Do pixels matter? What 20" x 30" prints reveal -the saga

Started Jun 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
chironNYC Senior Member • Posts: 2,379
Re: If true

Mako2011 wrote:

chironNYC wrote:

The main point I took away from the discussion is that in photographs that you actually want to look at because of the image itself (i.e., not because the image was taken to deliberately display some imagistically uninteresting quality of a lens or a sensor, e.g. pictures of fabric or of books on a shelf or a page of text), pixel counts seem to play a vanishingly small role for the overwhelming majority of pictures, and that most such images cannot be told apart except by clairvoyants (yes, I know that is an exaggeration).

This is a gear-head forum, so his point does not go down easily, but I think he has the photographic authority to make it and that it is a great point for us to remember.

So if I understand you correctly you are saying that given....

a) two images printed at 20" x 30"

b) of the exact same "actually want to look at because of the image itself" subject

c) processed exactly the same by the same person.

d) viewed up close like you might in a galeery

e) one pic taken by an older gen 8mp camera and one by a 20mp current gen camera doubt that you could tell the images apart without the help of clairvoyants?

If that's true, then you should not be able to tell which of theses pics is from an older camera after clicking on "original" in the gallery...unless you have a clairvoyant standing by. If you do, can I get a lotto number?

No disrespect...all in fun.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Hi Mako.

The main thing that I can tell is different is that the one on the left has a little camera or subject movement--note that the eyes are not sharp. Otherwise, to try to perceive a difference, I would not be looking at the photograph but counting hairs--a very different, non-imagistic experience. And while counting hairs may be rewarding for the obsessive-compulsive among us, it is not image-making.

I place a lot of weight on Laszlo Benzce's original assertion that he himself can't tell the difference on 20x30 prints of his own shots.

I would add that if you can't easily tell the difference, then it does not matter to the experience of the image. And how often can you easily tell the difference?

This is why successful photographers who actually make images that others want to see are rarely pixel-peepers.

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