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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Get 4x5 Quality With A DSLR

Using a stitch-together method, you can get a large-format look from your regular digital camera

This Article Features Photo Zoom

While Frates uses a pro-level D-SLR, much less expensive models like the new Nikon D5000 can be used to build 4x5-like, extreme-resolution images. Keeping the noise level low by shooting at moderate ISOs is a big help for generating the cleanest possible captures.
I prefer to use a zoom lens because it gives me more options in composing the image. I particularly like using a 24-105mm lens, but I’ve used all focal lengths from 17mm to 300mm.

Once I have the three tiff, jpeg or RAW verticals or horizontals I want to use, in Photoshop, I select File > Automate > Photomerge. When this panel opens, I browse to find the images I want to use. There also are several options under the Layout portion of this screen. Usually, the first option, Auto, works best, but I’ve found I need to use other options with some lenses, especially when using a very wide-angle lens. These usually process well with the Cylindrical option. I experiment, since at times other options work better. Once I’ve made my Layout selection, it’s a simple matter of clicking OK and letting Photoshop do its magic (Figure 1). And magic it is—I rarely need to do anything else to the resulting file except to crop it.

If you want your large prints to sing with sharpness similar to that from a large-format camera or medium-format back, give this technique a try.

To see more of Dennis Frates’ photography, visit www.fratesphoto.com.


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