Monday, December 3, 2007

Snap Happy

I'm not a camera person, but two photographers I work with - Andy Freeberg and Scott Schuman (better known as The Sartorialist) happen, coincidentally, to both use the Canon 5d. So I can vouch for this camera wholeheartedly having seen the results.

It sells for about $2,000 - which is the entry level price for a digital camera where the lens and the chip line up so you get exactly what you see. Freeberg has enlarged his pictures to 50" x 60" with no appreciable loss of quality. They look like pictures taken with a view camera. The Sartorialist's pictures not only reveal every hair on the heads of his subjects but employ an extremely shallow depth of field (where only one area of the picture is in focus) something that has until recently evaded digital photography.

Freeberg's shots of Chelsea gallery front desks (above) were the talk of the season with their deadpan revelation of the manners and convention of the art world. Meanwhile, The Sartorialist (below) who has already taken the blogosphere by storm, is set to take on the photography world when he shows his work at Danziger Projects this coming January. (Unavoidable plug - sorry.) Given the difference in their work and point of view, it is amazing to think Freeberg and Schuman use the same camera, but it once again proves how photography is not about equipment, but about ideas and having an original and worthwhile point of view.


Unknown said...

50 x60 inch prints from a 5D ? I don't believe it. Not without serious interpolation and/or quality reduction. Maybe you can deceive the viewers if there is flat colorless content like painted walls etc. The 5D produces a file (8 bit) of around 72MB and that does not translate into a 50 x 60 inch print. Most printers want at least 150dpi but most want 300 dpi. Even at 150 dpi you're going to get a max print size of 20x30. If I'm wrong please someone enlighten me.

Great blog - I enjoy reading it.

The Year in Pictures said...

I'm going to ask Andy Freeberg to comment. However, I've rolled the print out and it's all I've said it is.

Frank said...

Thanks. I look forward to hearing from Andy.

Andy, please explain how you get50 x 60 prints off a 5D file. I've talked to labs and they either say don't interpolate (with PS or with any another program like genuine fractals), or they say , in the case of a printer like the chromira or lightjet that the machine will do the resizing - either way they say I ill max out the quality at 20x30 (and that's a push).

Great work btw - a keen eye.

Unknown said...

Hi Frankg,
A printer I work with was able to make them at 40x60 with a little tweaking. Maybe it's the subject matter that allowed them to print so well. I think they look great at that dimension, starts to approach lifesize . Three of the prints in the show were at 30x45 (we didn't hang the larger ones because of space consideration). James has some at the gallery if you want to see them.
Good luck,