Friday, February 15, 2013

The anatomy of a photograph / Ricoh GRD3 / GW2

Years ago photographers lugged large format cameras miles to capture dramatic scenes. I still marvel at large format square photos from icons like Ansel Adams. Today, if you don't have a large format camera, you can cheat. I didn't square up the above photo, nor do I claim it to be worthy of comparison to past masters. I did seek a classic, dramatic look however. I picked up a used wide angle adapter for an older GRD3 I got a year ago. The GRD3 is scuffed on the back and sold inexpensively. I bought a GH-2 adapter with GW2 wide angle lens last week, again at bargain basement prices on ebay.  I thought I'd use it on older GRDs I've had for years but it won't mount on anything older than the 3. Anyway, I thought the outside clouds had some potential so I began to shoot side by side and finally went vertical and did two side by side wide angle verticals. Having the wide lens means less merging, of course. I then merged them in PS and had to crop the top off the right side photo which still only gives me basic wide angle and not square large format. With more time I could shoot a few more and merge them and get it squared up to imitate (or crop the composite as square) but for now I was pleased with the result which is a big sky shot. Below are the composites, the cropped original merge, the original color exposure then the hyped up color. The first shot shown above in BW was what I was after, in my small mind. I know it's a bit phony but only so when you reveal the process which I do to share.

The hyped up color shot before it was reduced to BW.

The merge of the two composite verticals, after cropping. Below are the two verticals I merged. I should have gotten more sky and less horizontal landscape in seeking a squarer format. The area in the upper right is pretty dramatic and got cropped. I may do it again.

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