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Thread: How Much Does Scene Detail Add to Scene Composition?

  1. #1

    How Much Does Scene Detail Add to Scene Composition?

    Hello! With the discussions of films vs. digital, resolution of different lenses and films, etc., I thought I would ask folks how much fine detail adds to the value of a particular image for any given compositon.

    I would not think that an average photo could be made into an excellent photo, regardless of how sharp the imaging system is.

    As I tried to qualify my own pictures, using the grade school A to F system, I think a excellent optical system, film, developer, etc., would add about a + to a photo compared to a similar scene prepared with an average system (note that I did not say a bad system or bad technique). None of my poor pictures could have ben improved by a superb system. An average, or "C" picture to a C+. The rare A to an A+.

    How would folks rate issues such as the impact of resolution, accutance, paper/print type, etc., on their final image? Best regards.

    Michael A. Heald

  2. #2

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    Re: How Much Does Scene Detail Add to Scene Composition?

    I consider very few of my images to be interesting. Of those that are, some would not be less interesting if they were somewhat softer and lacked fine detail, however most would be detrimentally effected by such softness.

    I consider any modern MC lens to have sufficient resolution for the images I want to produce.

  3. #3

    Re: How Much Does Scene Detail Add to Scene Composition?



    Taken with a 4x5 camera on Kodak E100VS using a Nikkor-W 180mm f5.6. Sometimes less is more, though it depends upon how the final image is perceived.

    If your style means hyper-reality, and lots of detail, then more is more. I think it depends more upon what you want to convey in your images, rather than what technology you want to indicate.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography

  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: How Much Does Scene Detail Add to Scene Composition?

    When I was making 16x20 silver gelatin prints from 4x5's, I wanted to be able to draw people from across the room and invite them to enter the print visually at all distances, including nose-to-the-glass. I want sharpness for that. A lousy image would not invite people in for a closer look.

    I contact 8x10 is alt processes now...sharpness is not as big of an issue. Unless I screw up the focusing, the print will be as sharp as I want it to be. The more intimate scale of a small print seems to place different requirements for the surface quality of the print than printing big.

    I would not bother to frame up and show a "B" print, other as demo prints, though I guess I have "A" and "A+" prints that I show (and of course, that is not grading on the curve.)

    Vaughn

  5. #5
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Re: How Much Does Scene Detail Add to Scene Composition?

    Consider also that some people like to use portrait lenses and holga cameras, which have their own special qualities apart from resolution, etc.

    Jon
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

  6. #6
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    Re: How Much Does Scene Detail Add to Scene Composition?

    Personally,I feel that the relative importance of resolution, accutance, etc. varies with the subject and the intended message of the image. Some subjects benefit from super-sharp, high accutance rendering, while those qualities might over-power the message with other subjects. Add variations in personal taste/preference and the question becomes even more subjective.

  7. #7

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    Re: How Much Does Scene Detail Add to Scene Composition?

    All depends.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  8. #8

    Re: How Much Does Scene Detail Add to Scene Composition?

    I can't decide. I love the high quality of 4x5 or digital....but I also use a Holga & Diane for a lot of B&W.

  9. #9

    Re: How Much Does Scene Detail Add to Scene Composition?

    As I drool over the latest and greates, be that the most modern lense for film or digital technology, I had to sit back and ask myself, will it improve my photography? How much more could I do if I upgraded from adequate (or even good) equipment to excellent equipment?

    I started to laugh at myself because I did the same thing during my golf days. Many golfers will swear that the bet equipment will improve their game much more than a few lessons!

    Suppose Ansel Adams had a 12 MP DSLR and took his Moonrise shot. Because of the composition, I think the viewers would have been attracted to the intensity of the picture just as much as whether it was taken with an 8x10. However, with the DSLR, it might have been considered a good picture as opposed to the great picture it is because it was taken with the 8x10.

    I realize that much of this depends on personal taste, enlargement size, etc, but the talk about sharpness of lenses, film, digital vs film, etc., got me to wondering; and for me, composition significantly trumps sharpness.

    I won't purchase a boring sharp picture, but I would probably purchase a compelling picture, even though a loop showed sharpness issues.

    Of course, between two compelling compositions, I would choose the sharper. Best regards.

    Michael A. Heald

  10. #10
    jetcode
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    Re: How Much Does Scene Detail Add to Scene Composition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Marshall View Post
    I consider very few of my images to be interesting. Of those that are, some would not be less interesting if they were somewhat softer and lacked fine detail, however most would be detrimentally effected by such softness.

    I consider any modern MC lens to have sufficient resolution for the images I want to produce.
    Ron,

    Does your assessment change at the time the image is conceived or after you have worked the image into print or even later in the process?

    Joe

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