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A couple of photography thoughts.

Looking at those photos of bluebells I posted yesterday, I resolve to try to photograph bluebells in the evening, if I am photographing any more of them.  Those look ten times more blue and impressive than the ones I photographed in the sunny morning, and all the shadows have a wonderful blue tone to them, even though the camera was using the same colour balance settings.  I think those particular flowers were specially blue ones, but even so, the lighting is just better.

I am kind of pleased with my photos of bees.   They aren't close to publication standard, but there's a fair level of detail visible, for photos of insects on the move taken in passing as I went up to the compost heap.   I took them with my Nex3, which is starting to nudge into the 'older camera' category, and a 50mm Pentax-M lens that is positively venerable, having been manufactured in the pre-digital 80's for some long-vanished SLR, and crudely married to the Nex3 with a cunning converter ring thing.

I continue to be a bit in love with my manual-focus lenses - I have a selection of ancient Pentax PK-compatible fit lenses, that attach to my Sony Nex3 with a converter ring.

 I really like that you can so easily tell the camera *exactly* what you want in focus - no attempting to persuade an autofocus that thinks it should get a say in the composition what to include, just precise adjustment via the focus ring - and shoot.  My father in law was around here the other day with his new superzoom camera (Panasonic) which is undeniably an awesome bit of kit - amazingly light, and with a built-in lens that you could use to take photos through the window of a house on the other side of a large field - but as soon as I was allowed to play with it, I started to get a little frustrated with the autofocus mechanism.  Next time I buy a camera, I think I probably want one with manual focus at least as an option.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
5th May, 2014 18:42 (UTC)
Manual focus is one of those things I really should do more often.
5th May, 2014 19:12 (UTC)
I wasn't at all sure that I was going to like using manual focus a lot, but when ancient manual focus lenses were so cheap on Ebay, it seemed worth a try. But although I do have a modern um, 20-55mm I think lens for that camera, I can't remember the last time I actually used it. I mostly use the 50mm lens, and occasionally swap to the 20mm or just use my phone for wide-angle.
6th May, 2014 15:00 (UTC)
Does your 20-55mm lens allow manual focus, or not? (My equivalent 12-60mm lens does, which is one reason why I haven't got any old lenses for my camera - although I still don't use MF on it very often).
5th May, 2014 18:58 (UTC)
Along with experimenting with different lights.
5th May, 2014 19:14 (UTC)
I keep meaning to do that too - I didn't deliberately photograph the bluebells in late-morning and then evening light, it just happened that way, but I think looking at those shots that I should think more about the effect that time of day has on colour.
5th May, 2014 19:16 (UTC)
I did an experiment today at Lydney Park, taking the same shot with both my cameras and my phone. I should have added adaese's camera to thr mix as well.
5th May, 2014 19:24 (UTC)
My phone (a Nexus 4) definitely does a lot of processing on the images it takes. I like what it does with landscapes, mostly, although sometimes it applies too much sharpening, particularly to leaves in sunlight, it also tends to whack the vibrancy right up, which is great for sunsets and green leaves. But of course there is a limit to what you can really do with that small a lens: it's usually terrible at anything moving, unless it's right at midday.
5th May, 2014 19:28 (UTC)
And with that small a sensor.
6th May, 2014 00:09 (UTC)
Time of day is huge, although if you take a lot of foliage photos you might want to look into a polarizer as well if you don't have one.

For phone photos, I'm really fond of using Snapseed for post-processing. It's pretty intuitive and allows a lot of control over sharpening, saturation, etc.
6th May, 2014 15:03 (UTC)
For both carmarthen and bunn - you might enjoy reading this essay (and others on the same site):
16th May, 2014 22:30 (UTC)
I'm...really not a fan of Rockwell. He's often flat-out wrong, and pompous as heck, and I don't care for his photography. Googling 'Ken Rockwell criticism' indicates that I'm not alone.

Although it IS true that timing is important for light—even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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