Friday, March 25, 2011

A twig photographer's dream time

We had hard wind yesterday and today, and it dropped a lot of twigs and other stuff from the trees on the snow. So, you could say we are having a feast for a twig photographer (see also here).

I wrote a little bit about using the LX3 at Andreas' blog, regarding the use of manual focus. I didn't mean that one should try to focus on a subject through the LCD - I have done it a couple of times when the LX3 has been on a tripod, and it is not really a pleasure.

What I meant is to use the DOF range which is shown on the LCD to set up the desired range. This of course works well only if you use aperture priority. (And I don't use anything else on the LX3 except by mistake.)

For example, you may set the focus range from 2 meters to infinity - a good setting for general street photography. Or set it to 1...3 meters and take photographs of subjects in this range.

I have used this in night photography (with long exposures), and also with motion blur: set the desired focus range and take photographs of subjects while walking/skiing/in a car etc. As a bonus, there is no focus lag so the camera responds instantly.

Update: There is a fresh review of the Panasonic LX5 at aPHOTOzine, well made and containing several interesting practical observations on the use. (Found via 1001 Noisy Cameras.)


Andreas said...

I use manual focus at the moment for my intentionally out-of-focus images. MF, 24 mm, f5.6, minimum focus distance. I'm still experimenting, anything between f4 and f5.6 may work, most likely it depends on the subject and the patterns.

Due to the simple hexagonal aperture, bokeh at f5.6 is busy, but that is not necessarily a problem, to the contrary. Especially with architecture and man-made objects like bicycles it makes for interesting effects.

Btw, this is a style of photography that I almost always compose using the back LCD.

Juha Haataja said...

I never really tried intentional out-of-focus; although I have taken by mistake of course quite a few of those. This seems something worth exploring.

I guess one needs a subject which allows this, generating a familiarity out of the blur. Would spring flowers work?

Andreas said...

An example of what I mean is currently on my blog under the title "1647 - Orange Crush".

Honestly, I don't really know why I do it, I just follow an inspiration. Recognizability is not a consideration. Basically I look at the world through a filter that I've never used. If I like what I see, even when it's completely abstract, I take an image.

Juha Haataja said...

@Andreas: "Recognizability is not a consideration" - that is an interesting approach indeed.