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Posts tagged “Techincal Tips

Unrelated

Unrelated to the fact that Nutley is stealing the bowl from under Willow’s nose, I have just accomplished a marathon backup. Thing can go missing so easily. My problem? Multiple backup drives all over the house. Sorry. They are in places which changed regularly as I moved around the past couple decades. Shifting sand. It’s always nice to do something you have not done. In this case I lost a folder of files, about a thousand images, from 2007, my Nikon D70. What’s a thousand in the scheme of nearly a million images. Not much. I have the OCD. And I don’t lose anything because I never throw anything away. Laugh. I’m not sure what to do. I began with the external hard drives within reach. There were nearly a dozen within ten feet. (slap forehead with hand for emphasis) Nope! I had made a redundant mistake across a dozen drives. That folder was missing in each and every. I have a database tracking my images. The missing folder was for real. Quit, give up, a lesser man with less OCD might. I made a trip to the basement fully expecting to paw through storage bins all day. Third bin, and I found a group of drives. About four tries later, the missing folder! See! OCD works! It’s a bad precedent. Any other missing folders? And how would I know? … I’m not losing any sleep. There comes a time when you have to stop worrying.

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Nutley is a porker. He’s gained weight steadily since he came to live with us. He’s probably the heaviest now. And the other cats are all good natured. They allow Nutley to invade their bowls and defer to him. He’s not aggressive. He just noses in. His hearing is uncanny. I swear he can hear the others licking their bowl. Ha! This last pic is Ray. Twins. But I’m sure it’s Nutley who’s getting extra. Ha! It’s all unrelated. And one cannot effectively image the sweat on my brow to locate that missing folder. How’d I know anyway?


Tele(photo)

Prime lenses are commonly wide-angle lenses. When they discuss the best all around lens it’s usually in the range of 35mm. it’s good for portraits and landscape and street photography, an all in one all-purpose lens for all occasions. For me? I’m usually shooting at max tele on my zoom lens. I get rid of distracting background. I don’t have to move closer. It’s a good all-around lens for the lazy photographer. I don’t get the idea of 35mm. I can shoot at wide angle. My zoom allows. But I find most of my shots are near to max tele. It’s how it is.


Action

Look. This is what you need to notice: The hand is (motion) blurred. The blocks are in motion falling down. The child has a wonderful expression – joy!

Can you guess where we’ve been recently? Yes! We cautiously made a field trip and did a visit in the midst of corona. Everyone’s been intelligently quarantined – for us, it’s been months. The auto everything camera of today has made me lazy. I press the shutter and magic occurs and a perfect image appears on my memory card. Not so fast, there’s a lot of factors in play – lighting, shutter speed, ISO, F-stop, zoom, composition, timing… Hey! That makes me scramble, I’m always seeking the perfect moment. I’m not sure you ever get there. But some moments are better than others. I am very thankful to have captured “moments” more than “almost.”


Canon G3

Canon G3

I have to credit Lisa with transitioning me to digital photography. She bought me this camera one birthday long ago. Until then I was an Ektachrome slide photographer. Nikon would not put out the digital D70 for a year or more. This (G3) was the camera recommended by the camera shop. I enjoyed the use of it though I never made it my “go to” camera. Nonetheless, I used the G3 to shoot some of Susan’s daughter’s wedding though I never did use it extensively. And then, the Nikon D70 came in 2004. I shot Dave’s high school graduation and never shot another frame of slide film after that. Just like that – analog slide to digital. Julia swore she could always tell my scanned slides from digital images, until she stopped complaining one day. Yup, I still have this camera. It’s unused. It occupies a treasured spot on the shelf, honorably retired. (My mistake. it’s gone missing. The G3. I have an extensive collection of unused gear. It’s there somewhere, just where, I’m not sure.)

The latest greatest? I just learned (realized) how much I have evolved. I did a photo shoot with a mirrorless camera. Advantages over my big Nikon DSLR: smaller, lighter weight!, LCD viewfinder. I shoot at different angles and compose differently. Embrace change? It’s a tool (camera). Know your camera and it’s capabilities. Use it. I love learning new things after all these years.

And, once more I apologize to my dear (present) wife. Colleen weaves. She reads (weaving), takes classes, and watches video at every opportunity. I have often wondered why? You know it, already? And then, I look at what I know and how it evolved. She’s always right. And, I can hear, “I told you so,” coming right around the corner at me!


