Saturday, November 6, 2010

Walk in a forest

Autumn, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Fir, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Cut, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Red, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Grass, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

We went today, once again, for a walk in the Pirttimäki forests in Espoo. Pirttimäki is east of the much more famous Nuuksio national park, but the landscape is quite fine also here, and there is much less crowding. Here is a short-story in photographs.

Yesterday I wrote in a hurry about the settings I use for long exposures. I sort of lost my main thought there, which was "simplify". That is, why I like to use simple settings and not rely on automatics on the LX3.

It is funny that software automation is often marketed as a time-saver when in fact it usually is just the opposite. Microsoft Office is a good example of this. Only after you turn off all the automatic corrections etc. can you get something done. And the same applies to cameras. Only after moving away from "intelligent auto", "auto ISO" etc. can one start focusing on the taking of photographs.

Of course, some things are really useful, for example autofocus. However, it you are using a single focal length it is much less useful than with a zoom. And thus for night photography I often switch to manual focus and use a fixed focal length, typically 24 mm.

But one shouldn't be too dogmatic. After all, I use automatic exposure, which really is a timesaver. But even here one shouldn't rely too much on it - one has to look at the live histogram to make the right choice in exposure. And here is also why I don't like auto ISO: I like to know in advance what will happen when pressing the button. Suprises are (mostly) bad.

Well, I guess it is time to stop the rant. And I guess my approach may not be at all what would work for you when taking photographs. I would like to hear of other approaches - one can always learn new things.

By the way, Mark Hobson is still continuing his series of postings "on seeing". The paragraph here was really interesting: "I have often suggested to picture makers who want to move beyond the pretty picture and for whom photography is more than entertainment [...] that they write their own critique about those pictures to which they are attracted or, conversely, from which they are repelled. And I do mean to actually write - put some thought into it and put one's thoughts and reactions down on paper. That activity is a very important part of self education."

I agree! (But I think this is a kind of writing you should probably do in private, not for the public.)

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