NY Magazine cover: Canon 1D X at ISO 25,000!
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alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4509
Country: Norway

S Dilworth wrote:

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the noise in this photo, though. If anything, it adds to the grit and drama.


Agree.

The photo is a great acheivement, no doubt.

The assertion that it could only have been made with the 1DX can be discussed. When we have the knowledge of how it was done, and see the outcome, there is certainly in existence alternative equipment that could do the same.

If it is true that the image was at F/4, he could just used a micro four thirds camera like the OM-D, and the 12-50mm F/2 lens, at F/2 and ISO 6400, and get an equivalent image.

Heck, the small P&S Panasonic LX7 at F/1.4 and ISO 3200 would also give a printable image.

At 5000+ feet distance, you also get sufficient DOF with wider aperture than F/4. But A prime lens would not have been a good choice as it was hard to predict the framing. However it is difficult to understand why a faster zoom lens was not chosen for the job.



This reminds me of the old joke:

How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb?

101

1 to do it, and 100 to say "I could also have done that".



Ralph Conway
Registered: Jul 31, 2008
Total Posts: 3932
Country: Germany

So many funny posts here . I am pretty sure I could have done same or even better!
But I did not. The point is that this guy was prepared, got the idea AND the helicopter directly after the storm, lifted up and did this great shot! I did not. Did one of you?

Imo it is fascinating, amazing and awe-inpiring picture. Really a great shot.



jamesf99
Registered: Oct 09, 2004
Total Posts: 7245
Country: United States

alundeb wrote:
S Dilworth wrote:

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the noise in this photo, though. If anything, it adds to the grit and drama.


Agree.

The photo is a great acheivement, no doubt.

The assertion that it could only have been made with the 1DX can be discussed. When we have the knowledge of how it was done, and see the outcome, there is certainly in existence alternative equipment that could do the same.

If it is true that the image was at F/4, he could just used a micro four thirds camera like the OM-D, and the 12-50mm F/2 lens, at F/2 and ISO 6400, and get an equivalent image.

Heck, the small P&S Panasonic LX7 at F/1.4 and ISO 3200 would also give a printable image.

At 5000+ feet distance, you also get sufficient DOF with wider aperture than F/4. But A prime lens would not have been a good choice as it was hard to predict the framing. However it is difficult to understand why a faster zoom lens was not chosen for the job.


I love it. A great shot that has lasting value.

but I too went "Huh?" when I read that without the 1Dx it wasn't possible... Perhaps he meant that the 1Dx was the only camera he had with him, and without it (or any other camera) he couldn't take any shots. Certainly there have been many cameras that could have done it, even at very high ISO (Nikon comes to mind)...

Here's the photographer's most relevant comment IMO.

"The photo captured not only the effects of Sandy, but the reality of New York City on the eve of the 2012 election, he said.

“What really struck me, if you look at the image on the left, you see the Goldman Sachs building and new World Trade Center,” said Baan. “These two buildings are brightly lit. And then the rest of New York looks literally kind of powerless. In a way, it shows also what’s wrong with the country in this moment.”

In case anyone wonders what he means - poor wording aside and allowing that he may not be a native English speaker - he means "on the left" [side] of the image, not that there were two juxtaposed images.



dmacmillan
Registered: Nov 03, 2007
Total Posts: 4857
Country: United States

I fully plan to nitpick this photo to death and bust the photographer's balls over lens, camera and ISO choices right after I produce something far superior that makes the cover of a major magazine.



David Baldwin
Registered: Jun 28, 2007
Total Posts: 2844
Country: United Kingdom

Its a great photo. Congratulations to the photographer.

Without wishing to take anything away from this, the fact that such a dark scene can be photographed at hand holdable speeds suggests that the meaning of night photography is changing.

NP has always been seen as a technically difficult and therefore specialist branch of photography, I wonder if these new and highly efficient sensors will change this perception. The way things are going, is it technically ignorant to suggest that in five or ten years, night photographers won't even need tripods under starlight conditions?



TeamSpeed
Registered: Dec 17, 2005
Total Posts: 1977
Country: United States

jamesf99 wrote:

Here's the photographer's most relevant comment IMO.

"The photo captured not only the effects of Sandy, but the reality of New York City on the eve of the 2012 election, he said.

“What really struck me, if you look at the image on the left, you see the Goldman Sachs building and new World Trade Center,” said Baan. “These two buildings are brightly lit. And then the rest of New York looks literally kind of powerless. In a way, it shows also what’s wrong with the country in this moment.”

In case anyone wonders what he means - poor wording aside and allowing that he may not be a native English speaker - he means "on the left" [side] of the image, not that there were two juxtaposed images.


And with that comment, you can tell the assumptions being made about who is supplying power. Most businesses and building complexes will be on backup power systems, at very large expenses. We, ourselves, have a giant diesel UPS outside our building that will keep our building brightly lit should power go down. Also, imagine the difficult in laying down a power grid onto of a large populace already embedded into that real estate during the electrical industrial period, there will always be weak points. When new buildings go up, those infrastructure items are redone and made more sustainable.

