I took some pictures for a woodworker, Marcel Daigneault, that I recently met so that he could use them for a portfolio and maybe a website. After I was done I showed him some wood that I had but I really had no idea what it was. He took the wood and incorporated it into a box that he made for me. The wood I had forms the dark bands that circle the box. I’m thrilled with this object of art and it is now prominently displayed in our living room.
Eight months is not very long but it is enough time for us to modify the land and start building. I’m not against building places for people to live but I still feel a sense of loss for this little oasis of grass land that was home to owls and coyottes and many things in between. I don’t know of any other place nearby where wild flowers bloomed like this.
A reader Dave asked me how I created the high key look of a particular image so rather than going into a wordy explanation I thought I would do it visually, I am a photographer after all.
The image asked about was this one and how I modified it to get that particular look.
The first thing I did was to decrease the colour temperature of the image by 450 degrees to make the image cooler.
The next thing to be done was to add a slight green tint also to modify the overall colour and feel of the image.
I then increased the exposure about 1 stop. This is could be done at the time of capture as well but in this case I had a properly exposed image to begin with.
The last step was to desaturate the image and add a small amount of fill light which opens up the shadow side of the tree giving a flatter yet more silvery final image.
Of course any one or more of these parameters could be treated differently and while I like presets for convenience I also believe it’s necessary to treat each image individually to get the best look.
In keeping with my current exploration of what I can get out of my Sony DSC-V3 I’ve been using it a lot more lately. In combination with Lightroom 3′s new noise processing and shooting in RAW I am able to get good clean images that I am pleased with. I can even get some depth of field separation when I use the camera in certain ways. With the lens zoomed most of the way out and by forcing the smallest available aperture I can get a shallow enough depth of field and quite good bokeh. Of course once I had my nice clean images I processed them in a way that defeated the whole purpose.
What to say about this camera, well it takes 24x36mm negatives like it’s name says. It’s a camera like it appears to be. Oh and if you point it at the sun you get the greatest lens flare, which may be reason enough to own it. The lens quite frankly is poor the viewfinder is poorer and it’s usability is poorest. It’s a zone focus camera and not a rangefinder. It’s greatest technological achievement is that it has a double exposure prevention mechanism but does require setting the shutter separately from winding the film. Maybe someday in the future when I have forgotten all these flaws I’ll shoot another roll with it.
OK these are extreme examples of symmetry. You can have balance in an image without such an obvious left right mirroring, which is commonly called formal balance.
It’s easy to recognize when there is imbalance
But sometimes can be more difficult to recognize when things are in balance even though we may intuitively recognize it.
In this image notice how the kite and the person are in different quadrants of the image and provide an up/down, left/right balance that makes the image more harmonious.
Here is another image where there is a left right balance without being completely symmetrical
Using symmetry and balance can create images that are harmonious and visually quiet. Understanding it’s effect helps also when you want to break from it and create some discord.
When it rains, it’s time to grab a water resistant camera. What’s fits in a pocket is water resistant has a “full frame” sensor and can be found second hand for peanuts? It’s the Olympus Stylus Epic. I’m not sure that 35mm cameras ever came any smaller, It really is a marvel.
On the technical side it has a 35mm f2.8 lens made of 4 elements in 4 groups and exposure and focus is fully automatic as well as film loading and rewind. It is truly a “point and shoot”.
I shoot RAW with my DSLR and my compact camera, because it allows me to get the maximum out of the sensors with the most up to date processing. Shooting jpeg sets the image processing with what is available at the time by the camera manufacturer and usually doesn’t allow for much improvement. Here are some comparison images at 100% magnification both between RAW and Jpeg and comparing the Sony DSC-V3 to my Pentax K-7. I did these tests for my self but thought I would share the results no matter how esoteric.
Sony DSC-V3 100ISO RAW vs jpeg (File size 1.16 Mbyte)
Sony DSC-V3 800ISO jpeg vs RAW (File size 1.4 Mbyte) This is where the differences are most apparent
DSC-V3 vs Pentax K-7 at 100 ISO Both RAW
If the best camera is the one you have with you then the best subject is the one that’s around you. I went for a lunch time walk around where I was working and took some images as I went.