The file for this is comparable to medium format film. Joe Cornish said that about the Sony A7R. If you’re not sure what that means I’ll explain. The majority of traditional photography was undertaken with 35mm film. The negative was 35mm in size which was sufficient for most needs. Medium format cameras were typically a Bronica, Rollei, or Hasselblad. The negative was much larger – still is – and the quality far better. The first digital sensors were hugely expensive which meant most people used a cropped sensor. Full frame sensors reduced in price and people started buying them. Full frame sensors are equivalent to 35mm. In the last few years those sensors got better. Greater dynamic range, higher resolution, better ISO performance which means good quality in low light. That was always a problem with film. You could have a fast, that is high sensitivity film, but only with a big reduction in quality. It was called grain. Your picture looked ‘grainy’.

We take these developments for granted but they are astonishing. Digital photography was firstly more convenient, then better quality. What’s happening alongside this is camera bodies are becoming smaller. There’s no longer any need for the mirror mechanism of the film SLR or single lens reflex. For many people a cropped or APS sensor, or even smaller, gives perfectly acceptable results and those bodies are even smaller. Canon and Nikon are losing out because a digital camera is essentially a computer. Sony have an electronics pedigree. The other factor is the lens. Sony has teamed up with Zeiss. Their lenses have always been highly regarded.

The vertical dimension for this shot is larger than some of my panoramas. The picture dictates the format you need. Imagine cutting into it higher up. It doesn’t work. This shot is balanced. You can describe this mathematically, but it’s something you have to feel.

 

Maiden Moor Newlands Valley 7

Wednesday April 8, 2015