25 April 2009

Best vs. Good Enough

In the process of making some prints from Canary Wharf and other parts of the London Docklands, I suddenly remembered one picture I was quite pleased with at the moment of capture. A night shot of the pedestrian tunnel under the Thames between Cutty Sark and the Isle of Dogs.

So I ventured to find it. A search on keywords brought up nothing. Cursing myself for not putting keywords on my images I began browsing. It took me 20 minutes to realise that it was not among my raw files.

Could I have used a compact camera for this shot?

Browsing again, I found my image. Taken five years ago with the Altoid-box-sized Optio S. Sporting a whopping 3 megapixels, ad with plenty of noise and some JPEG artefacts. It does look nice in blog resolution, doesn't it? But could this hold up to an 20x30 cm enlargement at all?

Well, to make a long story short, it did. Barely, but it did.

However, as I worked with this, I came over another pic produced by the same camera. And believe it or not, this pic holds exellently up to 40x50 cm! I have even sold one, printed in that size on watercolour paper.

Food for thought on the pixel-peeping mega-race. The best can sometimes be an enemy of good-enough.


Boris said...

To take your example even further, I once took a 6MP shot from my *istD, cropped roughly 2MP out of it and printed it 20x30 cm. It really looked great.

Lovely pictures too. Can it be that one of them hangs on the walls of your house printed and framed?


Alunfoto said...

I think you have seen the actual "Seedball" print that subsequently sold. It wasn't framed. :-)