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4K Photography – A Beginners Guide by Ross Grieve LMPA

January is always an odd month in the Photography industry, with the phone ringing from those New Years Eve engagements, to husbands and boyfriends panic buying vouchers for a Valentine’s Day Portrait Session for their loved ones. But its also a great time of the year for us photographers to meet up and catch up, have a beer and discuss what we have all been up to.

I was fortunate enough to be asked back to speak at The Societies (SWPP) in London this month to deliver a Masterclass on 4K Photography.

What is 4K Photography? I can hear some of you ask, while others scratch their grey matter. 4k Photography is the art of taking a “Frame Grab” from 4K Footage and using that frame to achieve the photograph that you would like. Now before you say ‘nah, its not for me’, answer this question…Would you like to be able to photograph at 30 frames per second(fps)? I can see you all nodding now.

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4K Photo from a Lumix GX8, Black & White conversion on Adobe Lightroom
Photographing at such a high frame rate has its advantages across many disciplines of photography. Sports and action is the first thing that comes to mind. But its also great for portraits and believe it or not food photography. The principles of 4K photography are the same as traditional stills photography. You still have to get your aperture, shutter speed, and your ISO correct to achieve the results you are after.

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Now before I go any further, I’ll explain just what 4K is. 4K is 4 times the resolution of HD, so this means we can get an 8.3mb “frame grab” from 4K footage. You may think this sounds small but I have tested this with positive results- I have printed to 38 inches and have a 4K Canvas in my studio. The quality is outstanding. I use Adobe Photoshop to enlarge my photographs.

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Dave Wall is on my Wall as a 38 inch 4K Photograph.
The beauty about 4K Photography is that there is no shutter sound, so you can get results you would not normally expect, as most people freeze once they hear the shutter. This is a fantastic bonus if you love your Street Photography too.

I use 4K Photography as part of my day to day business as its another tool in my kit bag. When the opportunity came along to try this new technology I jumped at the chance. I have pushed the boundaries, and I am consistently impressed with the results.

Don’t worry the world is not going to be taken over by videographers suddenly grabbing frames. There are two mind sets with 4K Photography. Firstly, the Videographer who wants beautiful footage and maybe a still for say cover art. And secondly, the Photographer who will shoot in short bursts, primarily to get the still they want, and to exploit the frame rate.

Then you get results like this.

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Which lead to this…

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Over the next few months I will be going over how to use 4K Photography in different genres and situations.

About the Author: Ross Grieve is a Panasonic Global Ambassador. He is a Pioneer of 4K Photography, runs workshops on 4K Photography and shooting with Mirrorless Cameras. Contact Ross for more details. studio@rossgrieve.com