Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Progress

Customer Service
I have been making reasonable (some might say remarkable) progress this week towards healing in my left knee. I'm pushing myself to do as much exercise as reasonable while I'm still off from work. I've been mixing workouts at RDV in the therapy pool as well as regular "dry land" PT, to the point where I'm doing something every day. I've been doing that now for nearly two weeks.

For many of you this may not sound like much, but this past Sunday, three weeks to the day after being discharged from Florida Hospital, I was able to drive to RDV and the pool. And I've been driving every since. Not very far and not for long, but still. Tonight I was able to take both Labs, together, for a regular one mile walk in the neighborhood. They were ecstatic.

I'm on track to go back to work next Monday, four weeks after the partial knee replacement. My company is still allowing time off for me to go three days/week in the afternoons to RDV for continuing PT through December. I still have tightness around the knee, like a large rubber band, but flexibility and strength are returning at a rapid and constant rate. I haven't felt this good, this positive, in a very long time.

In addition to my physical well being I've also been just playing with the Sony NEX-5N. Every time I think I'm on the verge of putting it down for good, I take it out one more time and just adopt a don't-care attitude. I just play rather loose, experimenting with it. And I'm slowly discovering that I'm beginning to like how it works, if I use it like a Sony instead of like an Olympus.

In particular I'm depending more and more on the out-of-camera JPEGs. All but one of the photos were SOOC, with only cropping and down-sampling applied. I've tuned the Sony to produce JPEGs that are far different (to me) that what I would have done if I'd post processed everything in Lightroom. For color I'm using Standard, but tuned with Contrast set to -1, Saturation set to -1, and Sharpness set to 0 (the default). If I do Black and White, I have Contrast set to -1. I have DRO set to Lv4. And that's what I use for everything. Everything else is set to auto, such as white balance and ISO. I run the camera in aperture priority.

The results out of the camera are softer, without the harsh sharpness I tended towards with the Olympus cameras. There's more detail in the photos, especially in the shadows and highlights. The photos just look brighter all the way around.

And I'm also noticing just how powerful the tilting LCD is. I'm now developing a technique where I hold the camera down in my hands, pointing to my left or my right, with the LCD tilted up. It reminds me an awful lot of how I just to get candids with my old Mamiya c300f back in the day (no, I'm not making that up). Hold up a camera, any camera, while you're looking at the subject and you'll immediately draw the subjects attention. But hold the camera in an way that's "non-photographic" and I've noticed you're pretty much ignored.

The tilting LCD also allows for different perspectives. I used the E-3's LCD for pretty much the same thing. Unlike the E-3, the 5N is a lot lighter and smaller. Even with the LCD tilted out the whole camera is pretty much swallowed up in my rather large hands.

And the shutter is so quiet compared to the Pens I still have. And the release and focus are very very fast. It makes for an fast and flexible documenting camera.
It's what's for dinner
Aluminum burito
Indoor eating
Out-of-business again
This last photo, taken tonight while my wife and I were out to supper, is the one image I manipulated from RAW. In spite of working with it in RAW I did very little. I increased the saturation a bit, and dropped the blacks a bit. And I applied Lightroom's automatic lens correction for the Sony 18-55mm. And that's it. Everything else was left as the camera selected it.
Dream Possible
I'm at a bit of a quandary at this point. I could throw more money at the Sony camera in the form of more lenses and a second body. Or I could follow through and throw that same money at Olympus. For example, I could get the lovely, just released Sony 10-18mm f/4 E zoom (effective 15-27mm) ultra-wide-angle for the 5N. It costs close to $900, which makes it rather expensive to me. That's pretty much the cost of an Olympus E-M5 body. According to a review on Luminous Landscape it looks to be more than decent, with the reviewer calling it "a keeper." Before I do that, however, I may just go ahead and pick up a copy of the "consumer grade" Sigma 19mm (effective 28mm). With the sensor as good as it is on the 5N, I find I don't have this crazy need for fast glass anymore, especially in low light situations. And I remember how I spent $650 on the Olympus Standard Grade Zuiko 9-18mm (effective 18-36mm) and used it quite a bit, and was happy to have it.

Physically (physical therapy) and photographically (shutter therapy) I've been making positive progress, and it makes me happy. They each seem to be reinforcing the other, and I certainly can't complain about that.

Update 28 November

I broke down and recreated the top photo from RAW. The color balance, once I started to look at it on other devices (especially the Nexux 7) was too yellow. So I went into the RAW file and adjusted to take out the yellow cast and to look as close as possible to the in-camera JPEG. It's more contrasty than the original, but I think that's OK.


  1. Glad to hear that you're better Bill. Oh, and very nice photos from the 5N.

    1. Thanks. It's been an interesting period all the way around for me. I'm trying to back myself out of the pedantic dead-end, photographically speaking, I've put myself in. I've taken a fair amount of time off due to the operation, and it seems to have helped me mellow out a bit. Photography is fun again.


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