Sequence shooting

I am not a big fan of shooting videos. But somewhere between video and stills is something I am a fan of.  I think it is best called "Sequence Shooting". It is the use of several images to tell a story, shot and presented in sequence. 

Fast sequences can often be captured using the continuous shooting feature available in most cameras, whether it be a dSLR or a compact cameras.  My Olympus E-520 dSLR shoots at 3.5 frames per second, but many newer cameras shoot at twice that speed or even faster.  This is perfect for such things as sports shooting.  After shooting a sequence, you might then decide on the best shot to print or post on a Web site.  You might even delete the rest. But it is also fun to display the shots together, in sequence, to tell a sligthly different story. 

At the other end of the speed spectrum, some cameras have a built-in "interval" shooting feature that will take a single picture at a fixed interval, such as every five minutes.  I think this would be very nice for taking sunset pictures, for example.  I don't have this feature on any of my cameras.  But it is on my wish list!

The "free" nature of digital photography is a real blessing for sequence shooting.  In slide film days I would have heard  $.35 ringing in my head each time I released the shutter!  (Or, at least that is the number I recall from the early 1970's, for film plus developing.) Today, it is only on extended trips that I can fill even one memory card.

In reviewing some family images taken earlier this year, I realized that when trying to get that one perfect moment during our granddaughter's second birthday celebration that I created a very nice sequence that tells a story that can't really be told with just one image.  No fancy settings were used on the camera (Canon S90 point and shoot, no flash, P-mode and auto-ISO chose ISO from 500 to 800, 1/60th, wide open at F3.2; no post processing).  This is just a series of single shots taken over a 1 1/2 minute period.  They show the excitement of opening a gift, followed by a gradual changing of emotion to include the calming effect of perusing a new book.

Perhaps this sequence could be called "I Love Books".


Panasonic LX5 tricked out with a couple of accessories - Part II

In Part I, I added a lens adapter to the LX5.  This allows for the addition of auxiliary lenses and filters, and I am finding it is very helpful when hand-holding this small (compared with a dSLR) camera. I find I hold the rubbery camera grip with my right hand (as do all users), but I use my left hand to hold the adapter instead of the camera body.

Of course, the lens adapter makes it impossible to slide the camera into a pocket, so one has to carry the camera in a bag or fanny pack, or use a neck strap like the one included with the camera. Occasionally, I wonder if after adding the lens adapter that it might instead make more sense to own a m4/3 camera like the Panasonic GF1/GF2, or the new Olympus E-PL2.  But I think the m4/3 options weigh about 1/2-pound more when equipped with the kit 28-85mm-equiv zoom.  And I absolutely love the fact that the LX5 goes a bit wider, with 24-90mm-equiv field of view.  I find for landscape photography that I am using the 24mm wide angle for about 25% of my images.

Now onto the second accessory I purchased for the LX5....

The second accessory is the Panasonic LVF1 (live view finder).  It is the same one that was designed for the GF1, which can also be used on the GF2.  If you are lucky this can be purchased for about $125.  Still, that is a pretty fair penny when added to what is basically an advanced point and shoot camera that itself is now selling for about $400, after coming to the market in September 2010 for $500.

I have not used the viewfinder enough yet to report on its usefullness.  Others have reported that it is very pixelated, but is nevertheless helpful in sunny conditions when viewing the LCD is difficult.  I suspect it is also useful in lowlight situations, where added stability is obtained by holding the camera against your face.

Here's what you get:

The view finder comes in a glossy little cardboard box with a silver and black face.

Inside the box is a carrying case made of synthetic material, but looking a bit like leather, with a velcro closure.The case measures about 2" x 2" x 1" and has a small sleeve on the back so you can thread it onto your neck strap.

The viewfinder slips into a fitting inside the case, which holds it tightly and protects the electical connector.

 To attach the viewfinder first remove the protective plastic clip from the LX5's hotshoe. This clip protects the electrical connections created by the hotshoe and the port just below the hotshoe (and above the LCD) on the back of the camera.

The viewfinder slips right into the hot shoe. It will not interfere with the operation of the in-camera pop up flash that resides inside the camera to the left of the viewfinder from popping up.  (Surprisingly, the lens adapter does not seem to block the flash's output, at least during my initial useage.  The next time I attend a family get-together I will try it a bit more extensively... and will reword this paragraph if necessary.)  [Added: However a strong shadow is created in the lower right of the image when using the flash at 24mm.  This shadow remains strong, but diminishes progressively in size at 28mm and 35mm; until at 50mm and longer focal lengths no shadow appears.]

Images below show the viewfinder, camera and lens adapter from several angles.


Photo club print "salon" entries for February, 2011

Both of these images were captured with point and shoot cameras.  As always, the best camera for the job is the one you have with you! 

The black and white below was taken with my 10mp Canon S90.  There was plenty of light so even large prints will look good.  This one was submitted as an 8" x 12" print.

Cumulus Clouds over the Sudbury River

The color image below was taken with my old waterproof point and shoot camera which I take with me when fishing, the 3.3mp Pentax WR33.  Submitted as an 9" x 12" print, this is an example of how it is "not all about pixels".  On the other hand this is an old (2003) digital camera with poor white balance and subject to lots of lens flare if the light isn't almost directly behind you.

The bright wood on the sides of the bridge is due to the recent rehabilitation of this bridge in Pepperell, Massachusetts.  The pine boards seemed to be unfinished but had a slight yellow color tint to them.

Although this was taken when the sun was harsh and high in the sky, and therefore not thought to be a good time to do serious photography, I very much liked the yellow/orange reflection it created in the ripples in the river.

Pepperell Covered Bridge