussion, please let me know, and I will not again.
This is not an argument for HDR; it’s an attempt to apply critical thinking and logic to the arguments that are used against HDR as a valid for ‘real’ uses.
I’ve heard on at least one podcast episode that you really do not care for HDR photographs, and unless I’m mistaken, it had at least something to do with ‘documentary photography’. I think this gets to the heart of ‘honest’ photographs and specifically photojournalism. I’m not sure either one of these two things was possible with film camera’s, but neither one is with a digital camera.
I’ve seen lots of posts related to this on various sites (especially PetaPixel), and the arguments seem to be along two lines:
- the ‘moment’ was not captured faithfully
- the post-processing that occurs
I find both of these disingenuous. I’d be very interested in hearing the three of you talk about this, if you find it worthy of further discussion.
Speaking about the last point first: the post-processing. I have seen some HDR photo’s that are clearly of images that no human would see. Wild colors, incredible contrast, etcetera. The issue I have with this is two-fold. First, I’ve seen single exposure images that are every bit as unrealistic in color, and unless a person is totally color blind, no person would ever see a a sight that was the same as a black and white image. So that an HDR image can be over the top, so what? Further, I’ve seen some HDR images where I would not have known they were HDR unless told.
So how can a photojournalist or documentary photographer be considered such if they shoot black and white? Or adjust exposure? Or color balance, or white balance, etcetera?
As for capturing the moment, I find this argument as flawed.
There was a photograph used in a US newspaper (the newspaper did point out it was HDR) of a plane in a Florida sky. One commentator criticized it harshly, as not capturing that moment, as the plane would have moved between the stacked exposures, and as a result of this, was a ‘false’ moment. Setting aside that HDR photo’s can be made with a single exposure, the plane moves even during a single exposure. No exposure, no mater how fast, can exist in which the plane does not move. It is in motion, so it always moves. In every time step someone would care to break it down in. So how can the planes movement across three exposures (or what ever number) be used as evidence of it being a ‘false moment’?
Perhaps it’s that the shutter opened and closed more than once? Well, what if a camera existed that did not have a shutter, but merely collected the photons for a specified period of time. Then you could have any number of exposures without a shutter opening & closing defining what a ‘moment’ is. Would this be any different?
Lastly, what about the Gigapixel camera (or a lot of cameras used in astronomy)? They have multiple sensors, and sometimes multiple lenses The data from the sensors must be combined into a single image; does this mean it could not be used in photojournalism or documentary photography? You are not stacking images, but you are combining them. If an HDR image were created by having a lens split the incoming light to three different sensors with different exposure settings, how would this be any different?
Obviously with photojournalism and documentary photography, ‘real’ is wanted. And the cases where the photographer ‘embellishes’ the flames if a fire scene, or the copy/pastes extra wildebeests into the shot prevent the image from being ‘real’. But I think some of these other forms of editing do not fall into this category. Otherwise, the only defensible position is that the only ‘real’ photograph is the one that is raw, from the sensor.
What do you think?
Leave a comment and let us know.
FREE SEGMENT FROM DYNAMIC RANGE EPISODE 2
We produced an abundance of great content for episode 2 of Dynamic Range. We can’t possibly include it all, so we’ve decided to give you an entire segment for free here. It’s offered in full HD, and will play automatically at HD resolution in full screen mode. If your broadband connection is having trouble with that, click the little gear icon near the bottom right of the player to choose a lower res.
If you like it, why not buy the full episode? It’s available here: Dynamic Range Episode 2.
What do you think?
As ever, we’d love to hear your views and get your feedback.
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Also, if you see or know something you think we’d be interested in discussing on the blog, we’d love to hear from you too.
Blatant plug for our wares
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