Month: October 2019

The Medium is the Message

Cash Jar and Potatoes
Cash Jar and Potatoes

I was re-reading a Bryan Peterson book on composition and he suggests that compelling photography is not about the content but about the arrangement of the content. I think that’s only partly true but he does have a point.

I went out for my usual newspaper and coffee and passed a wide variety of interesting but common things like huge pumpkin stands, Amish children of the corn and even a rare steam engine at the Strasburg Rail Road.

But I was looking for something different and a mile from home I stopped to check out some potatoes. They had three sizes and I noticed this old cash jar that said medium on it right next to the medium potatoes.

For some reason this fascinated me and I decided to photograph it featuring the jar as the main subject. Between the Amish woman that owned the stand and the potato junkies that kept pulling in it was distracting but I persevered.

Eventually I realized that I could move things around to get the composition I wanted and the last three images I took were the best. Despite the clouds and an umbrella blocking the light I got a shot I’m happy with.

Now is this the kind of thing I would hang on my wall? No, but my Psychiatrist has been asking me for a photo and I think if I had this printed and framed she would not only stop asking me but would probably give me better meds.

Sunshine’s Macro Monday

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Circles, Curves and Arches

Clear Image Zoom?

Dahlia Sony RX100 10mm
Dahlia Sony RX100 10mm

I read an article this morning about how Sony’s Clear Image Zoom feature will double the focal length of your lens with almost no loss of quality. Actually the term used was minimal loss of quality.

In theory it sounded great and in practice the focal length was indeed doubled but the images were terrible. And to do a proper test I used a tripod and shot in manual at several different apertures.

Just figuring out how to do it with my A6000 was a challenge. First of all you can shoot only JPEG. Then you change the Zoom setting to ClearImageZoom. Then go back to Zoom and Zoom from 0-2x.

After looking at the images I remembered trying this with my RX100 and the results were equally disappointing. But that camera can focus much closer so I shot this Dahlia with it from about an inch and a half away at 10mm.

If you’re interested B&H photo has an article called “Sony Clear Image Zoom: The Most Amazing Shooting Mode You Never Heard Of.” They used a Sony Alpha a7R II so their results might be different.

There is an old proverb that says there is no need to put legs on a snake. But you can get some great shots of him if you use the right lens, until he bites you and then it really won’t matter at all.