Nov 302006

I have not tinkered with those colors, I swear!

Today was just like the last days (and I fear the days to come), one of those gray November days with thick high fog. I was on my way to work at 7:30 in the morning, and suddenly this shrub’s colors attacked my eyes: strong, prime colors that could not possibly exist without sunshine – but they did.

Technically, this image was again taken with the Sigma 30/1.4 at f1.4, 1/60s and ISO 200, with exposure correction accidentally still at -1.33 from sometime yesterday. Damn! It was so gloomy that even a severely underexposed image looked bright on the LCD 🙂

Anyway. It was easily salvaged in Camera RAW. Can anybody tell me why people still shoot JPEG only? I mean, yes, they are much smaller. Yes, RAW converters are a pain, but shooting JPEG is like using only half of your camera. It’s like giving your film to a lab, let them make prints, and then throwing away the negatives.

Not only does RAW allow for the correction of mishaps like mine today, no, there is a whole class of high contrast images that severely need treatment and only RAW gives you the reserves to do so without exposing the limits of 8 bit lossy, compressed formats.

On another front I use “Auto ISO” for two weeks now (see “34 – Lessons and Expenditures“), and I am quite satisfied. When using the Nikon 18-200 VR, I use quite aggressive parameters like a minimum shutter speed of 1/15s, with anything else I set it to 1/60s, maximum ISO normally at 400, for night shots I let it even get to 800. It makes for a very relaxed feeling while shooting. Sure, I’m not in complete control of the technical aspects, but I find that coupled with a reasonably fast (or stabilized) lens, Auto ISO gives you much more freedom to concentrate on the compositional aspects, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

For the next two weeks I’ll be on holidays in Carinthia, thus I guess there be a lot more output. Most important will be the possibility to get the car and drive up into the mountains, just above the fog 🙂

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