About

Metro DC Photography showcases the artwork of international award winning fine art photographer Kevin Ellis.

My Background

Make sure you read my page Why Purchase From Me to learn why you should purchase a print from me.

I’ve been involved in photography since 1989.  I’ve shot weddings, done product photography, headshots, portraits, real estate photography, but what I’ve really enjoyed doing is on this website.  Most all the photographs here are either hi-resolution, panoramic, HDR, or “artistic” HDR images. The hi-resolution and panoramic images are created in a similar manner. The photographs are made by taking multiple slightly overlapping pictures of a scene and then using computer software to “stitch” these overlapping images into the final photograph. Here’s a small example that illustrates this – the top row shows the three separate images that were taken and the bottom row shows those three images stitched together:

Back in the early 90s when I first started doing this type of photography you could either buy a specialized panoramic camera or use a regular 35mm film camera and manually stitch the images together. The ones I did were manually stitched together. You would take a series of slightly overlapping pictures, print them out, and then find common elements between the prints. Once you found the common elements you’d use a ruler and cut a new edge on each print so that when put together they would appear to be a bigger print. This was all done by hand without the aid of computers:

With digital cameras and computers this process can now be done virtually to stitch together the images into a larger photograph. One would think that by using a computer this process is faster then making prints and cutting them by hand so they fit together. But actually the opposite is true, there are so many more images used that it takes more time to make the final photograph. Some of the photographs for sale on this website are made from over 100 individual images, some over 200 individual images. For the night shots with a long exposure, I can easily spend an hour to two hours taking all the pictures needed for the final photograph. But taking all the pictures is sometimes the easy part. Assembling the images and editing them on the computer so the final photograph looks correct can take weeks. Whereas most consumer digital cameras are in the range of 10-20 megapixels, these type of images are anywhere from 100-500 megapixels. The final product is one that contains so much detail that most of the time I capture elements in the scene that I’m not aware of till after putting the photograph together.

Girl taking a self portrait of herself in front of the US Capitol Christmas tree.

 

Microwave oven at the renovation of the National Archives.

This level of detail allows the photographs to be printed at very large sizes while remaining very sharp and detailed. To give you an idea of the amount of detail that these images contain here’s a crop from the Jefferson Memorial image:

And here’s what that same crop would look like coming from an 18 megapixel camera:

As you can see there is a large difference in the amount of detail between the two.

HDR images are created by combining multiple images of the same scene that are of different exposures.  This allows the final HDR image to show details in the shadows and highlights that you wouldn’t be able to capture with just a single image.

Creating an HDR image

Click to zoom

By mathematically combining the three images on the left you create the image on the right.  This allows you to capture detail in the shadows and bright areas of the scene that you normally wouldn’t be able to capture.