It’s not the camera

A while back I had a post of the cameras I’m currently using. Musing, I was looking retrospectively and reflecting on how my taste and interest has changed and evolved. Succinctly put, it’s not the camera – it’s the photographer. You can make anything work. As a weekend carpenter I know that when you don’t have a hammer, a screwdriver will do. Reflecting on the Sony RX100 VI vs the Canon M6 Mark II: both are excellent cameras. The Sony has a greater electronic zoom. So, I can get close from far away. Telephoto! The Canon lets me zoom quickly. It’s manual adjustment. How quaint! Knowing the advantages and drawbacks, that’s my job. And so I try to reach for the right camera for the right job. Had the world not gone corona, we would have been looking at Scotland pics right about now. So many (trip) plans got changed. Hopefully, health remained unchanged.


Portrait

Typically, a portrait is vertically composed. With iPhone it’s mostly? Vertical too? Most folks are too lazy to turn their phone. With a camera, the photos (portraits) are mostly horizontal. Same, you can’t be bothered to turn the camera vertically. Enough! Vertical! Horizontal! I will admit I am mostly horizontal (camera). Lazy! Guilty.


Forgiveness

Cardinal, as in bird, is a very skittish one. He does not like to pose. Male? You bet. This is its specific coloration. The female is another color. Duh! It’s a soft photo. (it’s a nice way to say, it’s out of focus). But you will forgive me, if the eyes have a catch light in them. It just makes the photo seem sharp. Not. But that’s my argument and I’m stickin’ with it. My bad, I was shooting through the window (glass) and the screen. Of course, I was challenged. I got a shot or we would not be speaking about this at all. And, not another word – ’bout me being challenged.


Isolation

Me? I photograph. Even if I am sheltering in place, I’m still photographing. There was an article on not sharing your camera – germs. Ha! The cats? No one else would use my stuff. It’s like toothbrushes. Not really, but, it’s akin to my sitting down to loom (weave) on Colleen’s devices. Once upon a time I said that about spinning…. Rainy days bring out color saturation. Out of the box the image of forsythia can easily be enhanced. I chose to show you what the camera gave me. There are lots of cat portraits. I shoot the cats because they are available, though not necessarily willing. And, when you get it (a good shot) you know it. There are just so many good ones and so few posts.

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No

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Sometimes, I have to go take a picture for this blog. The new Nikon D780 is out and reviewed. It fills me with camera envy. I have been faithful to the Nikon line since the Nikon FTn. I have had a progressive body up to the Nikon D610. And then, the timing of my purchase was such that the D750 was released about two weeks after my purchase. (Yup!! Buy high! Sell low! Duh!) Enough tech and numbers, I grew older and my interests changed, not for photography but for cameras. Point and shoot cameras grew up. The iphone turned everything on its ear. Now compact, sleek, carry in your pocket cameras could do everything as good as a big DSLR without the heft, and especially, the cost. I can now upgrade or change for way fewer $$ as the whim carries me. Longing? Yes, I long for the brand new spiffy D780. (Hint: Colleen?!) But no! Not for the $$$$. There’s more bang for your $ and I no longer shoot events, parades, or weddings. The D610 works great. Nikon made a good product that lasts. Therein lies the need for advertising to convince this poor consumer to shell out $$ for a spiffy newer better beat all DSLR. Ante up? No.


Spring

There’s a problem posting a vertical pic alone. It’s just disproportionate to the page. So, I don’t too often (post verticals). Pairing! Yup, I tend to pair a horizontal pic and it’s more pleasing in the layout. It’s spring! Time for crocuses. It’s stark bright spring light. It makes me feel “spring.” Elle? She’s our shy cat. She’s wary and generally hiding in a safe strategic spot ready to bolt to safety. She trusts me to let me shoot a pic. Otherwise,  I never get too close. She doesn’t trust me that much.IMG_3923


Fickle

I got a new camera a while back – about a month ago – and it has supplanted my last latest greatest camera – just like that. There is a role for everything…but for now…. I used to love my big ‘ole Nikon. I do, still. It has a definite role. And, it is my “go to” serious camera. But, the images I shoot are just fine with the easier to maneuver, easier to handle, easier to reach for, more available – point and shoots. Well, mirrorless is not quite all that, but it is close enough – for now. TMI? Suffice to say that I have a new toy. It’s got my interest. I’m taking pictures again. All good – right?

Cats. Sleeping, dreaming, plotting their next round of mischief… cute. And Elle, my poor solitary kitty. She skulks. It’s her way. And I catch her. She’s okay now. I even get her out in the open occasionally. Lucky!


Remote control

New toy! When I was a neurosurgeon, we (our specialty) got the best toys. (He who dies with the most toys wins.) Bluetooth. I’m hooked into the new camera with my phone and with a dedicated remote. This is the first camera I have that is capable of firing via Bluetooth. (It’s not my first ever remote.) It’s new technology which opens up a whole new avenue of possibility. It’s not brain surgery. But the toys are getting better and better.


HDR…again

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Aha! I got a better HDR. The camera had two HDR settings. Neither option gives you a natural look. It’s a look. And it’s different. My cup of tea? I think not. You can fall into the trap of thinking that you can just go ahead and Photoshop whatever effect you want in post-processing. Compromise?!

Shoot video or still. You can get decent still images from high def video frames. But, you really don’t do both well and end up half baked. But you got both? I have to admit I’m a color image kind of guy. … and happy.

Choose. I shall keep HDR in mind. There will be an image appropriate. Meanwhile, I’m good.


Black & White

I like Black & White but I’m not going over to it anytime soon. I’m going along too fast to pause and make the adjustments on my camera. Mine is not a slow walk. I have photo shooting opportunities… maybe I should stop and smell the roses. I’m retired. What’s the rush? It’s hard. I’m too much go and not enough slow. Ok, bad rhyme.

And with all the time in the world to get it right, I still am able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I should be checking and rechecking. There would be fewer mistakes.

I make mistakes and learn from them. And when it really counts, I am ready set. Even then I can and do make multiple shots to ensure I have gotten what I envisioned. Meanwhile, I’m always learning. It’s always nice to have options.


Auto focus

Before auto – everything, photography required a bit of set up: shutter, aperture, lens, focus, film, ASA/ISO. Ha ha! Point and shoot – iPhone, then on instantly to Instagram. I, too, am impatient. Too much. The eye and the mind can think faster than camera and fingers. I see things I can’t shoot. The camera does its best to keep up. Sometimes it fails. Focusing through a window screen it’s too much to ask. The lens/sensor it too good but not smart. Or, you can fool it. I thought I did. Confused. It’s why you shoot doubles and hope one came out. There is still image degradation shooting through the screen. But I’ll take it. The alternative was, miss the shot, or climb out the window.


In use… what’s in your pocket?

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While I have been on the subject… what camera is my current fav. Well, it varies. I have a Nikon D610, Sony RX100 VI, Canon G7X, and a Canon EOS M6 II in rotation at the moment. I started as a SLR/DSLR person with the requisite lenses to show for it. I have been through the Nikon body line, but no more. I stopped at the D610. It’s 5 years old and working just fine. It’s huge and clunky, too much of a statement for my purposes these days. I’m not shooting for profit or magazine. The G7X was my dive camera. I loved it. I am preserving it for future dives. It has 89k clicks. I want it to last; I have an expensive dive housing specific to this camera alone. The RX100 has been through 7 iterations. I succumbed at the 6th. It has been a great go to camera for 99k clicks in a bit more than a year. The EOS M6 is my foray into mirrorless. It’s less clunky and way lighter on the shoulder. This one is a work in progress. I have had a host of point and shoot style Canon (mostly). They have had far less play. They have a role but for some reason, portability was not the main consideration. The iPhone is great for photographing something I need to remember. Otherwise, it is not a memory keeper. I know I’m swimming uphill with this idea, but that’s my opinion and I’m stickin’ with it.

You can well think; a camera is a camera as an image is an image. Pixels, schmixels. I happen to subscribe to the notion of getting the best image available. So, I have a higher level of expectation and tend to leave the smaller point and shoot cameras behind. No, i did not shoot with all of these. Some were collected for a few bucks when film went away. Curiosities.


HDR

High dynamic range. It’s a photographic technique. Smash three images together to get a better “whole.” The concept: the high, medium, low tones are too great to be captured together in a single image on film or sensor. Sensor! We can capture three images and put all three together. Complicated? My new spiffy camera can do it “in camera” by merely pressing the shutter. This is not a good example. The image looks spooky. I can immediately appreciate the manipulation. And, the casual viewer knows something is not quite right. But, we got much more detail in the image than from out of the camera “automatically.” You can get “instant” black and white as easily as going to another “setting.” What happened to “work?” Is it craft if it is so easy as to change a setting “just like that!”?


Experi(mental)

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In a follow-up to the new camera post, here are some shots and observations. Different? Better? Needed? Canon EOS M6 II, mirrorless digital camera

Film cameras are done. Like time, life is one way, forward. Film is around. I will likely never shoot another frame.

