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Saturday, 20 August 2011


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All mega-pixels are not created equal. Sensor size matters. Indeed medium format sensors at base ISO are just stellar, even my lowly 16MP Kodak Digital Pro Back.

There's getting to be a lot of big point-and-shoots these days.

Interesting on the rings. My first introduction to the rings was when I spent a couple of weeks on an exchange with a squadron of the US 7th Cavalry in southern Germany in the late 80s (my regiment had a connection with the founding of the 7th Cavalry in the mid 1800s when several hundred soldiers emigrated to the US and formed the nucleus of the 7th Cavalry - we shared Garryowen as a marching tune). Anyway, the Squadron Leader was a West Point graduate, as was one of the Troop Commanders and both wore one of those large rings. A few years later I served alongside a US military officer in Sarajevo who was also a graduate of West Point, and he told me some of the traditions of the ring and how some people called them "ring knockers" because they could summon help from the rest of their class. I didn't know that the rings had gone beyond military circles though.

How do you print 9X5 feet?
Asked from the environs of 1.6x1.1 feet.

I dont know, calling the GF1 and S2 Point-and-shoots is a big no no.
Just cause you were using them on autofocus doesnt mean their not manually capable cameras.
I find the GF1 to be a suberb manual camera, more useful manually focusing than autofocusing.

As for the S2, I may never be able to say...

1) The second shot of MJ has a remarkable life-like feel - a profound sense of realism - that's lacking in the Panasonic shot. I have previously seen similar relationships between photos and I wonder why increasing sensor size does this (I think that some people call it a "3D effect"). Lenses seem to play a part as well, eg primes seem to help while zooms tend to make photos feel flat and lifeless.

For me this sense of realism is one reason for preferring large-sensor cameras.

I suspect that the amount of fine detail reproduced may have something to do with this sense of realism, i.e. increasing the amount of fine detail provides a visual experience closer to that which our brains are used to - a better simulacrum of reality.

Does anyone out there have any empirical data on this?

As an aside, shots from a G12 have the strongest sense of realism - a feeling of "being there" - that I have seen produced by a small-sensor camera. It's not much, but it's there. When I saw those shots I thought "Finally, a compact I could live with".

2) What is the subject distance and aperture in the shot showing Jack at the table?

3) Let's put the cat among the pigeons: why are the NFL winners declared to be "world champions" (have a look at the rings) when only American teams compete? It's the National Football League, not the World Football League. If any team in the world could freely compete then the winners would be world champions.

Somehow the gang is missing the irony here. Anyway yesterday I thought you might be going for Hubble as a point & shoot, lol.

Could you post a link to Jack's website (if he has one)? I'd love to see more of his work. Thanks

See? Size does matter (size of the sensor).

Yes, that's true: I don't understand a word of this football and ring stuff, but I am interested in reading more about the "photo-friend across the lunch-table" genre. Couldn't find it with Google on the TOP-site though. Where is it?

@Bob: with a Durst Lambda for example. My local Lab has one and they make wonderfull prints with it. For me they are much better than inkjet prints.

@Mike Some of us European are not bored by american football. Some friends and I always watch the NFL final. Even though it starts here on monday 1 am!
Tom from Austria

Speaking of us Europeans not really understanding US sports: Could anyone please enlighten me on why the Super Bowl winner has the right to call themselves "World Champion"s ?? As far as I understand, the geographical coverage of the tournament is somewhat limited.

"Where is it?"

It takes place any time two photographer friends meet for lunch and bring cameras to show each other. I have many examples of the genre, of many valued friends.


James, the first US military class ring was 1835 - 33 years after the founding of the US Military Academy. Superbowl rings all the way back to the first Superbowl.

I don't know if the custom originated with the US military, but class and commemorative rings have been a big part of US culture for a very long time.

"Could anyone please enlighten me on why the Super Bowl winner has the right to call themselves 'World Champions' ??"

Well, they are, aren't they?

Doubtless a holdover from a time when the world was much larger and the Americas much more isolated. We haven't been a player on the world stage all that long, remember. Barely more than a single century now.

But I'm sure if anyone else in the world would like to field a team and have a go at America's best in our mainstream sport, we would be most amused to watch them try. Just be sure to send fellows you don't mind coming home maimed. In this country you can cover yourself in local glory just by being a standout in this sport in high school, and you don't know what fanaticism is until you've been to an important college football game. These guys are like Sumo wrestlers, trained at what they do almost from birth. I wouldn't give any other country's pickup team a chance against a good American college team, never mind the pros.

--Mike, in jingoist mode

Try www.MacDonough.net
It is not a selling website. More of an electronic gateway, as most projects can only be accessed with a direct address I give clients. My selling is person to person rather than internet at the sizes and prices I am working.

But I am now contemplating selling photos of Mike directly from the my site if demand should develop. Something of heroic "Chuck Close" size?

Funny thing, I have two relatives who have access to those rings. One of them played pro ball and never won one but was so close a couple times (different teams). The other happened to be the chaplain for a team that won. The 2006 ring makes up a large portion of his body weight.

Mike, thanks for the explanation. And imagine that I always thought that American Football (as we call it over here) was a game for people who were too afraid to play proper rugby, i.e., without all the girlie body padding :-)

Football is rugby with speed added, for impact. It should probably be outlawed, as recent research suggests that repeated sub-concussive impact adds up to mental degradation. Football's dirty little secret is that dementia is four times higher among ex-football players than in the general population. It's actually no game for kids. Or humans, really. Consider the story of Andre Waters:


It's a serious issue, but one that will be quietly suppressed here in America. We like our gladiators, and we don't mind if the "lions" get them in the end....


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