Wednesday, August 8, 2012

You flash quickly through the shutter

I forgot my anniversary with the Panasonic LX5. It is now over one year since I bought the LX5. I have taken 89,109 photographs with the camera so far, and it has been good.

However, the control wheel is causing occasional problems, refusing to respond, especially when rotating "to the right"; so I can easily set aperture downwards, but upwards often takes several tries.

Eric Hameleers bought an LX5, and wrote of his experiences in using the camera. I tried to comment, but for some reason I never got the comment to appear, it may be a Chrome issue. (Yes, I'm back to Chrome from Firefox because of an issue with the new Blogger interface.)

Here is what I wanted to say there:

Good to hear that you are happy with your LX5. I had an LX3 before the LX5, and my settings derive from there: set off all "intelligent" features (I don't even use auto ISO), use aperture priority, etc. This way I know what I will get from the camera.

I like the look of slide film which had a smaller dynamic range than digital cameras. Thus you often underexposed to be safe, and photographs were dominated by totally black shadows. I usually underexpose a bit (-2/3 EV) to get the look I prefer in the photographs.

By the way, there is a setting called i.exposure on the LX5, and if that is on (I set it off), the photographs sometimes resemble HDR, as the camera tries to compensate for high dynamic range.

By the way, below you see how my typical daily "take" looks like in Aperture. Today I stopped to take many photographs of "Hazel", trying to work intuitively ("without thinking") towards a photograph that works. Usually I take a couple of quick photographs and then move on.

I have also evolved my workflow a bit. When I import the jpeg photographs from the memory card I add a little bit of contrast (0.04) and definition (0.1) to get what I want. I apply these settings automatically to all photographs that I import. I think it is better not to be too aggressive on the camera itself with these settings but instead use Aperture for a little bit of processing afterwards.

As to Eric's final questions - "Can the camera do better? Can I do better?" - I need to refer to Andreas' recent posting Can Do, which refers to Kirk's experiences with cameras.

Today I was outdoors 2 1/2 hours, of which 1 h 40 minutes were the bicycle commute and the rest was walking. It was a fine, cool summer day, perfect for being outside.

(Posting title is from the poem Aperture by Jennifer Tonge.)


Eric Hameleers said...

Hi Juha

From time to time I hear from people whose comments fail to get accepted on my blog. This is usually caused by a bug in the Sqlite plugin for Wordpress I use - its SQL parser chokes on certain substrings, in particular ( ) when there is a comma or a pipe symbol inside those ( ).

I appreciate it very much that you wanted to leave a comment. I am only at the bottom of my learning curve right now and have to find the time to learn! 89,000 photos is an amazing amount to shoot in a year.

Cheers, Eric

Juha Haataja said...

@Eric: Thanks for letting me know, I think that was the reason for the comment not appearing.

And learning is something I would like to happen every day; well, one can always wish it to be so. In any case, without trying and failing there is no learning.