Sunday, December 16, 2012

Enough Black and White. Let There be Color!

I think I must have been obsessed with black and white images lately, that I did not realized I have somehow neglected the wonderful colors the old Sony A350 CCD sensor is capable of rendering. Early this morning, with the soft, warm glow of morning light, I went to Petaling Street, together with Kelvin and Nick, we attached the streets. Though the Sony A350 was an old camera, at the base ISO100, the image output is simply amazing, rich in detail and pleasing in overall color reproduction. Coupled with the Sony 35mm F1.8 lens, it was as versatile as it can be, being able to have a little bit of wide angle shooting when I move myself backwards a few steps, and at the same time, not losing my need and desire for close up portrait shooting, as I stepped in closer to my subject. The 35mm lens works very well with A350, I am comfortable and work efficiently with the 50mm equivalent focal length (in 35mm format conversion) and that F1.8 wide aperture was more than sufficient to render delicious shallow depth of field. 

All images in this entry were taken with Sony A350 and Sony 35mm F1.8 lens

They can fly



The Yellow Umbrella

Morning Smoke

The cat knows

Pull

The Third Eye

Backalley

Shoes can be heavy

Closed on Sunday


No shoes

Nick and Kelvin's weapon of choice for this session. 


I was reading Photofocus earlier, and found their "Seven Things Photographer's Do to Ruin Their Photographs" by Scott Bourne very true, and I can personally relate with my own mistakes when I was shooting, more often than I like to admit.

Their point number 1 was spot on, and many new-comers to photography should take note of:

"They worry more about low-light camera performance than they do finding a compelling subject with a nice background – or finding something to photograph that they are passionate about. To all you who are of the religion of low-light I got news for you. You’re traveling in the wrong direction. As photographers we WANT light. We look for it, chase it, pray for it, beg for it, and when necessary make it. We don’t try to shoot a black cat in a black barn at night when the moon is obscured by clouds. Worship the light. Don’t obsess over low-light camera performance. Go find a nicely-lit scene and any $500 camera will make a great image if it’s operated by someone who knows what to look for and how to execute."

Any cheap camera can do good photographs, and chasing low light camera performance won't improve your photography. There are a lot more things to pay more attention to.


I have been using the Sony Alpha system for a while now. Cheap camera, cheap lenses. Stunning results. I am impressed. I have no regrets getting this system. I did not understand how so many people can slam Sony, especially those evil Canon and Nikon worshipers (ok that was harsher than I intended, what I meant was Canon and Nikon Fanboys)!! What did Sony ever do to you guys? I personally think Sony rocks. End of argument, whichever side you choose. 

Photography should not be an expensive hobby. The focus should not be about collecting gear. You know something is wrong when you carry so many cameras, lenses and accessories in one bag. I only had one camera body, with one lens with me this morning. Usually I would carry one more lens just in case, either the 50mm F1.8 (gorgeous lens too) or the much looked down 18-70mm kit lens. I think simplicity works better, and as you have slimmed down your gear, you concentrate on making images happen. You worry less about equipment choice, and pay more attention to what is happening around you. We should pay attention to what we are shooting, how we shoot it, than what we are shooting with !!

What say you? I honestly think any modern cameras, even entry level DSLRs and the mirrorless interchangeable camera systems are already very capable, and should handle most general shooting conditions !!

9 comments:

  1. i totally agree with the statement people being more concerned about low light and specs of a camera. my tagline is happily photographing within my camera's limitations. i photograph subjects that complement my camera and know when to stay away from other subjects it can't handle so well. and i know people who have the best of everything, but their images don't reflect that. yours do. it's amazing that you can take any camera given you and pull out stunning images. not everyone can do that because they don't know how or expect the camera to do it all. keep up the good work. i don't have a favorite photographer, but i admire your work because it's real and you're real.

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    1. Hello V,
      Thanks for the kind words and support, really appreciate it. But I don't think the claim that "I can take any camera given and pull out good images" is true. It takes time to get used to a new equipment, learn its weaknesses and strengths, and then optimize its usage for optimized image output.

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  2. Generally, I find that as long as I can control shutter and aperture easily a camera will be sufficient to my needs. I always think that fan-boyism is as much about insecurity as anything else.

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    1. Hello Saul,
      Fan-boyism is not something that can be avoided, I believe people need a sense of belonging, and love their equipment.

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  3. I absolutely love the results you're getting with that older Sony and just the 35mm lens. And I'm also still happy with my E-520, regardless if I use just one of its kit lenses or the legendary 50mm macro, which is still unsurpassed in so many ways. Same goes for the el-cheapo E-PL1 (which I bought for under 240€ including the kit lens). Cheap and small camera, great results. I'm a low ISO shooter like you, and these cameras are all good. Much more important to see a nice photo, and then to take it - all equipment is secondary to that.

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    1. Hello Wolfgang,
      Both the 50mm F2 macro and the E-PL1, I cannot live without them !!

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  4. This evil Nikon worshiper completely agrees with you :-) Of course its never about the gear - being there at the right time, seeing the light and envisioning the scene, pointing the lens in the right direction and doing some of the trivial "technical" bits more or less right is far more important than high-ISO performance and all that baloney. When there's no good light, we use tripods - invented centuries ago.

    I too am very, very impressed with the great results you are getting from the Sony stuff. There is nothing wrong with it. Stronger even, the big two (Nikon and Canon) in my not-so-humble opinion should rapidly get their acts together and start to innovate quickly. Sony is on a technological roll, and cranking out some incredible stuff lately. Personally I prefer solid old-fashioned stuff (Sony's latest stuff is too "menu-driven" for me, I prefer old fashioned dedicated dials and knobs) but I must admit they are doing some very interesting things.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for sharing !! I am sure Sony is getting this feedback from its users, I agree with you completely, we need physical buttons, shortcuts and control dials. Nothing beats quick access, and menu driven controls will break some shots!!

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    2. OOps... I did mention evil Nikon and Canon... yikes... now that I read it from someone else's writing it seemed more harsh than it was meant to be. Let me tone that down a notch

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