Iwan Baan’s New York Magazine Cover Shot

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Baan made the image Wednesday night after the storm, using the new Canon 1D X with the new 24-70mm lens on full open aperture. The camera was set at 25,000 ISO, with a 1/40th of a second shutter speed.

“[It was] the kind of shot which was impossible to take before this camera was there,” Baan said.

It was more difficult to rent a car than a helicopter in New York the day after Sandy, Baan said. And because there was such limited air traffic so soon after the storm, air traffic control allowed Baan and the helicopter to hover very high above the city, a powerful advantage for the photo.

via Poynter..

There Are 19 Comments On This Article.

  1. A really great, unique image – as has been said, could not have beed taken before the expansion of ISO in the newer cameras.

    What puzzles me is why Iwan risked shooting at 1/40th of a second? I have not used this camera, so do not know its capabilities in detail (or even if the photographer did shoot at different speeds, but this happened to be the best shot) but I would have thought it would be safer to shoot at a higher shutter speed and higher ISO. Then of course, the lens probably has IS.

  2. Tim Willems

    @CB: maybe because this was the highest speed possible at this aperture/ISO in sheer darkness??? Sometimes bad circumstances force you to take a shot with such camera parameters…

    • @Tim – according to the camera spec:

      “ISO range of 100 – 51200 (up to 204800 in H2 mode)”

      so it can be pushed higher….

      - and apparently the lens did not have IS!

      of course, it is a balance between the ISO quality, and the risk of camera shake – shooting at 1/40th just seems a bit of a gamble… but then he did pull it off!

      • @CB – Remember the 1/focal length rule? When using a wide angle lens, you can use a slower shutter speed because the amount of camera shake is less exaggerated than with a medium or tele lens. I’m assuming the FL of the shot is 24mm – 30mm, which allows for 1/25 to 1/40 shutters for marginally clean captures. I’ll guarantee you he took multiple shots and used the sharpest one. I shoot handheld at slow shutter speeds all the time, and my hit rate is typically 1 out of three is pin sharp using the 1/FL rule. I hate boosting ISO when I don’t have to because of noise.

        By the way, the 24-70L doesn’t have IS.

        • I always thought the 1/focal length rule only really applied above the standard focal length (50mm)…..

          The idea of being able to shoot *reliably* at 1/25 of a second with a 24mm lens (without IS) sounds unlikely to me… (and from experience).

          • No, it’s pretty much every focal length. I constantly use a 15mm lens for weddings and I try to keep the ISO as clean as possible, so I dial it to 1/15 and even 1/10 often and I get very sharp pics.

            • You shoot wedding groups at 1/15 or 1/10 of a second? How do you get them all to stay still?

              • Oh I would never shoot portraits with an ultra wide. I use the 15mm for interior shots of the church while they’re up on the altar. There’s not much moving around during the readings and vows.

        • the 1/f is just a generic rule, and not a really good one at that. The distance between the photographer and the subject should be taken into consideration as well – the greater the distance, the faster the shutter has to be.
          That said, that was obviously just one photograph among (probably) hundreds of others he shot during the flight.

  3. I don’t see why he wouldn’t use a prime lens and gain a stop or two to up the shutter speed…

    Regardless, this is an amazing photo!!!

  4. I’m sure he thought about those issues ahead of time, like most pros do:

    At a wide angle, 1/40th is fine. Remember 1/focal-length is the rule of thumb… Wide and from that far, the contents of the frame are not moving that much — assuming the heli is steady? For a cover, you can’t pixel peep at 100% so it matter a little less for that as well.

    Regarding the prime — I’m sure he took other options with him… but the 24-70 is a great choice considering it’s hard for anyone to prevision what the FOV will be from high up in heli over NYC. 24-70 gives you a good range of options for framing. The lens doesn’t have IS.. but they just announced an F4 version that does. If you *could* bring an assortment of lenses, sure, maybe you bring a few f2 options. But then you have to either bring extra bodies or change lenses while dangling. Not ideal.

    Great shot!

  5. “[It was] the kind of shot which was impossible to take before this camera was there,”

    I disagree with this statement, a Nikon D3s/24-70 or 24/1.4 could easily have made this shot and no one would know the difference.

    • You’re missed the “Canon advertisement” point Sam. I mean new body, new lens, these things don’t sell themselves. Someone has to help get the word out. (Full disclosure I am a Canon user) But still, Canon has to be loving this man at the moment.

  6. When they refer to the “New” 24-70, maybe they mean the new f4L, 24-70 with IS? That could explain why not using the prime. Particularly in the helicopter.

    • I was wondering this and posted the same on the dpreview.com site. This would have been my choice (right or wrong, or perhaps take a lot of shots with each).

      The f-stop is lost from f2.8 to f4, but you pick up (supposedly) 4 stops with the IS.