Hardcore landscape photographers love medium-format cameras. And there are quite a few reasons for this: first, their level of detail is incredible. They offer higher dynamic range and color depth compared to full-frame cameras. And the wider field of view is very useful for landscapes. Medium-format cameras have a crop factor that’s less than one, so lenses simply see more of a scene than on full-frame cameras. This is beneficial, as landscape photographers do not generally need ultra-wide medium-format lenses for their work. But, as we see today with photographer Gavin Hardcastle, even a medium-format camera can feel small sometimes.
Hardcastle and his team are presented with a gorgeous and rather easy composition. One could simply point their camera and get a good image. However, as he explains in detail, he’s waiting for the light to illuminate certain portions of the vista. His patience is rewarded as a single long beam of light strikes the pointiest peak in his frame.
“Nothing focuses the artistic mind quite like a three-kilometer beam of light.”
The spectacular shaft of light illuminating the peak creates a beautiful contrast—but that’s not where it ends. As time passes, the peaks on the left and right are kissed by the golden light. And this is exactly where Hardcastle faces a problem. Even the mighty medium-format camera, equipped with a 23mm lens, becomes incapable of accommodating the vista in a single frame. This is indeed a gentle reminder of the grand scale of mother nature.
Hardcastle resorts to shooting three separate horizontal images and stitching them together to create a panorama. And as you can see towards the end, the result is simply fabulous—but it’s proof of the limits of even much-lauded cameras.
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