The Grand Palace

Shot was taken outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok.  Shot on the faithful but sold Canon XSi with the faithful Tamron 18-200 (still with me but welded to a Canon 400D).  There was a storm approaching which is why the sky is so dark but it held off all day until I got back to my hotel  I remember crossing the Chao Phraya in the barges going back and forth in the various districts within Bangkok to get to the various wats (temples) and other sites I wanted to see.  The wind would pickup and the water would get choppy and these local barges would get to rocking in the water.  As the storm approached it was apparently raining up river because at each barge platform the water would rise and you ended up walking on raised platforms to avoid walking in water up to your ankles.  The Chao Phraya isn’t what I call the cleanest river in the world.

The Grand Palace
Canon XSi, 35mm, ISO 200, f/10, 1/200

Electric Eye

Apologies to Judas Priest and the metal god Rob Halford and points to anyone who figure that out.  Random shot from the mall as I leaned over the rail and pressed the shutter button.  Not that inspring I realize but I like how you can really see the details in the image which make it interesting.  I also named this photo electric eye because when you are in public you are on camera about 80% of the time and never realize it.  The same as this person.

Electric Eye
Panasonic LX7, 27mm, ISO 250, f/2.1, 1/100

 

Ice Ice Baby

We had a ice storm last night so I braced the elements (ok my patio) and went out and snapped the picture below.  Playing with macro mode on the Panasonic LX7 and shooting in 1 to 1 ratio which makes for interesting images.  Oh, apologies to Vanilla Ice too!

Ice Ice Baby
Panasonic LX7, 26mm, ISO 400, f/2.1, 1/50

The Church

My sharpening issues have been resolved as I finally found the correct amount of pixel radius to sharpen the Panasonic LX 7 images up.  This picture is a direct result of the new-found formula.  I drive past this church almost everyday going to and from work and its one of the few around with a true steeple and they light it up at night which makes it interesting.  So I pulled into the lot with the LX 7 set it for wide and fired away.  The interesting thing on the EXIF data is how slow the shutter was and how little shake their was.  In body image stabilization is nice.  No idea why Panasonic doesn’t do it on their micro 4/3 cameras instead of adding it to the lenses.  I debated on cropping the image but I like how the lights illuminate the trees so I left it as is.  There is a bit of photo trickery going on and I’ll leave that to someone to figure out where I got lazy and what I removed something from the image.

The Church
Panasonic LX7, 28mm, ISO 400, f/1.4, 1/13

Escalate Me

Apologies to U2 and points to you if you understand the reference.  Since the temperature was 20 fahrenheit or -6 celsius yesterday and I had a haircut scheduled I may have had a new camera to test out.  Not that I will admit to buying one or anything, but a Panasonic LX7 may have shown up in a brown box at work with my name on it.  I prefer to think of it as a late Christmas gift from someone anonymous or someone who really likes me (like me!).  How and why it arrived is irrelevant.  What I do know is the reason for it.  I own a lot of cameras and lenses.  In fact, I own too many and I am slowly selling off lenses but the camera bodies are staying for the most part (unless I unload a truck of lenses and a Panasonic G3 then a Olympus OM-D will be purchased).  Yet, I found myself often times wishing I didn’t have to lug a bag full of lenses when I do a short trip or go out for a day.  I also felt restrained just carrying one camera and one lens.  In Thailand I shot almost everything with a 20mm 1.7 lens that I used wide open for the most part.  It was a great performer but I could not zoom and I wasn’t carrying around my lens bag with $4000 worth of lenses in it just to switch out when I wanted a different shot.  So after careful research I looked at the Panasonic LX7 and the Sony RX100, the Panasonic has a faster lens at 28 1.4 with a zoom of 90mm 2.8 while the Sony had the 28mm 1.8 to 100 4.9.  The Sony did have something else on its side and that is a massive sensor and a 20mp output versus the 10mp on the Panasonic.  I’m a fast lens guy and I have a viewfinder that fits the LX7 if I wanted to use it so LX7 won out.  The one factor that both of these cameras and others in their class shoot RAW which is my preferred mode of editing.  If I wanted to shoot in jpeg I have a Canon SD1400IS that could handle everything I wanted to do.

I’ll be honest and say the first few shots were disappointing.  They looked good on the camera but when I started to edit the images I noticed they weren’t as sharp as I was expecting.  So I have been reading on forums on how to get the most out of the camera.  Of course the image I am sharing today is before I started my research.  I shot everything in AP mode and while I could switch to manual that’s a pain when you are out just shooting around and not wanting to think about ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed and the magical light meter to get the shot correct.  Fast shots are AP mode, set the Aperture and let the camera handle the rest.

The shot below was the first test on a moving target, with the camera zoomed all the way out and the first I’m sharing out.  Hopefully with the new suggestions I’m getting on camera settings the images will sharpen up.  If not, it will be relegated to the return pile and I’ll buy the Sony.

Escalate Me!
Panasonic LX7, 90mm, ISO 200, f/2.1, 1/100

A View From Outside The Castle

This is the view from outside the castle.  Really what you are seeing is the cathedral that is located within the castle walls.   That was the biggest structure within the palace walls so it tended to dominate the castle view if you were shooting the castle from the outside.  I ended up going to the castle twice as the first time we got lost on the metro system in Prague and got there late so we went back a few days later and then did the tour.  I go back to my statement, seen one castle you have kinda seen them all.

A view from outside the castle.
Canon XSi, 119mm, ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/200

A View From A Castle

I shot this off Prague Castle when I was in Prague.  I wasn’t really inspired or impressed by Prague as I have been to Europe before and honestly, once you have seen one European Capital you have kinda seen them all.  So most of my shots reflect the fact that I was mostly bored while I was there shooting.  I would just leave the camera in Auto or AP mode and walk around and shoot.  I don’t think I ever took off my Tamron 18-200 even though I had other lenses with me.  It was walk, take an obligatory tourist shot and move on.  I remember taking this picture off the back of Prague Castle overlooking the city and the river and it was one of the few that I liked so I figured I share.

A View From A Castle
Canon XSi, 95mm, ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/200

The Capitol

This was shot in a long time ago it feels like and it shows it.  No matter how much post processing I did I could not remove all the noise from the image and in this case, I can blame the gear.  I shot this on my first DSLR ever, the Canon XSi (sold in the great Canon Purge) which wasn’t a low light performer in the best of cases.  It didn’t help that I shot this at night without a tripod and instead of opening the lens up to f/1.4 I shot it at f/4.0 while hand holding it.  The amazing thing is the shutter speed was relatively high all things considered.  Most of my night shots are at 1/60 which is where I can usually hold a camera steady and get away with not using a tripod which I hate lugging around.

The Capitol
Canon XSi, 50mm, ISO 800, f/4.0, 1/125

Abuela

This is another one shot on the gone but not forgotten Olympus E-P2.  I was buying coffee in the Mercado Central which is pretty much a locals only place and this lady was buying her supply as well.  She saw I had the camera and asked me to take a picture of her.  So I obliged her and this is the end result.  At the time I only had the 17mm and the 14-42 kit lens.  I don’t do zoom lenses so the 17mm was on the camera.  Sadly, low light performer isn’t what I would call the 17mm 2.8.  In addition the back light of the sun behind her messed with the cameras light meter so it read it wrong and considering I was shooting in full auto at the time (who reads manuals?!) the image is less than perfect.   With all that going on I had to crop Big Daddy out of the frame since he was standing to her left and the 17mm being a wide lens put him into the picture as well.

Abuela
Olympus E-P2, 17mm, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/60