Monday, October 29, 2012

Intermission

Fall Leaves (Test)
Last week I was up in Virginia, near Alexandria, participating in an system-of-systems integration event. I took the Sony with me and practiced using the camera. Up to this point I've not been particularly pleased with the output from the camera, attributing that to my lack of familiarity with the NEX system. The only way to gain familiarity, and thus satisfactory results, is to practice as much as possible.

Something must be happening because these last few groups of photos are actually beginning to look good. I can still see the flaws from the Sony 18-55mm kit zoom, but they don't bother me anymore. Instead I'm doing something I think I forgot how to do. I'm standing back and looking at the whole picture. And when I do I find the flaws disappear and I like the kind of photos the NEX-5N is capable of producing. I like them very much.
Halloween Pickup
Torpedo Factory
The Shop
Whether taken during the day or after dark, the photos turn out rather well. Part if this comes from working with the various features within the NEX-5N, especially Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) set to level 4. I've also turned on all the in-built compensation for the lens. Finally, I've started shooting JPEG + Raw, and deciding in post which one to keep. More often than not I keep the JPEG, using Raw only when I find the JPEG too far off the mark for my tastes.

Remembering Occupy Orlando

It's been a year since Occupy Orlando first set up in Senator Beth Johnson Park. You can go back to my coverage from last year, starting on 15 October by following the tag http://blogbeebe.blogspot.com/search/label/OccupyOrlando. As I stopped by today, the park was remarkably peaceful and empty in comparison to the actions taking place there last year.
Senator Beth Johnson Park
Temporary No Parking
Packing up
The only activity today seemed to be this group packing up a lot of A/V gear from the Double Tree hotel just across the street. It may have been from an event that President Obama was supposed to have conducted, but canceled due to Hurricane Sandy. He was in Orlando earlier that morning, but left around 8am to head back to Washington to keep tabs on the events as they evolved. His motorcade tied up traffic on I-4 westbound from downtown towards 528 and the airport.

Gaston Edwards Park

This park is on Lake Ivanhoe, just a block down North Orange Avenue from Beth Johnson. I stopped for a few minutes to enjoy the beautiful fall weather that had suddenly shown up in Orlando, a beneficial consequence of Hurricane Sandy making landfall to the far north. While I was walking about I grabbed a few photos, including these guys with their bikes and possessions playing a friendly game of cards. We've spent such huge amounts of money building fantasy parks for tourists, yet it's amazing and humbling to see people finding enjoyment with just a simple deck of cards and a beautiful day. They weren't gambling, they were socializing, and they didn't need Facebook or Twitter or any other fancy social network to do it.
Transportation and Possessions
The Card Players

What does it all mean?

It means that, given time and practice, the Sony produces quite good, if different, photographs. They're not better than Olympus, nor worse. Just different. The 5N has moved me out of the rut of slavish adherence to a warped standard of what I think image quality is supposed to be. The NEX-5N produces photos with different properties than compared to Olympus, properties I find I like. There's an interesting article on The Online Photographer, "Image Virtues", which speaks of image properties. The lead-off photo to the article, taken by photojournalist Robert Capa, has absolutely no redeeming qualities when judged by today's standards, yet it has a riveting emotional quality that conveys exactly what is happening in front of the photographer; the landing of American troops on Omaha beach. I wish I could take photos like that.

It also means I need to stick with just one camera and one lens for the time being. I have an overabundance of excellent cameras and  lenses, and they're all unfortunately getting in the way of each other and me. It's nice to have only the Sony and the kit zoom with me. It's nice to be challenged and learning something new.

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like a plan, Bill. Oh, and I've always looked at your pictures 'as a whole', and liked them very much. So much so that I thought that the Sony would be surely good enough for me...

    Ok, with controlled lighting I would surely miss my 50 macro. But for anything out there that Sony with kit zoom seems to be as good (or much better) than my DSLR or Pen with their kit zooms. Perhaps not when pixel-peeping, but who does that? I'm getting tired of it.

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  2. Hi,
    Some nice pleasing colors here..

    ReplyDelete

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