Category: Creativity

The Art of Grilling

The Old Grill
The Old Grill

“Grilling, broiling, barbecuing-whatever you want to call it-is an art, not just a matter of building a pyre and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to the gods of the stomach.” James Beard

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.

In Search of Abstract

Fire (obviously)
Fire (obviously)

I’ve been trying to do more abstract images as well as more black and white. After getting my coffee this morning I was driving though farm country and saw a fire in the parking lot of an Amish tourist site and pulled in.

I watched the dancing flames and then started taking photos, waiting for the decisive moment. A farmer came over and asked if he could help me. Usually I answer that with “Are you a Psychiatrist?” but I didn’t want to be rude.

I told him I was trying out a new camera rather than explain the concept of abstract photography to him and he just looked at me. “Kinda strange isn’t it,” I said. “Yes it is” was his reply and he walked away towards his children of the corn.

Color your World: Brick Red

But is it Art?

Grand Opening
Grand Opening

It might be art, but in this case it’s a photo of a sunflower that just opened up today. I used the crosshatch filter in Photoshop adjusting the stroke length, sharpness and strength.

There are dozens of filters to choose from, each with several different options and you can add other effects in literally thousands of different ways, maybe even hundreds of thousands.

People say that you can learn Photoshop in 50-100 hours, but it really takes years to get anywhere close to mastering it. It would probably be faster to learn to paint with oil on canvas, but it would definitely not be easier.

The Aim of Man

Excusado 2019
Excusado 2019

“The greatest risk to man is not that he aims too high and misses, but that he aims too low and hits.” Michaelangelo

Fun Fact: Excusado is a famous photograph by Edward Weston taken with a large-format camera in 1925. For two weeks Weston photographed and studied the toilet in his house near Mexico City from different angles.

It has been on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland and The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Unusual Perspective