Posts Tagged ‘Camera’

Playing with my Macro Lens

February 27, 2013

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

These pictures are from my archives, but crocus blossoms gave me a chance to play with my macro lens.

I don’t think any single picture is particularly special, but taken as a group they do give me a chance to enjoy the beauty of Spring.

Even the simplest of flowers have beautiful details.

Focusing On What’s Important

July 20, 2012

Orchids in the Conservatory of the Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee. June 24, 2012.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

Which of these two images do you like best?  The one above or the one below?

Orchids in the Conservatory of the Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee. June 24, 2012.

The interesting thing — to me — is that both images are from the same photograph.

Here are two more images, again taken from the same photo.

How is this possible?  The secret is a camera that allows me to focus after the picture is taken.

Lake Watauga, Centennial Park, Nashville, Tennessee. June 23, 2012.

Lake Watauga, Centennial Park, Nashville, Tennessee. June 23, 2012.

The camera is a Lytro Light Field camera, which takes what are called living pictures.  Clicking on a living picture changes the point of focus.

George using his new camera. (Photo by Betsy)

The camera is different from any other camera I’ve had.  It has no auto-focus, no flash, no dials and no shutter lag.

It has taken me a while to learn how to use the camera, but it has been a fascinating experience.  If you would like to experiment with some living pictures (remember you change the focus by clicking on the picture), you can do so by clicking HERE.

The Way I See Betsy

January 13, 2011

Betsy at Crooked Creek Falls, Langley, Arkansas. February 22, 2010.

Betsy got her new camera about a year ago, and she has become a very good photographer, as you know if you have seen the photographs on her blog.

The good thing about her photography skills is that she gets some wonderful pictures and shares them with me (and with you).

The not-so-good thing is that when we visit waterfalls or other scenic places, the view above is how I most often see Betsy while we are there.  This picture was taken when we were at Crooked Creek Falls near Langley, Arkansas, last year.

What is RAW Format?

February 20, 2010

Little River Falls, Fort Payne, Alabama. February 14, 2010.

I’ve mentioned, in connection with my new camera, that I’m experimenting with RAW format images.  Several people have asked me about RAW, so I thought I would share what little I know about it.

Until I got this new camera (a Canon EOS Rebel T1i) my digital cameras saved images as JPEG files (some digital cameras use TIFF format).  In order to get the JPEG file the camera converts the light striking the sensor in the camera to something that we can see.  JPEG files typically are made up of 8 bits of data per color per pixel.  But the sensor can provide 14 or more bits of data per color per pixel.  We can see the JPEG image, but the conversion uses only part of the recorded data.

I know I’m showing my age, but think of the days when cameras used film.  A JPEG file is like a print or a slide — we can see the image.  A RAW file contains all the data the camera can provide (those 14 bits per color per pixel) but it is like undeveloped film — we can’t see the image until some processing is done.  In working with RAW format I have to do the work that the camera does with JPEG.

So what have I learned after a week of experimenting?  The most obvious thing is that RAW files are much bigger than JPEG files (about four times bigger in my case).  Another thing is that to take full advantage of RAW data, special software is needed (Canon included software with the camera).  On the other hand, since all of the sensor data is present, images can be ‘fixed’ in ways that might not be possible otherwise.  It is even possible to change some of the picture settings after the picture has been taken (it looks better with landscape settings than with standard settings).

Right now I’m not sure how much I will use RAW.  I’m cheating right now and am saving images as both RAW and JPEG files.  The card in the camera is big enough that I can take several hundred pictures before I have to download to my computer, so I’ll probably continue to do that while I learn more about the things I can do with the RAW format.

Watery Wednesday #75: Little River Falls

February 17, 2010

Little River Falls, Fort Payne, Alabama. February 14, 2010.

This is my post for Watery Wednesday.  To see more of our beautiful watery world, or to join and post your own pictures to share, click HERE.

Betsy and I saw the waterfall pictured above on our Valentine Weekend trip to Fort Payne, Alabama.  Little River Falls is in the Little River Canyon Natural Preserve near Fort Payne.

We enjoyed our visit to Little River Falls for a couple of reasons.  One was that although we’ve visited this waterfall a couple of other times, but there was more water going over the falls this time than in the other times we visited.  The other reason we enjoyed our visit so much was that this was our first waterfall after we each got our new cameras.

Betsy has had her camera for a couple of weeks.  I got my camera last week.  It’s a Canon EOS Rebel T1i with an EF-S 18-55mm lens and a EF-S 55-250mm lens.  As you can imagine, I took quite a few pictures during the weekend.

I also experimented with RAW format.  This is the first camera I’ve had that supported RAW and I’ve enjoyed seeing what kind of images I could capture.  I took the picture above in RAW and then converted it to JPEG for posting.

I’m sure I’ll be sharing more of my experiments with you in the days ahead.

Stupid Camera

October 16, 2009
Cheoah Dam and Lake, Tennessee.  October 13, 2009.

Cheoah Dam and Lake, Tennessee. October 13, 2009.

Betsy and I were home for about 12 hours Thursday evening and early this (Friday) morning.  That gave us just enough time to repack for Ray’s memorial service and to do a quick post to let you know we survived the first of our quick trips.  By the time you read this we will be on the road to Jacksonville, Florida.

As you know, we went to Tallulah Gorge State Park in Georgia to see what the waterfalls looked like when water was released from the dam above the gorge.  We hiked a new trail (for us) and the views were wonderful.  There was a light rain most of the day, but that didn’t stop us from our quest to enjoy the waterfalls.

Unfortunately about half way through our hike my camera decided to start acting up.  For the rest of the hike I could only take wide-angle shots if I could get any at all.  That was definitely a bummer, but as Betsy said, that just gives us another excuse to go back.

Now that Betsy has her laptop, I’m hoping Santa will bring me a new camera.  I’ve been wanting one with interchangeable lenses so I could get closer to waterfalls we can’t reach on foot.  I would also like to be able to get macros of our flowers.

I know many of you are great photographers.  I would appreciate any advice you may be able to give me regarding a camera that will fit my needs.  Thanks.