Megapixels, Schmegapixels | Viewing Distance | A post for the pixel peepers

Yesterday, during the Steelers vs. Viking games, LaMarr Woodley had a beautiful fumble recovery that he ran into the end zone for a touchdown. It was gorgeous! I was excited for the game and it also brought back the memory of photographing LaMarr in my studio last year. He is a great guy and was fun to work with.

OK, so what does LaMarr have to do with Megapixels, Schmegapixels? I will show you:

LaMarr chose this image for use:
LaMarr Woodley

The image was captured with a Nikon D3 on White Seamless paper (3 light setup). The D3 is a 12-megapixel camera (pretty amazing camera if you ask me). Lots of folks (especially beginners) get caught up with megapixels and how large an image can be printed, etc…. In my line of work most images are rarely printed over 16×24, so my camera performs perfectly. If I were printing billboards, I may choose something larger, however I then found this image where my image of LaMarr was used on a billboard:
LaMarr Woodley Billboard

What amazes me is that the portion of the image used is such a SMALL fraction of the Entire Image. Up close and personal, it may not look amazing, but the viewing distance of the billboard looks pretty amazing to me!

So next time you start to fret about megapixels: a.) How large will your clients print needs REALLY be??? b.) Chances are if they are put on a billboard, they will still look pretty amazing at the proper viewing distance.

**UPDATE** This is great to add, from my good friend Terry Clark (excellent wedding and commercial photographer)

And don’t forget viewing TIME, too. If you’re driving at 60 MPH then you will glance up at that billboard for about one second whereas you might study a photographic print for several minutes.

Even better… Thanks Terry!

Comments 2

  1. And don’t forget viewing TIME, too. If you’re driving at 60 MPH then you will glance up at that billboard for about one second whereas you might study a photographic print for several minutes.

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