Archive for the ‘Digital Photography’ Category

I have recently been playing with my new DSLR gear and exploring different things. Amongst these is the optical clarity of the lenses, especially considering that I have one of the stock 55-200mm lenses. I have taken many different photos of content ranging from macro styled pictures, portrait shots and as these ones show, shots of the moon. Shooting the moon is always an interesting experiment as I enjoy playing with shooting in low light, getting the exposure correct and getting sharp focus. Below I have included two images, the first one is the shot in full frame, second is a 100% crop of just the moon.

Shot at 200mm, 1/30s, f16, ISO 200


The crop shows the clarity of that I was able to achieve. I have been very happy with the detail I have been able to get out of this lens.  Not bad for only a 200mm lens.

100% crop


Having spent the a while researching and working with the concepts of Virtual Realities, Virtual Worlds and Augmented realities I have found this clip to be very interesting. In its simplicity this augmented reality is about the massive cross-integration of images according to their metadata and image features. A fascinating concept that in the clip (and in Bing Maps) is performed with incredible detail. Having also played with PhotoSynth recently at the Microsoft Australia DigiGirlz conference it is interesting to see that the synths are incorporated into the online maps as an interest area. I am sure that I will use this clip as some stimulus for explaining the concepts of augmented reality, modelling and the use of models in virtual environments. A very interesting clip. Enjoy.

From TED: “TED Talks In a demo that drew gasps at TED2010, Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos new augmented-reality mapping technology from Microsoft.”

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Recently, I took the plunge and have now embarked on the voyage of the DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex). I have previously posted a reflection on the difference and impact of digital technologies on photography and imaging so this reflection is not a posting of the same content. The purpose of this blog post is to reflect upon the decision making process I went through to choose a new DSLR camera.

So where did I start? The first initial question was do I stay true and loyal to the brand for which I had small collection of SLR equipment or do I open up my range of choices by disregarding this. After much research and thought I chose to open my selection as the newest of my gear was from the early 1990’s and though the lenses I had were great they were limited in regards to their ability and the new APS-C DSLR sensors. Now the hard yards started. Being fussy and one to over-research the smallest of details I set about organising to borrow different digital cameras of different brands from friends. I thought that by trying them out I would get a better idea of what I liked about the different brands and what I wanted in my dream DLSR. As it turned out what I wanted was simple. A camera that felt robust and well built, that captured light well in all the environments I like to shoot (including low light situations) and that gave that general, all-round warm and fuzzy aesthetic.

Of the camera’s I tried and tested some were too noisy, some felt too light and poorly built, some had limited control over the images colour, some had limited access to different lenses and others just didn’t feel right to me.

But what you’re thinking does what I have written so far have to do with the car door effect? The answer is that our choices often lie in the aesthetic of the product. For example in a car yard, two cars, same price are for sale. One of them is well built and has doors that feel solid when you shut them and the other looks cheaper and feels light and tinny. Which one usually sells first? The one that gives the greater aesthetic response is the answer. This is where it got to with me and my camera choice. I quickly narrowed it down to two choices of similar price and I chose the one that best suited my needs, which felt better in my hands, was quieter in operation and had the better sound as the shutter worked.

This reflection post finds its origins in a tweet requesting links examining the impact of digital technologies on photography.

I have had an interest for photography since my high school days but it was during my undergraduate degree that I developed a deep passion for all things visual, especially those that included the capturing of light.  During my uni degree I studied a plethora of areas and techniques in the Visual Arts but specialised in the medium of photography and early digital media. I was fortunate that I studied at a time when Digital Art was still in its infancy and Digital Cameras were rare to say the least.  I was taught photography from a purist’s perspective using film.  Artistically, I started to explore the digital realm about 1996 when I had my first play with Adobe Photoshop V3.0. Since that first play I was intrigued by the digital medium.  The potential possibilities were immense. The limitations of this time though were computer processing speed, available memory and presentation methods. 

Where does all this sit in regards to photography and digital technologies?  For me it was the turning point.  A point where I started to realise that I was going to be one of the last of a dying breed.  That is, those that had been educated in the skills and techniques for taking photographs and using a camera.  Those that understood the light spectrum and lights impact.  I became one of those that were able to shoot what I call ‘high percentage keepers’ and finally someone that sees the difference between a digital or film sourced image.

The above may be regarded as things relating to deskilling from technological development but on the flip side there are many bonuses.  Photography has become more affordable.  Cameras are more accessible, you can shoot what you like and only keep what you want.  The idea of a taking photos to print and keep every one has gone. You can see all your pictures before working with them or getting them printed.  And printing, well you can print as many or as few as you choose.  We can share pictures globally at the click of a button.  People in general are showing better pictures (as they take 5 times more) and are better documenting their lives.

From a purists perspective I do miss; the organic feel of a film printed picture (especially in big enlargements like 40×60 inch), knowing the differences between the characteristics of film brands and types, Pushing and Pulling film, the development process, Dodging and Burning, the skill of multi-negative printing, being able to take 9 out of 10 pictures as keepers and the patience people had for others to compose and take a picture.

So the impact of digital technologies on photography…  We have more pictures than ever, we share them globally easily, we collaboratively document the world and more people have access to photographic technologies than ever before because it is more affordable.

In time I may reflect upon the impact of digital imaging, editing and manipulation, the emergence of digital multimedia, the aesthetic of sound as analogue and digital etc…