A few weeks ago I was making some photographs on campus when I had a bit of an epiphany. I had made a couple of images I rather liked of Bond in the snow, what really caught my eye about these photographs was the way short exposure times captured falling snow in mid-flight. Being a nerdy, techie kind of guy, I also have a long-standing interest in panorama photography. On my drive home I sketched out a plan to combine the two ideas for my next set. I just needed a snowstorm.
Man did nature come through on that last point. The following Saturday there were 2 hours of heavy snow that afforded me the chance to run through campus with a tripod and capture 15 or so images in ultra-high resolution with snowflakes frozen before doors and limestone.
I love film with all my heart, but digital photography is a pure medium, the only limits are your imagination and patience. This type of photography is something that wasn't possible with film, no large format camera could produce images with this mixture of exposure and color in this kind of time frame. Setting up a technical camera in the snow would be a massive liability (given the extreme expense) and a huge pain. Instead, I can use a weather sealed camera, fire off 30-40 frames in a minute or less, and then spend time on the back end perfectly aligning and correcting for perspective. Pixels are infinitely malleable, the only question is which way do you want to stretch them.
What is so fun about these images are the Easter eggs of beautiful textures and patterns that are buried at full resolution. My goal is to find a high-resolution medium to print these images at scale and having the capability of seeing walk-up detail in a 10 foot wide print.
For the photographers
The technique involves taking large panoramas with a Nikon D800, a 24-70mm f/2.8 set to f/8 or f/11 and ISO somewhere between 640 and 1600. The images were then batch processed in Lightroom and stitched in Hugin and then perspective correction was finished in Photoshop CC. I have to admit, the experiment came off without a hitch with the possible exception of my early-2011 MacBook Pro being absolutely sluggish. I think it's time for an upgrade.