Tuesday, February 04, 2014

More experimenting with the camera

So, yes, the viewing screen will take a bit of getting used to.  The kestrel hovering over the field by the road gave me a few seconds before it was over the hills and far away, and with a viewfinder I could probably have captured it, but I got nowhere near.  Though with the Panasonic, unless I'd remembered to switch it to action mode it wouldn't have focused quickly enough; the first Canon would have done, even with its smaller zoom and mere half a dozen megapixels.  But perhaps I'll get better at it.  I managed to zoom in on this ascending jet:

And for close ups, with or without the zoom, as I say, it is better:

 It doesn't have quite the same lovely shallow depth of field of its Canon predecessor, so that the object in focus pops out nicely from a blurry background, which not everybody wants for everything, but being fond of detail I tend to appreciate it,

but again, it's not bad.  Perhaps if I read over yet again how to use the manual aperture setting, and tried to get it to stay in my head which seems to have no retentive capacity for inverse ratios and the most basic theory of optics, I could enhance this. I tried to bend my mind to this matter with the Panasonic, just about held onto the knowledge for a brief spell, only to find that the aperture setting wouldn't allow for any more reduction of the depth of field than I could get with the automatic macro anyway (not much), so I promptly forgot it again. Trouble is with this new camera, that setting is on the same dial as the 'discreet mode' which, at a single stroke, switches off the flash and gets rid of the little yellow light that lands on things you're trying to photograph (good for luring and tantalising cats but I've never known what else) and the horrible artificial shutter noises ( which are, it seems, partly there to alert people to the fact you're photographing them; they can't do much about protecting their privacy but do at least know they've lost it).  If I start fiddling with the aperture will take priority over discretion. 

However, the possible handicap of the camera's tendency to over expose can produce a different but perhaps equally interesting intensifying of attention on the subject, in that in bright light things not immediately in focus tend to blur off into whiteness.  You might not want this, or if you did could quite likely achieve it through some kins of clever photo-shopping, but as I don't do that either, I rather like the idea of using it to serendipitous effect.

At this time of year, when there is sun in the afternoons, as occasionally, even this year, there is, it pours into the room.  This bowl came from an open air event at the Briquetterie in Langueux, where a potter had a wheel and a mud-built kiln set up. 

Quite an unusual hexagonal pattern in the flare too.  Is that something to do with bokeh?

In the next shot you may observe how dusty my kitchen window sill is. 

The last of the dry stalks of coriander are in a jug there, picked for its seeds, and then because I just quite like it there.  The coriander in the garden always goes to seed, despite freezing it and using as much of the leaf as I can.  But then, especially since Tom has been on his Indian food kick, we do use a great deal of coriander seed, so it's worth harvesting that too.


the polish chick said...

loveliness. as usual.

Catalyst said...

I love joining in this learning stage.

Anonymous said...

I really like the one of your kitchen window sill.

zephyr said...

i'm becoming enamored with your camera and i've made note of the model...as i need to upgrade soon.
And...i can't tell you how comforting it is to see the dust on your window sill. :^) i'm not alone!

Francesca said...

The white fuschias have come out very well - I have been trying to photograph snowdrops recently, and they always look like little white blobs! It's a white flower thing, I have been telling myself, but now I am not so sure.

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely photos, nice to know you're enjoying productive experimentation with your new camera.

Soize said...

Tu ne vas pas être longue à la dompter ! ;-)

Lucy said...

Thanks all, I've since cleaned the kitchen windowsill!

Zephyr - it might be a bit limiting in its scope for someone like you, then but young Chloë, who did photography as part of her foundation course and has always used a DSLR, commenting on one of the previous posts, says she got one like it recently and finds it very satisfactory, and that it does most of the things a reflex can.