The Anatomy of a Fuji GFX 50R Chinese New Year Photo

The Lion Emerges, Chinese New Year 2020 - Austin, Texas

The Lion Emerges, Chinese New Year 2020 – Austin, Texas

When I brought my new Fujifilm GFX 50R medium format camera to this year’s Chinese New Year celebration, I envisioned a particular kind of photo. Here’s that photograph which fully utilizes the impressive capabilities of this 51MP camera with a super-sharp lens.

The other images I made in this series where unexpected bonuses, especially the fast action dragon dance sequences that I featured yesterday. The reality is, I could’ve made those photographs with lower-resolution cameras. Using the GFX was nice, but it probably imposed limitations in some ways. But, I thought the camera would excel at capturing super-detailed scenes with lots of wonderful sub-stories.

The challenge, however, is to show these details to you. At my computer, I have the benefit of seeing the entire 51MP image displayed on my 5K Retina iMac screen. I can revel in the details, which are hard to show in these lower-res web sizes. I hit upon an idea. And, it will give me a chance to point out the sub-stories that I love.

All of the photos below are 5.5MP crops of the image above, selected to highlight the entertaining things I see in the photograph. Note how sharp these are. Each image is just 10% of the resolution of the overall photograph.

The Lion Emerges, Chinese New Year 2020 - Austin, Texas

I love these three girls in the very front, especially the one on the very right. Obviously, they are very bored, not sharing in the excitement of the premiere event — the lion dance.

The Lion Emerges, Chinese New Year 2020 - Austin, Texas

My favorite is the boy making an offering to the lion and his accompanying expression.

The Lion Emerges, Chinese New Year 2020 - Austin, Texas

On the left side, most everyone is focusing on the lion, including the monk.

The Lion Emerges, Chinese New Year 2020 - Austin, Texas

On the right side, there are at least 6 people taking photographs. Mostly with smartphones, of course.

These are just four of the sub-details from the overall photograph. There are a lot more, and everyone in the frame is in tack-sharp focus, except for that one photographer on the very right. He is outside the plane of focus. This is a crude representation, but I think you get the idea of what this camera can do, and why I’m enjoying it.

I realize that a sharp and detailed photograph doesn’t necessarily make a good photograph. However, for me, I’m particularly loving this camera for the details, the striking color, and high dynamic range. It enables a different kind of image creation.

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