January 2015 print: Moon light and Moeraki boulder

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Although I have concluded my series on New Zealand photographs with the contribution on New Zealand city reflections, I am already showing another photograph from our recent holiday. It is the monthly print for January 2015.

During our vacation, I photographed with a Panasonic Lumix GH-1 and a Sony A7r (and sometimes a Panasonic Lumix FT3). On a few occasions, I took similar compositions with both (real) cameras; with the intention to compare the results also in print. In all such cases, I clearly prefer one of the two photographs already before looking at the print. In the example shown here, the composition from the GH1 is much better overall (I missed the focus with the Sony - it was very dark), but much much more difficult to develop and print.

The scene is the same as the one shown in the first New Zealand post: Moon-lit Moeraki boulder shell. It was dark, but the moon was shining bright. To prevent a burning out of the moon light reflection, the photograph had to be strongly underexposed, which in turn required a lot of adjustments to the shadows and exposure compensation in Lightroom. As a consequence, the noise in the dark area, which comprises most of the frame, became disturbing and thus also had to be taken care of.

I have the impression that this photograph is an extremely far stretch for the GH1's sensor. The equivalent photograph from the A7r was easier to develop and the boulder in the center shows more detail, but the light pattern in the foreground is much better in the above photograph. With the A7r print as a guide for the noise in the dark areas, I managed to create a print from the GH1 file that I am satisfied with. Is the technical quality of the GH1 file better? Of course not, but the resulting photograph is and the resolution and detail do not matter for my print sizes (usually smaller than A4). In my opinion, it is an amazing result for a sensor/camera that was introduced almost six years ago (April 2009)!

2015/02/13 by Florian Freimoser
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