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Wednesday, 07 May 2014

Comments

Dear Mike,

One part of the picture is not in our stellar neighborhood. The elliptical smudge up near the top of the photograph is M31 -- the Andromeda Galaxy.

Being 2.5 million light years away (the Milky way is "only" 100,000 l.y. in diameter), it's definitely not in the neighborhood... yet. But, check back in 4 billion years! (Google "andromeda milky way collision")

pax / the-sky-is-falling Ctein

Wow.

Wrong again. Ah well . . .

Lovely image, though.

[To explain, David had guessed that the sale image would be Ken Tanaka's "Man on Ice." --Ed.]

Can you send this order together with my previous one? That will save you some shipping cost, and you can put those savings towards your ongoing capital campaign.

Mike: I'm a value-oriented consumer. Can you give me the stars-per-dollar ratio for each option?

My guess was Marcin Ryczek's picture of a man feeding swans, but this is a surprising and well made choice, and something I'm sure Ctien will enjoy printing. I wonder, would that make an interesting article? This SEEMS like the kind of photograph that would be challenging to print accurately.

Wow nice picture. I just might have to splurge for one of those.

Dear Jason,

Truth, it was quite easy to print. I pulled out the shadows, some. Did some masked noise reduction. Made the print a little more neutral than Phil's original photograph, so that it's not quite so monochrome. And that was it!

Pleasant surprise-- Phil had thought it might be real trouble, especially in a large print. Sometimes the gods are kind.

pax / Ctein

Mike, I've noticed in your descriptions of photos (in the above post, for instance, or in the image caption of this earlier post, just off the top of my open tabs: http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2014/05/see-a-show-this-year.html) that in describing photographs you quite prominently mention the equipment used to make it. This makes me uneasy--to me, as a visual storyteller/artist/journalist/what-have-you, the content, aesthetics, and context should be the main focus of any description of a photograph.

I understand in many cases the technical becomes part of the context (e.g. use of unusual equipment whose mechanics greatly affect the content or aesthetics of the image), but in these two cases, the fact that the sky image was taken with a D3 and 24mm, or that the linked gallery photos were taken with a Panasonic GX7, don't tell me anything about the image itself or what non-photographers would want/need to know to better understand/appreciate the image.

I suppose the "non-photographers" bit explains your choices--since this site's audience is primarily other photographers, it becomes slightly more relevant, and since I'm a photojournalist (after a fashion, anyhow..."editorial photographer"?) I always think of my more general audience when appraising a photo.

I look at that sky photo and want to know, roughly in order: what, where, and who (not really when or how). Some photographs might warrant the last two, and the order might shuffle a bit, but the "how" is almost always the very last item.

(If you've covered this choice in a previous column, my apologies... seems like something you may have addressed in the past but if so I can't find it)

[Well Josh I guess "it depends"...if you don't mind a cop-out answer. Here we're trying to give people information about what they're buying and the post is already too long and complicated, so apart from a few adjectives I don't say much about the picture. But some people do like to know the tech details of what they're buying as well as what it says about how the photographer works in that situation. I'd never mention the printer and inkset of a picture I was critiquing, for instance. But it's a fair point you make. --Mike]

@Sam Pieter: Nice idea. Good folks around here at TOP.

And a nice picture, indeed. Hope folks are enjoying the new Cosmos series.

Is there a version bundled with Kona coffee from Phil?

[You know, I actually thought about that as I was writing the post. But nah, roasted coffee is too perishable.

Great minds think alike, though. --Mike]

What I really like is that the picture was taklen with a 12 mp camera, a sweet spot to me, full frame and 12 mp. That's why I'm impatiently waiting for the coming Sony a7s.

That is a fantastic picture. Good luck with the sale.

Amazing photograph.

I would be interested to know how Phil made this exposure without blurring the stars. I want to be able to photograph the star sky against immovable objects in silhouette and it seems he has solved that problem.

Dear Mike,

One part of the picture is not in our stellar neighborhood. The elliptical smudge up near the top of the photograph is M31 -- the Andromeda Galaxy.

Being 2.5 million light years away (the Milky way is "only" 100,000 l.y. in diameter), it's definitely not in the neighborhood... yet. But, check back in 4 billion years! (Google "andromeda milky way collision")

pax / the-sky-is-falling Ctein

I'd never mention the printer and inkset of a picture I was critiquing, for instance.

I realize the average print buyer probably doesn't know or care about the characteristics of various inks and papers. But in my case, this is actually relevant information, because I do know and care about them, and when I'm not able to see a print in person before buying it, knowing which inks and paper were used to make it gives me a better idea of how it looks "in the real world" instead of as a .jpg on my monitor.

Identifying the camera and lens used, though, while interesting to me personally, does not affect my purchase decisions hardly at all.

Well I have been lurking here for 2 years without ever commenting or buying any prints, but this photo is magnificent, and I immediately started thinking about where I could hang it. I still haven't figured that out yet, but I ordered it today as I'm afraid if I procrastinate, the sale will be over and I will have missed out. Also it is for a very worthy cause.

If Mike hadn't given technical info, someone would have asked in the first five comments. Some people very much want to know, particularly here in a community of photographers.

I just looked at the FAQ on the Vivian Maier website.

The first two questions are "Which cameras did Vivian Maier use?" and "Which film did Vivan Maier use?".

Mike, you forgot to add a sticky post to remind people of this...

Can we get some coffee along the print?

Hi Mike-
To answer some comments regarding the Keck image, the exposure was 25 seconds at f1.4 with my 24mm Nikon lens. I determined this with the "600" rule----divide 600 by the focal length of your lens.I also have this same view shot at f2.0 but I can see no difference in sharpness when looking at the raw files at 100%. This lens is terrific-very sharp even wide open. I also own a Nikon 14-24mm & Zeiss 21mm that I use commercially. The 24 is sharper corner to corner than the others at 2.8 & just amazing at 1.4.

The only illumination for this photo was starlight so to compose the photo I just aimed my camera, checked the virtual horizon for level, and fired away. From the resulting image on the LCD screen I fine-tuned the composition. At 1.4 infinity focus has to be perfect because the center of the infinity mark on the lens is not accurate. So I had to find out exactly where the sharpest infinity point was and mark the lens scale with a pencil.

Sorry about the coffee requests-we has a small crop this past season & I sold out in January. This year's season looks promising....we should have a huge harvest-maybe double last year. Take care & thank you for your interest, Phil R.

Grrr... What I get for being away....

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