Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What is Joel Saget doing?

(JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

One of the sites that has made it's way onto my Bloglines list is The Big Picture from Boston.com (The Boston Globe). The Big Picture summarizes recent events in images -- and not just little web-sized images, large, nearly 1000 pixel wide, images.

I've always thought that high-res images are a completely different world from low-res images because there's some things you can do with the added detail that you just can't do with smaller images.

Anyway, an image by Joel Sagat in July 28th's post about the 2008 Tour de France caught my eye. It is reproduced at the start of this post, and I highly recommend clicking to see the full version in all its hi-res glory. Side note: I'm not sure about the legality of including these images on my blog -- I think it is ok, because I'm discussing the artistic merit and technicals of the images, not simply using them, but if I'm wrong, please let me know.

Anyway, if you haven't noticed yet, the image is remarkable for its tiny depth of field which lends a 'model train seen from above' look to it.

(JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

Oddly enough, I couldn't track down much on Joel Saget outside of Tour de France photos. I would have thought someone else noticed his technique and commented on it.

And I'm completely flummoxed; I doubt you could get that sort of depth of field without post-processing, unless it is a tilt-shift lens or a scary big aperture. To make it even more confusing, in the first image, that bush in the foreground is in focus yet the hill behind it isn't. What the heck is going on?

BTW, Receding Hairline has a good fake model photography tutorial which discusses post-processing techniques.

7 comments:

Josh said...

Interesting. Looks like photoshop fakery to me.

Sean said...

That's what I thought at first too -- but isn't there some sort of editorial standard of minimal photoshop editing?

Alex Norman said...

Looks like a Lensbaby photo to me?

Joel said...

I take theses pictures with tilt and shift lens ( 24m/m Nikon used for building photos)
I can't used photoshop in my job.
Joel Saget AFP Photographer.

Sean said...

Thanks for the response, Joel. I had no idea a tilt-shift lens could get that kind of restricted depth of field.

Very effective use of the lens (now if only I could afford one) :)

Tom C said...

Take a look at Joel's astonishing photo on today's Guardian of the Tour riding by a sunflower field. A truly astonishing image

Sean said...

Couldn't find it -- do you have a link to that image?