4:1 – Re-imagining the Frame

Hi Folks:

As photographers, one of the most important challenges for us it to continue to change how we see and to stretch our creativity. One of the ways to do that is to pick specific parameters and then to make a body of work that fits within those parameters. It might be to shoot only one subject, to shoot only in grayscale (B&W), to make an image every day… In the film days, most people’s relationships to photography revolved around a few aspect ratios: 2×3 (4×6), 4×5 (8×10), 5×7, etc. With some older cameras we also had 1:1 square prints, usually from 120, 127 or 620 film. With digital photography we’re not so limited, although some of the same rules apply when we get to printing. Movies (and now video) have always embraced wider frames, although there was no one standard aspect ratio. We have movies made in 1.78:1 (16×9) out to 2.4:1 (22×9) and beyond. Outside the movie theatre, for the average person 16:10/ 16:9 showed up in their lives with the first widescreen computer monitors and digital TVs.

When we updated the theme for our blog recently, our header images needed to be created at 4:1. As we covered in our recent post Cell Phones, HDR and Panoramas, in photography a panoramic image is one with a wide aspect ratio and a panorama refers to an image made from multiple, overlapping exposures. Not all panoramas are panoramic in aspect ratio. However, going through our catalogue of images looking for those that might be appropriate for header images brought me to question what might fit into that 4:1 frame. Panoramic images usually depict broad skylines, often shot with wide-angle lenses, like this:

Victoria's Inner Harbour

But looking through the images got me wondering what else might work. Maybe something closer, but still panoramic in nature, like this:

Dallas Road Shoreline

Closer still, perhaps?

Cathedral Grove Nurse Log

How close could I get and still make an image that fit the frame?

Dallas Road Shoreline

Dallas Road Storm

How about a single flower?”

Sunflower at the Gardens at HCP

Or a small patch of winter leaves?

Frost on Leaves - Butchart Gardens in February

Not every image works of course, but I’ve added another tool I can use to expand my vision. I still make panoramic images like this:

Frigon Islets, Port Alice, BC

But now I’m also likely to look at something like a hood ornament at a car show in a different light.

1929 Willys 3-Window Whippet

One never knows where it might lead! With what creative projects are you currently involved? Leave us a comment and let us know… 🙂

Okay, that’s it for now. Go out and make some photographs!!

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. We now have 40+ images comprising our Headers collection. They’re set to load randomly, so you’ll have to keep checking different posts/pages to see them all! 🙂

Panoramic Photography and Stitching “Errors”

Hi Folks:

In a previous post I rambled on a bit about panoramic photography – basically a system where one combines several images into one using software designed for that purpose.  One can also take several images of the same scene at different exposures and combine them into one HDR image using the same software.  Mostly I use Autopano Pro for stitching, although I’ve also used Hugin, and since I work extensively in Lightroom I’ve been playing a bit with Photoshop CS5‘s HDR Pro and panorama tools as well.  To create a stitched image the software looks for the same points in two or more images and assigns them as ‘control points’.  The combined image is then mapped around those control points.  Usually this works very well, but in my previous post I talked a bit about parallax errors and things like that, and sometimes these images don’t get mapped together perfectly.  This can create situations like this: Continue Reading →