We’d like to introduce Joe Brady, an employee and full-time evangelist for MAC Group who also is a phenomenal photographer, educator and speaker at workshops and schools around the USA. He will be dropping in from time to time to share his experiences, tips and images.
Having used a digital SLR for my landscape work over the past eight years, I was ready to explore what medium format digital had to offer. I’ve just returned from a photo trip through northern Arizona where I shot exclusively with the Mamiya 645AFD III coupled with a Leaf Aptus 65S digital back. What I learned was that just like the difference between 35mm and medium format film, medium format digital produces images that are a quantum leap from what even the best digital SLR can capture. The combination of larger lenses gathering more light, larger pixels on a much larger sensor and full 16-bit data capture produces stunning results with depth and clarity I had never seen before.
I’ve just begun sorting and editing all the images and have been particularly impressed with panoramics stitched together from four or five images. There’s no better way to show the grandeur of a passing storm over Monument Valley than to be able to produce a file that is 20” x 100” @ 240dpi without any interpolation! I learned during this trip to think differently about how I capture the landscape. I found myself taking more time and more carefully composing the image in-camera. With such a large, bright viewfinder it is much easier to visualize the finished composition.
I’ll soon add my thoughts on lens selection, camera specifics and Photoshop techniques specific to Landscape photography that truly bring out the beauty and detail in these images. Ansel Adams once said that “the negative is the score and the print is the performance”. This applies to digital files as well and knowing how to bring out that “digital performance” will truly make your images sing. –Joe Brady