Friday, March 30, 2012
Apparently this photographer feels that the test of a good camera is its ability to render detail within detail. If he's right that you can see a reflection of him in the eye of the bird he photographed that is indeed a technological wonder, but it doesn't mean it is a meaningful image. I would even go so far as to say "Who cares?". Most photographs today are shrunk down to 800-1000 pixels on the long side and posted to the web. I'd guess that the percentage of photos that are actually printed is in the single digits and most of them are still too small to see such detail. The average person can't distinguish things smaller than 1/100th of an inch. You'd need a magnifying glass and a 30x40 print to find that reflection.
Fortunately I read something else on the web today, a post to the Lenswork Daily blog by Brooks Jensen, in which he quoted an email he received from Doug Ethridge. The quote ended saying that our hope is to create "an image that is not of something, but about something". Shooting images so detailed that you can see the reflection of the photographer in the eye of a bird produces photos of without necessarily telling us anything of significance about the subject. Focusing on your subject involves more than focusing your lens.
The photo above is from last fall (October 26th) when the local landscape was brown, but not as totally brown as now. A patch of winterberry in a bog along the Hatch Rd. not far from Potsdam International Airport, a name regarded by some with amusement but it does get occasional flights from Canada. Made with a Canon 7d. BTW on the 40x60 print you can see aphids on the berries (just kidding).