It’s a Small World

I was walking the other day with my X-Pro2 with only the 27mm pancake lens when I started noticing all the small things.  Things normally too small, or too far away, to consider photographing with such a wide lens unless I could get very close to them.

I have a problem with getting down on the ground and getting close to things I wish to photograph.  I have a bad, stiff back and use a cane.  I can get down and back up, but it often isn’t worth it.  On this walk I decided to photograph the small things while standing up.  When I got back home and downloaded the pictures to my computer I saw that I really had to crop them quite a bit.

What is common about these pictures is that they have all been cropped severely and then upsized to make them as you see them.  I can do this with the 24MP Fujifilm images.  It is this capability that enables me to use a wide or normal prime lens in place of a heavier zoom lens.  A prime lens works better for me when I walk with a cane.

Did you see the insect in the third picture, the one with the dandelion and a few leaves?  Look below the dandelion on the blade of grass.  It might be a tick.  This will probably be a bad year for us with so many ticks.  The weather has been good for them.

Another thing in common with these pictures is that I used the optical viewfinder (OVF) to see and compose the original full size images.  I was wearing sunglasses and the image in the electrical viewfinder (EVF) was too dark to see the little things so I switched to the optical viewfinder.  I rarely use the OVF but it really is handy to have when you need it.

My Preferences

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I made a picture of these bleeding hearts one evening with the Canon G3X at 600mm and then again the next morning with the X-Pro2 at 35mm.  I preferred the one above made with the X-Pro2 and the equivalent 35mm lens.  I had to get closer, crop, and upsize to match the composition, but when I can get closer I like them better.

When comparing pictures made from the Leica X2, the Canon G3X, and the Fuji X-Pro2, I noticed a big difference in the white balance between the Fuji and the others, so I have made some in-camera adjustments to the white balance of the Fuji and I like it better.  The Fuji images were too cool so I warmed them up.

I will probably go back to mainly using my X-Pro2 for most of my photography and mostly use the Leica as a pocket camera when I can’t take the X-Pro2 and use the Canon mostly for birds and extreme focal length images.

I even used my old pancake 27mm lens to make the following as I was checking colors.  I’m now thinking that I might use the X-Pro2 with the 27mm lens for many of my future around town pictures.

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Canon G3 X jpegs

I am continuing to evaluate what I might be able to do with the Canon G3X.  Yesterday I looked closely at using the raw files vs. the jpegs.  Basically, I found no reason not to just use the jpegs and I now have the camera set to record jpeg only images.

All the above are jpeg images that I have played with using various alterations with LR.  I used the camera zoomed all the way out to 600mm since that seems to be the focal length that I prefer when walking around.  I wanted to make sure that it recorded red colors accurately, which it does.  In addition to looking at the color files I also wanted to see how much manipulation the monochrome conversions could sustain, including upsizing.

Hanover, PA 170412

There is a big difference between these images of Hanover and those of the preceding set.  I used a smaller sensor with an effective 24-600mm zoom lens to make this series of pictures.  I like the compressed perspective so I may continue with this camera and lens.  My concern about using long focal lengths and compressed perspective is that isn’t how normal people going through Hanover would see it.  It is going to be a continuing issue for me.  One of my favorite photographers, Saul Leiter used a 150mm lens to make some of his most liked images.  Something around an effective 150mm may also work better for me if I decide to make compressed images up closer on the street.

Hanover, PA 170411

I used a single effective 35mm lens to make these pictures as I walked around a block.  I might continue with such a lens for my pictures around Hanover, but I also want to try different focal lengths before I decide.  The advantages with a fixed 35mm lens are size and weight, and that it works well for images like these.

Natural or Vivid

I have been considering making pictures that I might want to later publish in a book about how Hanover, PA looks today.  If I do publish it, I will have to decide on how I want to process the images.  I first thought that I would do it in monochrome, but I am finding that color is an integral part of today’s look.

Assuming I do it in color, I will also have to decide on how I want it to look.  The above are just two examples.  The first is a more natural look and the second is a look that has more contrast and more saturated colors.  I have also been looking at books with similar images that were made in the 50s to 70s of other towns and most of those books went for the more vivid look.  That was probably because they used Kodachrome.  Since I am recording my images as raw files, I don’t have to decide now, but I am looking at variations since they might influence what I photograph.

Another reason for trying different approaches for processing now as I start collecting pictures is that I will be using different cameras and I want to make sure that I can use pictures made with different cameras and process them all so that I have a unified look in the book no matter which camera was used.