WIH: 17 Dec 03
I'll admit that I was disappointed with the picture. Where was Wallace Berry with his funny smile when we needed him?
Admittedly, the photographer was working under conditions of poor lighting and a disorganized locale but he could have done much better. The class group should have had more tiers and less width; that would have removed a lot of the distracting foreground. The drapes would then have stretched across the entire class and, if straightened, would have been a reasonable background. It would also have brought the camera closer to the subject, making the flash more effective, increasing the depth of field and improving the definition. There should have been at least two more powerful flash sources, high and to the sides to defeat reflections and distracting shadows.
I doubt that that the print came from the 35mm camera and course grained film or the enlargement would be even worse than it is. Don't forget, he was using more than one camera. In any event, I would not give him any future business.
Emile Bizon: 17 Dec 03
Bill, as an amateur photog of note, you could not have been pleased with the quality of the photo we just received?
When this guy was setting up, I was rather dubious the result would be any good. Even with my limited knowledge of this branch of science, I suspected the small format camera- it looked like a standard 35 mm, and the single flash would not produce a good picture. The deep blue background drapes did not help as they just absorbed almost all the incident light.
Well, the result was even worse than I feared. It is evident a high speed coarse grained film was used to make up for the poor light. So staring with an image of 24 by 36 mm and blowing it up by a factor of about 12 we see a severe blurring of detail. Indeed, I recognized myself only by my jug ears. It is also likely he was forced to use a large
aperture to capture what light there was, thereby shrinking the depth of field and throwing portions of the scene out of focus.
What I did not anticipate was the reflection of the direct light off the glasses which the majority of us is now wearing so we have a significant "Raccoon Effect".
An adequate result may have been possible here with a larger format camera, slower speed, fine grain film and an array of strobe flash units set away from the camera to give a multi directional illumination. Even black and white film could have been used and a more detailed image achieved.
In my view, it was totally unprofessional of this photog to proceed with the production of this order. He should have admitted that the result was unsatisfactory and abandoned the project.
So I will contribute this piece of paper to the recycling system here in Edmonton. I hope that we do not give this guy any business in the future. Perhaps we should also vet the quality of the proofs before issuing the order to proceed with the full production run.
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