Framed by Trees

Hike and Bike Trail - Austin, Texas

Hike and Bike Trail – Austin, Texas

The trees that flank the Hike and Bike Trail in downtown Austin looked structural and attractive. A natural canopy that works perfectly as a framing element. It’s something that I’ve never appreciated before.

This is yet another photograph that I quickly shot as a test of the Fujifilm GFX 50R as I walked to my intended destination. For the last few days, I’ve talked about the cropping capabilities of a 51MP camera. A power that I never had before and a technique that I’m learning more about.

So how much can we crop before it gets impractical? Well, quite a bit actually depending on your intended usage. The photos on this blog are actually low resolution. A mere 768 pixels wide, less than half a megapixel image. Even the bigger image I show (when you click on the photo) is 1280 x 960 pixels — a mere 1.2MP. So I tried an experiment. I cropped the original GFX 50R photo to what I liked compositionally and displayed it above. It turned out to be a 6.52MP photo, which looks pretty good. More than enough for this web display.

Hike and Bike Trail - Austin, Texas (Medium Framing)

Hike and Bike Trail – Austin, Texas (Medium Framing)

Here’s the photo I was originally planning to post before I tried my radical cropping experiment. I included the graceful silhouette of trees as a framing element. As you can see, the subject changed from the jogger to the tree-covered pathway. This is a 27.8MP photograph.

Hike and Bike Trail - Austin, Texas (Original Framing)

Hike and Bike Trail – Austin, Texas (Original Framing)

Finally, here is the original framing. The full 51MP. Again, it was a throwaway test shot. I didn’t intend for it to be anything special. Incidentally, this is right near the bridge that I featured yesterday.

Something interesting that I researched. How does cropping into a photo differ from using a telephoto lens? Remember, I used a fixed 50mm equivalent prime on my Fujifilm GFX 50R. I couldn’t zoom into the scene with my lens. Framing wise, cropping into a photo in post-production is identical to using a zoom lens. Here’s a great post that explains it, and even shows example photos. Obviously, using a real zoom lens will give me a higher resolution. However, when you start with a high-resolution camera, you can throw away extra pixels in certain cases.

I found the formula online for calculating the equivalent focal length of a cropped image. You basically compare the ratios of the diagonals of the two images. So the first photo, at the top of the post, is 2949 x 2212 pixels, and the diagonal is 3686. The original is 8256 x 6192 pixels, and the diagonal is 10,320. So 10,320 divided by 3686 gives a crop factor of 2.8. Multiplying by the 50mm equivalent framing (50 x 2.8), I got about 140mm. That’s assuming I calculated everything correctly using the Pythagorean Theorem. Boy, it’s been years since I did this kind of math.

It was an interesting experiment. On the other hand, another takeaway is that a 51MP camera is overkill if my primary purpose is for the blog — which it isn’t. But clearly, it’s really tough to show the actual resolution of 51MP online. You can tell, however, how sharp the details are, even in a small crop that is merely 13% of the original frame.

I have a free monthly newsletter that’s perfect for busy people. Signup for the Newsletter to get the best of my posts, old and new, plus additional content not available anywhere else.

One thought on “Framed by Trees

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.