More Clarity, Perhaps
By Dave Shute
While this site is known for lots of positive things, there’s also some negatives–among others, leaden prose and out-of-focus images come to mind.
The leaden prose we are kinda stuck with. While I have tried to spark things up (my bus work is highly respected in the right circles), lead seems to run in my veins…
The weaker images, though, are subject to improvement. While the biggest issue with my photos is the fool behind the view-finder, better tools do help here.
Up until now, 99% all the images on this site have been from my iPhone. But while the phone is always with me and great for well-lit outdoor shots, it has (or I have, while using it) major issues with control over dynamic range, depth of field, and point of focus.
This has been particularly a problem for my photo-reviews of the rooms in the Walt Disney World resort, which too often turn out with only a narrow part of the room in focus, and real light problems.
So since I’d be shooting five rooms in six nights as part of the resort hop of early August, I went looking for a new camera. It had to be fully controllable (especially f-stops) while fitting in my pocket.
I can now take rooms shots with much better depth of field.
Compare the photo above, taken with my phone in a standard room in Samoa in May for my updated review of Disney’s Polynesian Resort, with the photo below of a larger room in Tokelau from last week. (For additional punishment, click any photos to enlarge them.)
The second photo is more in focus across the full length of the room, and also, with the RX100’s better dynamic range and heightened control, the room lights aren’t blowing out the sensor–I could even include sunlight!
A common problem I’ve had in baths with the phone is having it pick a mirror or shower reflection to focus on.
This has led to comically bad shots like the above, of the master bath in the Finding Nemo suites from my review of the Family Suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort after my visit last summer.
The better level of and control over dynamic range also means better evening and dark ride shots.
With the Sony, I’ll be able to get great night shots. See the Illuminations shot from it above–not a great composition, but a hint at what I’ll be able to get eventually. See also the Cars shot at the top of the page for more of what I can now do in the evening.
Now, all evidence on this site to the contrary, I’m not the worst photographer in the world. For years I had a darkroom, developed my own film, and printed my own photos–some of which have been published (though not recently enough for me to be able to link to them).
I also can tell a great composition when it slaps me in the eye. The shot of Tigger and a child on the right (from the RX100) would have been wonderful if I’d had 6 more inches of the kid on the right side to balance out Tigger on the left.
So with those core skills and a great new tool, my hope is that the photographs on this site improve sharply, from the third to the second-rate!
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