Dark Rainy Morning

This morning it was dark, dreary, and raining lightly as I started my daily thoughts.  I have been trying something different.  I have been using a Sony A7RII camera with a Sony 40mm F2.5 lens and trying to decide if I will keep them.  The camera has a full frame 42MP sensor and I have been wondering if I could use this camera and one lens, the 40mm lens, as my walk-about system for making images.

This morning, as I continued my deliberations about the camera, I stepped out on the porch when it was raining and made these images.  The biggest concern I have had is “how well does it perform for what have been my typical types of photographs?”  The first image is the camera jpeg with no cropping.  I decided to use the flower in the center to see what I could do with this camera-lens setup.  The second image is a resized crop of the flower.  The other two images are minimal crops.  I haven’t decoded whether to keep the camera and lens.  It is a nice enough lens and camera, but I am still not sure about what to photograph in the future.

I am also not sure about the future of this blog.  As I said in an earlier post I was going to “hang it up” at least for a while until I decided.  There have been two problems with that.  One, some of my regular viewers have cried out for me to continue.  Two, I missed making the images and writing posts, so I decided to keep going on an irregular schedule while I try to dream up a better purpose for blogging.  I just need a better objective than testing gear and ideas and reporting on my daily life of mostly doing nothing but that.  I was determined to stop doing that, but at the expense of doing nothing?


I’m still here and still trying different cameras and lenses and subjects and processing as I work down to the essentials.  Since many of you were concerned about me not publishing as often, I thought that I’d just show you these images as a reminder that I’m still working on my photography even though I haven’t decided on future changes.

My big “hang-up” is what could I photograph that fits my location and gear, or what can I possibly do differently to expand my photography in a way that I enjoy.  This is a big problem as the flowers die off as the temperatures continue declining.  Our night time temperatures have gotten down to 48 degrees F. already.

Hanging it Up

210919-100252-JEH21I’m hanging up my blogging, for at least a while.

I’m still making images and trying some other cameras and lenses, etc.; but, since I’m just making test shots and trying different gear and not going anywhere new or seeing anything new, I’m not making images suitable for publication.

I hope to return to posting new images after I decide what camera and what lenses and what processing I want to use in the future, as well as why I will be posting.  Making that decision depends on why and what I will be photographing so I have no idea of how long it will be, but I’m hoping it won’t be too long.

My overriding issue is that I haven’t been going anywhere due to Covid-19, and I have already photographed everything, other than people, at Homewood at Plum Creek where I live.  Living under these conditions makes photography as a hobby pretty near impossible.  Trying to continue with my photography as I have been doing has gotten to the point where it is not an enjoyable or viable hobby or rewarding activity.  I would therefore like to shift my emphasis for my blog and photography in new directions other than just playing around with different cameras and lenses and processes or styles.


Definitely colorful and sharp enough, but is it close enough?  I’m in the process of assessing how much I can do with one lens.  These were made with the Tamron 24mm F/2.8 lens on the Sony A6400 camera, an equivalent 36mm focal length.  These, and other images have me wondering how much I could photograph with just this lens mounted on a full frame Sony camera with more pixels for cropping, but with a true 24mm focal length.

I am also wondering if posting images like these is really necessary.  The images give me a chance to play with processing and I know a few, very few, residents around me like to see colorful images that I make here, even if I just step out my door and make them of things I see close-by.

There are other images I could, and do make, that are only probably meaningful to me, but I really have no outlet for them unless I use them in a book that I make just for myself.  Those of you who are interested in what I mean might want to watch the YouTube video made by T. Hopper where she shows and talks about why Patti Smith makes images.

 Simplification with High ISO

I am usually thinking about different ways to simplify my life.  With respect to cameras it usually means I think about which single prime lens to use with the smallest, lightest camera & lens combination that is sufficient for what I photograph.

While walking about, I usually photograph in “P” mode with my minimum preferred shutter speed being 1/125 sec and with my ISO floating between the minimum and 12800, and letting the aperture float the range of the lens; but, there are other ways I set the camera parameters, like setting the aperture to the largest opening to minimize the depth of field.

One other way of setting the camera up, that I never tried until this experiment, was to fix the aperture and fix the ISO.  In the images above I fixed the aperture to 5.6 and the ISO to 12800 and then let only the shutter speed float.  Another thing I did was to use my 18-135mm zoom lens rather than a prime lens.  I also used my preset which fixed the white balance along with other settings for my “Mortality of Nature” preset applied, with LR, to the cameras color jpeg images.  I expected to have more noise in the image but I didn’t know how it would look.  I didn’t apply additional noise reduction with LR.

Photographing this way gives me the luxury of using one lens with a zoom capability and image stabilization, but with a larger and heavier lens than a single prime lens.  But, it really isn’t any more simplified operationally than letting the aperture and shutter and ISO float in “P” mode with the camera choosing the values used.  What I gain with the fixed ISO and aperture is more uniformity with DoF and noise which is grain-like.

I still need to try this approach on a bright sunny day and give the settings some more thought with respect to what I gain and lose.  There are so many variables with photography which makes it hard to balance simplicity with sufficiency and style.

Intentional #3

Dark monochrome, color, or light monochrome.  Which do I like best?  It will probably depend upon the subjects, but I like this style best for details of common simple everyday things.

I am anxious to try this technique again after I get a ND filter so that I can use a larger aperture with less DoF. 

The real issues are, why make such images, and what to do with them?