  1. From the early film camera of my youth – Argus C3 “brick” was the camera my mother got and I used once. I was an utter dismal failure. Don’t ask. Later, Kodak Instamatic to Nikon SLR to DSLR.
  2. From the early film camera of my youth – Argus C3 “brick” was the camera my mother got and I used once. I was an utter dismal failure. Don’t ask. Kodak Instamatic to Nikon SLR to DSLR. I believed that I had evolved to the pinnacle of development. No, NO!
  3. Flash has always been a challenge (for me). But, it works. I prefer to defer (rhyme). Cameras have built-in flash that leaves a lot to desire but it’s there.
  4. WiFi, Wow! Double wow! The darn camera connects to my iPhone and I can download images to my phone, hence, to message and email instantly. I know you could do this before. But, moi? It’s the first time it worked without agony for me.
  5. Selfies? Never easier.
  6. As an aside, we live on a pond and the water level/table is high. The neighbors have a pool. It’s the oddest…. attached to the house no more than a few feet wide and about twenty feet long. What do you do with that? Laps, it’s too short. Frolic, it’s too small. Just picture me – puzzled.
  7. So far as digital cameras go, they almost cook your breakfast now. There are a myriad of settings and adjustments that you can customize on the fly. TMI!! But it’s there. It’s a steep a learning curve as you like. Or, you can shoot in automatic and the camera will do a spiffy job. Whatever! We’re a long way from film. I have my iPhone (thanks Dave) but I keep my camera ready 99% of the time.
  8. Need? There’s wine and there’s wine. There’s beer and there’s Bud.

 

 


Lights

We have been battling dim lights. Ha ha. It’s not age so much as improvement in LED lighting technology (and cost). I’ve had a whole new education in light bulbs. Watts is the old standard. But, now it matters about lumens. And all lumens are not the same. Really!? The light bulb companies state what they have and you discover that all lumens are not equally bright. (Duh?!) For the first time I am seeing 3000K and 5000K (on the box) and the talk about yellow, blue, and white light. The color of light? It’s photography 101. And there are bulbs you can get that will light a stadium. And the watts are low, so, you can install one in your house and not blow a fuse or raise the electric bill. TMI. I got a fixture sitting 18 ft up in the ceiling. I got an 8 foot ladder. Oh my!! (Shit!) The overexposure in the image is intentional. That’s a bright light!


Cute

Here’s a technical tip. Move the camera in front of the eyes and it will look as though your granddaughter is looking directly into your eyes/lens. Cheating? Nope. It’s just good sense. Note: she’s in a waterproof jacket. It cuts down on laundry and makes clean up a bit easier. She still slings food. And, fingers are optional and definitely flavorful.


Spider

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Yup, done this one before too. No problem. I haven’t done it many times and I don’t think I have done it upside down. Oh! Sure! Yes! Done that too! No matter, it’s still fun and unique. It’s not easy to get the shot. A point and shoot camera has certain disadvantages. Focus on small objects is a problem. But the main advantage is that I had a camera at all when I found this spider asking for his close-up.


Distortion

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Photoshop does photomerge. It will combine photos to produce a panorama. It’s a bit more complicated than iPhone. Apparently if you shoot a series vertically and try to merge them, you get a good amount of distortion. Sometimes that’s a good thing. It’s not realistic, but it is a function of the method. Okay!

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Wide angle distortion. It’s what comes from holding the camera in one place and rotating. One could pan as you walk but then it would be work.


Ominous

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We went down to the beach at sunset. The beach faces east; there’s no real sunset view. It had rained the day before. No big deal, it rains. But we are entering fall and the turbulent waves had done a number on the beach sand. There was a three-foot ledge from wave erosion overnight. A lot of sand had been washed away. There goes millions $$$ in beach replenishment. The towers in the distance are the bridge at the inlet. The waves speak for themselves. Our otherwise tranquil beach was roiling. I have often read about telephoto perspective. “It” compresses the scene to make things look crowded upon themselves. I did it! With a point and shoot! Sometimes, I surprise myself.


Out of the box

I have lots of great flower pictures… too numerous to count. And, I like to post images straight from the camera… no manipulation (Photoshop). That is not to say that I don’t. I have added or moved people around in group shots. I have added open eyes – someone always has their eyes closed in a group shot. Part of the reason is that I’m lazy. I don’t want to spend time in Photoshop. So, I visualize my shots and try to get things right in the camera before I press the shutter. It works… often. Sometimes, I touch up. There are purists among us who disapprove. Back in the day – Ansel Adams – the negative was just the starting point for the print process. Photoshop makes it easier to massage the pixels. There are masters; I am strictly amateur.