Monthly Archives: November 2011

Parliament + waterfront

Took my new zoomy lens to parliament for a cheeky session before work and to the waterfront after work for a nice long one. Very impressed with the performance of this lens.

Everything was shot in landscape mode and I gave zero attention to my camera settings (a very good thing). Interestingly my camera jacks most shots up to ISO-400 with this lens (haven’t checked if it also does that with the regular lens), which is great because there’s zero quality difference between 100 and 400 on this camera in daylight hours and everything gets shot around 1/400 meaning sharp shots with image stabilisation turned off 🙂 Yesterday I was worried about getting sharp images, but all my testing was done in semi low light. In daylight it’s a total non-issue so I’m very happy 🙂

A few shots went a bit cartoonish with the use of landscape film which increases saturation and contrast, though overall I think it improves the good shots and ruins shots that were probably going to be crummy throw away losers anyway.

New lens

Recieved my 55-200 tele-zoom lens which I ordered from Chistchurch today.  Because it’s on a DX body, it has an effective range of 88-300mm, so it’s very zoomy!

I spend about an hour in the backyard experimenting with it, it’s very different from my other lens, which is a 18-55mm, or 29-88mm equivalent.

For starters the minimum distance you can focus is about a metre and a half, instead of 10cm, so you have to stand much further away from anything.  Also it’s much more prone to getting blurry shots when it’s zoomed in because every movement is exaggerated by a factor of 4. When this lens is sharp, it’s sharp. It’s just the getting it to sharp is quite a bit harder, whereas with the smaller lens it happens practically every shot.

Those negatives aside, it I can now make shot which I simply couldn’t before, revealing details I’ve never noticed.

I developed a strong urge to shoot every bird that was flying around

One thing that is really remarkable about longer focal lengths is the ability to throw the background out of focus is far, far greater. There’s no way I could get this level of background blur / subject isolation with my other lens, and it’s simply in a different galaxy from compact cameras.

Another interesting thing at local focal lengths is compression. What this means is there’s less background given the same sized subject/foreground. You have a far narrower angle of view. This is very useful for removing annoying background distractions. I could have taken this shot with my other lens, though I don’t think it would’ve been as good because there would’ve been more background details, as well them being much more in focus.

Sunday experimenting

This first shot I was trying out the ‘sport’ mode on my camera while trying to shoot Roxy hunting a fly.  Sports mode is optimised to track fast moving subjects.  I’ve been doing a lot of research into all the ‘scene’ modes which I’ve virtually never used, they’re actually pretty sensible and I’m going to try using them as much as possible and see what sorts of results I get.



The next shot I was messing around with trying different types of photography. This is a photo, of a photo, which is displaying on my monitor. I used a 1 second shutter speed and let it expose the picture for a bit before panning my camera to the side, creating a motion blur.  Not a good photo, but an interesting technique.

Twilight rain

Took these a couple of week ago at twilight while it was lightly raining. Rain is annoying to shoot in, though when it’s tropical rain at at this time of night it can be a really pretty thing because it means artificial light reflects off the ground.

Worth noting that I used my LX3, which is technically a compact camera. It’s in these sorts of conditions where higher-end components really shine because it would be impossible to use a regular pocket camera here.

Newtown at twilight

Took these about a week ago when I had too much pent up energy and needed to go for a walk. They’re all taken handheld so some are a bit noisy.

This first one has purple sky, lol. Auto white balance gone funny.

This is my favourite, it has the tone I was looking for

The sky was nice to me for this last one

Front garden at twilight

A few photos shot from a tripod in the front garden. It was quite interesting to see what different ISO makes to the exposure, I wasn’t expecting this

This first one is at ISO-400 and gets the crazy blue sky which I like. The vegetation which is backlit by street lights looks truly wacky.

This next one is at ISO-100. It’s underexposed for my tastes. What’s interesting is that I was doing a bunch of shots at ISO-800 beforehand to get the framing right, and they all had the bright blue sky (was actually a little too bright). The ISO-100 is technically more accurate, though kinda boring.

Finally this one, which may not be the greatest picture, though I do like how everything looks like its made of plastic because of the lighting.

Photos are everywhere

There are photos everywhere, you just need to look for them.

I took these in the backyard while waiting for the kettle to boil.

Used my new pocket Canon A2200, which is ridiculously good for such a cheap little camera.

New pocket camera

Purchased a new pocket camera to replace my Ixus 130, the cheerful looking Canon A2200. It’s technically a downgrade, though there’s no doubt it’s got better image quality and usability than my old one and it was a steal at only $140. It’s a bit bigger but that’s fine with me.

Here’s a couple of shots I took with it this morning, one in sepia, the other in black and white.