Of course it is a great picture, but I think it is simply one because of placement and timing, and not because of photographic skills or equipment. If this was taken from a specific lookout point that anybody could take pictures from, we would see many such photos from this vantage point, and most likely many that were better than this technically, and from bodies spanning different manufacturers and models.



dmacmillan
Registered: Nov 03, 2007
Total Posts: 4857
Country: United States

TeamSpeed wrote:
Of course it is a great picture, but I think it is simply one because of placement and timing, and not because of photographic skills or equipment.

f8 and be there.
Placement and timing are photographic skills. Nobody else got that shot. He knew where to be to best illustrate the effect of the storm.

I've seen tons of photos of Yosemite valley taken from the exact viewpoint, but none with the power of Adam's "Winter Storm". A lot of that power comes from timing. Some comes from post processing and some comes from decisions made at capture, not unlike the photo we're discussing here.



NatDeroxL7
Registered: Sep 01, 2010
Total Posts: 112
Country: United States

willm02118 wrote:
Can IS adequately compensate for helicopter vibration? I don't think Canon engineer had that in mind when they were fine tuning the IS.


It has a hard time with vibrations from a helicopter, of course depending on what kind of helicopter your talking about. There is a great deal of high-frequency, low width vibration being transmitted through your body to the camera, as opposed to the slow wide width movements of a normal person on solid ground.

I was shooting at 1/2000-1/8000 during some helicopter rides with my 70-200 f4L IS, and while the photos were sharp, they weren't as sharp in the finest details as shots at 1/25-1/100 on solid ground. I think that on a heavily jarring platform a minute amount of disruption will always make it to the lens glass and get a tiny level of detail loss. Certainly had I shot without IS at 1/70-1/200 as per the shutter speed rule, the helicopter movement would have rendered my shots nearly useless.

Maybe civilian helicopters are less jarring, but on Blackhawks your feel like you are strapped to the rotor sometimes.



TeamSpeed
Registered: Dec 17, 2005
Total Posts: 1977
Country: United States

dmacmillan wrote:
TeamSpeed wrote:
Of course it is a great picture, but I think it is simply one because of placement and timing, and not because of photographic skills or equipment.

f8 and be there.
Placement and timing are photographic skills. Nobody else got that shot. He knew where to be to best illustrate the effect of the storm.

I've seen tons of photos of Yosemite valley taken from the exact viewpoint, but none with the power of Adam's "Winter Storm". A lot of that power comes from timing. Some comes from post processing and some comes from decisions made at capture, not unlike the photo we're discussing here.


Then we agree, the shot is simply because of placement and exact time of the shot, not because of the equipment or even really the photographer. Put any other decent photographer in the same seat of the bird with different equipment, and they would be able to get the shot as well.

Many, many great shots are more timing and placement, and what the photographer brings to the table is how they have set themselves up to get the shot when the time and place is good, and having that mental eye of what looks good. Wrong equipment, not being prepared for the shot, etc are all the responsibility of the photographer, definitely.

It is a great shot absolutely, but it isn't directly because of the person that did the work or the camera, but because of the vantage point and a partial power grid outage that makes for an interesting subject. At least, that is how I feel about the shot.

I have gotten a ton of great comments on this shot below. I am not a skilled photographer that knew to be staged in a way to get this capture. I was sitting in our bedroom shooting the birds flying around, basically screwing around, and one landed right in front of the window, and I aimed and shot. I had decent equipment (7D and 100-400L) so that helped, but I was just plain lucky. The bird was there all of about 2 sec and I happened to be there. I would like to think I could be in heliocopter with my equipment and as we flew around Manhattan, let's say, and I took about 100+ shots, one of those would be a great one. I happen to be a lucky photographer in what I shoot, and much less in the skill and visionary department.



The great thing about this hobby, it is an form of art, and my impressions may not agree with yours, and we could both be correct. I am just thankful there are so many great photographers out there that capture great moments, because it inspires me to try harder in what I shoot.



dmacmillan
Registered: Nov 03, 2007
Total Posts: 4857
Country: United States

Lovely photo!



1DXWannabe
Registered: Jan 22, 2011
Total Posts: 521
Country: United States

Just goes to show, it's NOT the equipment, it's the PHOTOGRAPHER!!!! Outstanding shots under adverse conditions that truly give one just a small feeling of what it must have been like to be in THAT moment, and you captured it PERFECTLY!!!!

Cheers,

CARL
D3XWannabe



1DXWannabe
Registered: Jan 22, 2011
Total Posts: 521
Country: United States

"I happen to be a lucky photographer in what I shoot, and much less in the skill and visionary department."

