One to one

29 Feb 2016

Most often we show, post or publish pictures that are more or less cropped. Sometimes we are lucky enough to get the correct framing right out of the camera and the picture can see the light of day uncropped. Other times the horizon needs a bit of help or we need to crop more from the picture to show the real subject. Cropping is a fact of life nowadays.

La Salle hotel sign

While I usually try to get the framing I want from my shots, wildlife doesn’t give us the luxury to walk around the animal and try to take the shot from a different angle. Moving a mere 2 inches can make or break the picture with a branch being in the way or the animal take off in a hurry.

When that happens, the crop tool in Photoshop or Lightroom is your best friend. Most often I try to show the biggest usable portion of the picture. This time I decided to go all the way and post a series of 1:1 ratio pictures. Basically that means that increasing the size of these images here would result in a loss of quality because the picture would be enlarged.

Morning sun in WasagamingMorning sun in Wasagaming

Back in the days when I spent time in the darkroom, a real one, enlarging was a necessity. There was no way to present decent pictures on a 24x36mm format. Loss of quality was then a necessary evil. The game was simply to find out how far we could go without losing too much quality.

Waterfall in Riding Mountain National ParkWaterfall in Riding Mountain National Park

Today that is different. Most cameras have more than enough quality and pixels in their sensors to make 24x36 inch enlargements without any loss of quality. Going to a 1:1 ratio seemed like a fun idea to show what today’s pictures look like up close.

Ticked off Herring GullTicked off Herring Gull

Many photographers like to do this on the back of their cameras to check if the picture is sharp or if a retake is required. I admit having done that myself many times and for many different reasons. Sometimes a lens is not performing as expected and a quick check can make or break the picture.

At other times it is simply the curiosity of the detail that prevails.

Ice crystals from hoar frostIce crystals from hoar frost

Sometimes the details are surprising as well. When a few days ago hoarfrost showed up on my deck, I went out with the intention of shooting some macro. That by itself already means a lot of tiny detail in a shot, but when shown in real size (1:1) this detail becomes way more interesting. I have always admired the pictures of ice crystals and snow flakes, but never thought that I could get those results myself. Mostly because I refuse to crop my images to a 1:1 ratio.

Male Pine GrosbeakMale Pine Grosbeak

Going from a macro lens to a 600mm telephoto lens is only a question of a few seconds and you’re done. By now, you will know that I post and take a lot of pictures of wild birds. Usually I present the birds full body, all feathers, feet, tail and beak in the shot. Going real size comes with a few surprises.

Common RedpollCommon Redpoll

The  above Common Redpoll seems to be a bit off colour. Leaning more to the orange than to the red we are used to. I check the camera, monitor and calibration, but the colour of the bird was really this orangey. I’m not sure if that is from an immature male or anything. In a full picture that doesn’t show much, on this real size representation is just jumps out to me.

Female Pine GrosbeakFemale Pine Grosbeak

This female Pine Grosbeak also shows a lot of details I wouldn’t have imagined if I hadn’t looked at the picture from this up close. One thing is clear from all my bird pictures: table manners are hard to come by in the bird-world Smile

Colourful red berriesColourful red berries

As for the berries? I don’t know. It was the colour that attracted me in the white world of winter. The detail shown in real size is quite nice. Something I wouldn’t have seen were the tiny gossamer threads of the spiders. A good reason for me to stay away from these in the future Winking smile.

So here you have a few pictures as a pixel peeper or a curious person would want to see them. Full of previously undetected details.

Until next time…