Inspiration for the Offspring

So she wants to be a veterinarian (but not give the shots), no wait an astronomer/karate instructor. Now that's not right anymore. She wants to be a photographer/writer. But she's only in 7th grade so who knows what's next... 

Sarah's dog Claire in one of the first pictures she took with her hand-me-down Canon 20D.. 

Sarah's dog Claire in one of the first pictures she took with her hand-me-down Canon 20D.. 

In any case she's taking pictures with a hand-me-down Canon 20D that the wife parted with. She's not in to the planning part of making a picture yet, just learning. But being a good mom and pop we want her to be inspired, so we casually asked her what her favorite pic she's taken so far and had the people at MPIX make it as big as it'd go: 20X30.

I wonder if she'll like it...

 

The Illusion of Crop Factor

It took me a long time to understand this...

Your digital camera has a crop factor. It's likely that when you bought it, the salesperson said something like "it makes your 200mm lens like a 300mm lens."

And that's the big misconception - even for sales people. That person likely thought they were telling you the truth. But they weren't.  There's not another piece of glass between your lens and the sensor, and that's the only way to increase the focal length of a lens it add more glass, like a teleconverter. (Note that Sony does have a digital teleconverter in some of their cameras, but it does not related to crop factor.) 

You're 35, 50, 85, 105, 70 to 200mm zoom and whatever else is still just that, no matter what camera you put it on. 

Why the misconception? The decrease in image area on a cropped frame sensor camera gives the illusion that your lens is zoomed in closer to the subject.

That's it.

It's an illusion. 

This picture is a quick snapshot measuring 4" X 6". The 
yellow border represents the full frame, and the white inset frame a 
crop sensor. Note that in either case, the off spring is the same size. 
If a cropped sensor actually increased zoom, she'd be bigger.

This picture is a quick snapshot measuring 4" X 6". The yellow border represents the full frame, and the white inset frame a crop sensor. Note that in either case, the off spring is the same size. If a cropped sensor actually increased zoom, she'd be bigger.

Don't believe me? Find an old 35mm film slide or 4 X 6 photograph. Those are considered to be full frame shots.  (Or tear a picture out of a magazine.)

  • If you're using a slide, consider removing 12mm from the long side and 8mm from the short side (roughly 1/3 of each side). 
  • If your using a photograph, consider removing about 2 inches from the long side and 1-1/3" from the short side (again, roughly 1/3 of each side).  (Yeah, I know it's not exactly a 4 X 6 print, but you'll get the idea.)
  • If you tore the picture out of a magazine, just cut 1/3rd off a long and short side.

Now, look closely - are you zoomed in or is the picture just smaller? 

It's smaller and that's crop factor. It's not zooming in closer than the actual focal length of your lens, the sensor is just capturing a smaller portion of the scene. (Most crop sensors only capture around 1/2 of scene area that a full frame sensor captures.) 

And that's what gives the cropped sensor the illusion of adding zoom.

(If anything, your photographs are pre-copped in camera.) 

 

Route 66

My wife Sheri, (did I tell you she's an artist?), and our daughter Sarah took a quick trip to Amarillo as Sarah has been wanting to see Cadillac Ranch. Like a lot of people, the whole Route 66 thing intrigues me. The bizarre designs, bright colors, and offbeat "art" beckon the traveler to stop and make a photo seemingly every block in the populated areas, and couple of miles in the rural areas.  (my Adrian, TX Route 66 gallery)

Amarillo_07-20-2013-34_HDR - Copy.jpg

I find the challenge of photographing Route 66 is not shooting what everyone else has already shot . Here's an example, my photo of the MidPoint Cafe sign in Adrian, TX.

And here's a link to a Google search for "MidPoint Cafe sign" (opens in new window) . You'll see the major difference in the sign pictures is the color of the sky and the clouds. Yes, it's cool because it's Route 66 and Americana, but photographically boring,

There's so much more to Route 66 than what we think is there,. For that matter, different angles of the routine things or the way we post process can make a huge difference in our Route 66 (and any) photography. My point is simply, look around, get off the main road, kneel down, climb up, shoot from the side, change it up. anyone can stand there and shoot a snapshot. Take time to make a photograph.

Now, if you want to see how it's done, click on Rick Sammon's photograph of the Wigwam Village Motel from his Route 66 gallery.

This, my friends, is how you do it.

Photograph courtesy and copyright of Rick Sammon. Thank you, Rick, for letting me use the photograph.  

Photograph courtesy and copyright of Rick Sammon. Thank you, Rick, for letting me use the photograph. 

In the beginning....

There was not a website. I found a domain (the hardest part, every great configuration of what I wanted was already taken...) and in less than an hour this web site was born. All I have to do now is add my own content.