Sorry, sir, but I have to disagree. You are, in fact, a wonderful photographer who possesses more in the "visionary department" than you give yourself credit for. Keep up the fantastic work. You ARE an artist, you do yourself an injustice to think otherwise.

THAT'S why you've gotten so many comments on the photo!!!! It's outstanding!!!! Do you know how many people have seen your photo who've THOUGHT "wow, that's GREAT" and haven't said anything? haha

Cheers,

CARL
D3XWannabe



Ralph Conway
Registered: Jul 31, 2008
Total Posts: 3932
Country: Germany

If I am not there I can not take the picture.
To all those guys crying "I would have done same (or better) with whatever equipment"
Where you have been?

The point to me is easy. 1D X is a great camera. If Canon would have paid me the money he surely recived from them I would have told anybody ... "Without a 1DX and 24-70 2.8 L I would not have been able to catch this shot."

Point is, this shot is an important, a great one. I did not do it, none of us did, HE did!
The shot already is famous, I guess it will become a kind of "shot of the year" in press photography. So if this guy did not recieve 80-150k $ (or even more) from Canon to tell, that this shot would not have been able, if he would not have had his 1D X, this guy is just stupid (imo).

Take it, as what it is. The camera is great, like many others. Everything else is busyness (again imo).



kbarrera
Registered: Apr 11, 2009
Total Posts: 794
Country: United States

This photo is the classic example of the story being much more important than shutter speed, iSO 1dx, whatever. BTW it is by technique a great photo. When I saw the picture I was struck with the reality of what this storm did. I live 9 miles from the bridge in NJ. My son is an NYPD cop. My daughter lives on w. 59th right on the River. I used to work construction in Manhattan WTC and others. That one photo brought home the reality of what that storm did to the greatest city in the world. Unlike 9/11 there is not much we can do. We can't beef up the anti- terrorism task force etc. Nature did this and it can do it again, next week if it wants. So screw ISO, lens choice, shutter speed. This is one of the most impactfull photos I have seen in a long time.

Al



Ralph Conway
Registered: Jul 31, 2008
Total Posts: 3932
Country: Germany

kbarrera wrote:
This photo is the classic example of the story being much more important than shutter speed, iSO 1dx, whatever. BTW it is by technique a great photo. When I saw the picture I was struck with the reality of what this storm did. I live 9 miles from the bridge in NJ. My son is an NYPD cop. My daughter lives on w. 59th right on the River. I used to work construction in Manhattan WTC and others. That one photo brought home the reality of what that storm did to the greatest city in the world. Unlike 9/11 there is not much we can do. We can't beef up the anti- terrorism task force etc. Nature did this and it can do it again, next week if it wants. So screw ISO, lens choice, shutter speed. This is one of the most impactfull photos I have seen in a long time.

Al


+100



snapsy
Registered: Feb 24, 2008
Total Posts: 5038
Country: United States

kbarrera wrote:
This photo is the classic example of the story being much more important than shutter speed, iSO 1dx, whatever. Al


Except that the photo would be twice as noisy if shot on an original-generation FF sensor like the 5D, and probably impossible on film, so while I agree the content and composition makes the shot memorable, the technical aspects for a shot like this are important as well. The photo demonstrates what technology has made possible that previously was impossible.



kbarrera
Registered: Apr 11, 2009
Total Posts: 794
Country: United States

snapsy wrote:
kbarrera wrote:
This photo is the classic example of the story being much more important than shutter speed, iSO 1dx, whatever. Al


The photo demonstrates what technology has made possible that previously was impossible.


A very valid point and while " technology has made possible that previously was impossible" so did Sandy. It did things that no other storm has done. While defying the impossible.

Al



zoetmb
Registered: Jun 10, 2005
Total Posts: 1164
Country: United States

helimat wrote:

Helicopters are usually incapable of hovering at several thousand feet above ground level.



I see helicopters hovering over Manhattan all the time. I have no idea how high they are, but however high they were is probably how high this photographer was.



fredv
Registered: Apr 13, 2005
Total Posts: 917
Country: United States

it's the concept and getting the job done... Congratulation!



Mpking
Registered: Dec 27, 2011
Total Posts: 153
Country: United States

Amazing photograph!

About having IS in a helicopter - I took several rides in a Bell 212 helicopter over the summer and didn't find the vibration to be really all that bad and it really depended on how the helicopter was maneuvering at any given moment. It seemed to be at a minimum when cruising along, and was actually worse when hovering. I'm sure different helicopters have different ride quality, just like cars. Anyway, I shot with the 24-105L and 17-40L and didn't find that having IS was really all that necessary on the 17-40L as long as I kept my shutter speeds up a bit above the 1/FL rule. For me at least, the vibration was such that my body and arms provided significant dampening. Given that, I can see hand holding at 1/40 and being able to get this shot under the right conditions, i.e. helicopter doesn't inherently have too much vibration, stably cruising, photog uses good hand holding technique, shoot a burst and keep the sharpest ones.



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