I got lucky on the timing for one thing during this whole adventure. I was sitting at home playing around with some images and decided I wanted to create a couple of prints. One was a print of the hummingbirds from the back yard and the other was a poster I decided to make of a bunch of lifeboat shots from our visit to the UK last year. My usual print outlet is Mpix so I created the files, uploaded them and sent the order. A few days later a large package arrived on the porch. Shortly before it arrived, I got a message from Mpix saying that they were suspending work as a result of the virus. They are based in Kansas so I guess it took a while to get to them. I am really happy with the prints and it reminded me of how much a physical print is better than looking at something on a screen. I will have to print more when they are back up and running.
I have only been to the Oceana show once. I headed down there with my friends Ben and Simon. We weren’t terribly lucky with the weather. There was flying during the show but things were overcast and deteriorated as the show went on. The finale of the show was, naturally for a big Navy base, the Blue Angels. I was shooting with a 1D Mk IIN in those days and that was a camera that was not happy at high ISO settings.
The problem was, the light was not good and the ISO needed to be cranked up a bit. Amusingly, if you were shooting today, the ISO levels would not be anything that caused concern. Current cameras can shoot at ISO levels without any noise levels that would have been unthinkable back then. However, I did learn something very important with this shoot. The shot above is one that I got as one of the solo jets got airborne. I used it as a test for processing.
I processed two versions of the image, one with a lot of noise reduction dialed in and one with everything zeroed out. I think combined them in one Photoshop image and used a layer mask to show one version in one half of the image and the other for the second half. When I viewed the final image on the screen, the noise in one half was awfully apparent. It was a clear problem. However, I then printed the image. When I did so, things were very different. If you looked closely, you could see a little difference. However, when you looked from normal viewing distances, there was no obvious difference between the two.
My takeaway from this is that viewing images on screens has really affected our approach to images. We get very fixated on the finest detail while the image as a whole is something we forget. We print less and less these days and the screen is a harsh tool for viewing.