Thursday, October 13, 2011

Other attempts in pocket photography

This is with the assertion that I do know that a professional or semi-professional DSLR with a carefully chosen lens and a tripod, and maybe even a ring flash (for the microscopic, especially) is the toolkit proper to the shots I've been playing with, I want to see what an advanced pocket camera can do.  It is my belief that most people don't even try to see what they CAN do (and that is not to vie with a kit that costs more than ten times as much).
In this post I venture to deal with very high-contrast basically dark circumstances and then with the very tiny, but without special lens or ring flash, let alone a highly manipulable tripod, yet avoiding (on the dark one) destroying the atmosphere of a dark room as really experienced.
The light I was staring at
During household rearrangement
It takes some thinking to update and rearrange, when the house has limited provision (even after re-wiring) for power supply, all of one's video and audio and IT that needs to work together.  Just take my word for it.  And don't ask what the mundane reality of this stuff is, though I'll vouch for the dark-stained pine planking of the floor.  The temporary placements are not exactly House Beautiful.
Taking a break from reading on a Kindle, for a coffee break, as the sun came in and out of scudding clouds, I was as usual loving my old house, just as it is.  And light I always love.  Could the pocket camera possibly accept photographing the darkness without losing every hint of detail where one window with its blinds tipped downwards shone on the polyurethane (of some kind) alternative to wax.
Logically, the only hope was to place the 4-spot reading in the largely light middle of the picture (this is not a post-cropped image), set shutter-delay, and hold my breath.  It worked.  I had hardly any work to do in Photoshop Levels.  The mistake would be to have the camera take the exposure (and focus) from the dark areas, thinking that you needed to get some detail there; you would lose the atmosphere that I was sitting in, and you would burn out the highlights while devotedly detailing the dusting rags.
In the Picasa album you can find two more, one of more of the room, one of only a detail.
Bugs and bits of leaves and...?
What I'd never taken a second look at
Though I've owned much larger and more expensive cameras, I'd never before had one (except for the Nikon D80 with its 1987 AF f. 2.8 macro lens, which I can't hold steady hand-held and which has mirror jerk and at a distance of inches has little depth of field) that I could take close-ups with, of objects like this chance accumulation that is on the siding of my front porch.  I had to be taught by the blog Naturally even to look at things of this kind (though neither am I prone to brushing them away).
On most computer screens the above subject, without zooming, is slightly larger than the real thing is.
And yet the pocket camera, not because it is affordable, not because it is tiny, but because the technology is so much farther advanced,  took it on first attempt.  All I had to do was use the Tulip and the Delay and hold my breath; actually it "took" at 1/25 sec.  I did crop it.  We didn't need any more white siding.  For scale, though, the visible width of my cypress siding is four inches (allow for slight foreshortening here).  It looks as if I have some small flies and spiders here, but which creature chopped up the leaves?
Please feel free to provide answers in the Comments, either here or in the Picasa album or by e-mail.