Divided New York

New York Magazine has an impressive image of New York on its latest cover. Taken after Hurricane Sandy, it shows Lower Manhattan in blackout, with the rest of the island lit up, a divided city.

Dutch architectural photographer Iwan Baan took the shot after the storm had passed, with the air clear enough to see right up the island. Shooting from a helicopter somewhere above the Statue of Liberty, he used a Canon 1DX camera, with the ISO set at 25000. If you look closely, you can see the fine texture of digital noise, but it doesn’t interfere with the image. Baan had the new Canon 24-70mm lens set at full aperture. His exposure was f2.8 at 1/40th of a second.

This last fact is amazing to someone brought up on film technology because Baan’s image is a very good example of what the digital revolution in photography means at a practical level. Before digital, he could only have used a high speed film of 3200 ISO, eg Kodak T-Max, although the grain would have been far more intrusive, shadow detail would have been poorer, and it’s a black & white film anyway. If he did, his exposure would have been a 1/5 of a second, clearly impossible to get sharp from a moving platform.

Poynter.org has a more complete story

New York Magazine cover


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