Friday, October 21, 2016

Taking pitchers or taking photographs?

It doesn't make much sense these days to talk about f-stops, ISOs and shutter speeds. Out of interest, I put my PM-1 into iAuto mode to see what happened. The result is really quite excellent. Well exposed images that are mostly correctly focused and of good quality.

As long as a camera can produce images like these with the minimum of user interaction then I'd say having to know about things like f-stops etc is not relevant to anybody bar the geeky minority. Now, while I do understand then, having had my first camera from my late aunt in 1973, I'm probably nit the first to question their relevance now.

When automatic exposure cane out in the 1980s followed by automatic focus in the 1990s, I questioned why they didn't go the whole hog and have digital imaging too. They were already halfway there with the magnetic stripe on Super 8 carrying sound recording and with the optical recording of exposure data on APS film.

These days, with smaller sensors the risk of getting an image where only part of the subject is in focus is pretty much gone. Sure, the geeky minority might shingle and complain for that is what they do best but the fact is nobody wants to look at an image that's half way out of focus. It's not art as the short trousered geeky brigade will laughably claim. It's technical description is: crap photography.

The first image, way above, is really well exposed and focused, all in iAuto mode. The photo below is equally well exposed and focused in the same iAuto mode.
The photo below is one of only four disappointing images taken over the past few days. The problem here is that though the camera has tried valiantly to get the blackberries in focus, it really didn't quite know what it was supposed to be doing. Mind, even with an expert at the helm, this would have been an almost impossible task given light levels, time etc. so, though it is disappointing, it's nit actually a terrible photograph. The blackberries are clearly blackberries and uts only when you blow it up that you wonder what on earth the camera has focused on.
These photos were all taken over the last few days near Swansea, Wales on my trip over for my late mother's funeral an internment. Given this is not a photography trip, I took my Olympus EPM-1 with me. Thus far, the straight from camera JPEG images have been astoundingly good. In fact, they're so good, I really question the worth of recording ORF RAW files as well.

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