All posts in Useful Tidbits

Making the move to mirrorless – Sony NEX-7

In Useful Tidbits by elyktra / July 14, 2013 / 0 Comments

Although I continue to be a fairly hardcore Nikon fan and will not be parting with my D800 just yet, I have let my D700 go in order to evaluate the mirrorless market.  After just a weekend of light testing, I will definitely be making the move and prying my D800 from my hands may not be as difficult as I had expected.  What prompted the move.  The easy answer, is the burden of lugging around such a heavy load when I want to take the whole show on the road.  This coupled with the challenges of swapping gear out relatively quickly to capture a scene and then back again, had me always pondering if there was an easier way.  One of my inspirations [Trey Ratcliff] who’s advice I do take to heart, has also recently made the move.  His was a much greater surprise to the photography community than mine will be and although he may swap back at some point, he’s made the change already and is producing amazing results.  Then again, I would expect nothing less from him. There are surprisingly few drawbacks to note at this point and I know that the odds of me having my gear with me for those random moments just increased ten fold.

Rather than regurgitate what some others have already done an amazing job at, I will link his review of the NEX-7 as well as his recent article which created quite a stir around his move from Nikon. Trey Ratcliff: NEX-7 Review, “Hello Sony, Goodbye Nikon

I’ve also uploaded some of my first images from my twins first trip to the zoo where I tested the camera for myself.  I’ll suffice to say that I’m quite happy with the initial results and this was just out of the box without even looking into any special features that I may not be aware of yet.  I’m off to Vietnam this week and hope to test it further there and look forward to sharing more results then.

Zoo gallery of first test images

Why HDR?

In Useful Tidbits by elyktra / May 22, 2013 / 0 Comments

What is HDR and why do I use it? Simply put, it allows me to create images which are closer to what the eye and mind perceived at the given moment the photograph was taken. This is sometimes necessary when the dynamic range of the scene is greater than that which the camera is capable of capturing in a single image. HDR processing is usually accomplished by taking multiple exposures of the same scene and then using software to combine them. Hopefully the before and after images above demonstrate this concept.  The after image is slightly exaggerated in its processing to show what is possible. The before image above is only the base exposure.  Notice you are not even able to see the brick wall on the right.  The overexposed images in the bracketed set would provide this detail.  There are many people who don’t have a taste for HDR images and this seems fueled by the number of potentially poor ones that flood the scene.  I’m still a fan if they are done well, although I’m still in the learning stages myself. It is actually now a recognized art form and holds a place in the Smithsonian.  Please feel free to post additional questions as I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Here is the techy definition:  High dynamic range imaging (HDRI or HDR) is a set of methods used in imaging and photography, to allow a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging methods or photographic methods. This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter.

%d bloggers like this: