IntroSensorLensFocusExposureRecording • Examples • ComparePhones

Pride of the Diné (Navajo),
Phoenix AZ, 2012.
Olympus OM-D E-M5,
M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 (FF=90mm)
f/11, 1/200 sec., ISO 200

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Photographic Image Quality:

These images illustrate a number of situations that may be encountered by photographers. In each case, the selection of sensor, lens, focus, exposure, and recording medium has influenced the results. In most cases, post-processing has also been employed to produce the final version of the image.

Studio lighting

Subject: Native American hoop dancers; see image at left. This is from an Arizona Highways workshop: studio flash was trigered from the camera; flash setup, pose, and camera settings were determined by the instructor.

Panorama, daylight

Teton panorama

Subject: Teton range, Grand Teton NP, WY. Panoramas are taken by rotating the camera around the lens axis to provide an ultra-wide-angle view.

  • Sensor: Full-frame, 21Mp, Canon 5DmkII
  • Lens: Canon EF 24-105 f/4 L IS, at 58mm, on tripod
  • Focus: Auto
  • Exposure: Shutter priority; 1/30th second, f/16, ISO 100
  • Recording: RAW files, four images stitched together with Photoshop's "Photomerge" utility

Contrasty interior lighting, large static subject

Baldwin 2-6-2

Subject: Baldwin 2-6-2 steam locomotive; this one is still in working condition at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA. Lighting is from the overhead skylights and from an open door behind the camera. There is some light reflected from a diesel locomotive to the left of this image.

  • Sensor: Full-frame, 21Mp, Canon 5DmkII
  • Lens: Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS, at 24mm, on tripod
  • Focus: Manual
  • Exposure: Manual; f/14 for depth of field (combines with wide lens to render whole image sharp); 5 exposures at 0.8, 1.6, 3.2, 6, and 13 seconds; ISO 100
  • Recording: RAW files, combined for high dynamic range (HDR) in Photomatix, extensive development in Photoshop

Deep shade, running water

Fern Spring cascade

Subject: Fern spring cascade, Yosemite NP, CA. This scene is easy to miss by the side of a busy road at the western end of the valley. Tripod legs were actually stradling the guard rail in some remaining snow.

  • Sensor: APS-C (1.6 FOVCF), 15Mp, Canon 50D
  • Lens: Canon 70-200mm f/4 L IS, at 70mm (FF equivalent 112mm)
  • Focus: Manual
  • Exposure: Manual; 0.3 second (on tripod, water blurs), f/16 for depth of field, ISO 100
  • Recording: RAW file, cropping and contrast adjustment in Lightroom and Photoshop

Low-light action

Fiesta Noche del Rio dancers

Subject: Dancers at the Fiesta Noche del Rio, San Antonio, Texas. Stage lighting, picture taken from audience seats that are actually across the river from the stage (with tour and dinner boats going by in between). Small/light "travel" camera kit that still can produce high-quality 16"x20" or larger prints.

  • Sensor: Micro 4/3 (2.0 FOVCF), 16Mp, Olympus OM-D E-M5
  • Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 (FF equivalent 150mm)
  • Focus: Auto
  • Exposure: Shutter priority; 1/100th second (fast enough to stop faces but slow enough to leave movement in the legs), f/5.0, ISO 1600 (to allow enough depth of field without excessive noise)
  • Recording: RAW file, minor adjustments in Lightroom

Daylight action

Kids playing in surf

Subject: Children playing in the surf, Newport Bach, CA. This was taken from the pier, thus the overhead view; it was pure luck to find this subject.

  • Sensor: APS-C (1.5 FOVCF), 24Mp, Sony NEX-7
  • Lens: Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS (FF equivalent 75mm)
  • Focus: Auto
  • Exposure: Shutter priority; 1/80th second (again fast enough to stop bodies but slow enough to leave movement in the surf), f/18, ISO 100 (max depth of field in bright light)
  • Recording: RAW file, minor adjustments in Lightroom

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