July 19, 2016

Details from the front yard.

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I'm just trying to figure out my new camera, which is a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX100, perhaps more camera than I need, but the slight extravagance motivated me to try to read the manual, a mind-bending — eye-bending — experience that led me to buy this book, which seems to be written in actual English sentences meant to be read by a human being. And now I'm going to try to become more knowledgeable about all the features.

I'd had my eye on this camera after reading this article about what a photographer packed on his trip around the world, but I'd decided against splurging. I had a good-enough, cheaper Lumix — about like this — and it was still working. But then on our first day in Colorado last week, I did something stupid with it. I really shouldn't reward my bad behavior, but I needed a new camera and I'd already done the desire-formation around a particular camera, so I closed the deal. It was very much like the way I wanted an Audi TT, but I had a perfectly good VW Beetle and resisted the urge to buy something new and expensive. Then I wrecked the Beetle and got the TT.

51 comments:

robinintn said...

The inkpen writ large.

Terry said...

You can get in trouble for that middle pic. No way those 'participants' are over 17 years old.

pellehDin said...

Great lens for macro.

Ann Althouse said...

"You can get in trouble for that middle pic. No way those 'participants' are over 17 years old."

And not only that, but Meade proceeded to murder them. It made me feel bad, because I'd had a moment with the little creatures. Meade had pointed them out too, as if to say, take note of the life of these little ones, they live and love. And he intended all along to kill them.

David said...

Bugs with benefits.

David said...

" And now I'm going to try to become more knowledgeable about all the features."

Start slow and practice various fundamentals, mastering each as you go. There are so damn many features that they can overwhelm you. (Voice of experience.)
.

traditionalguy said...

Is that a Rogers Ailes bug on top of a Reporter-bimbo bug? No wonder Meade had to terminate them both.

Linda said...

I have plucked those little suckers off of many flowers over the last couple of days. I either put them in a cup full of water with soap or step on them. I'll be honest - I don't feel bad killing them. They are so dang destructive.

alan markus said...

Fascinating reading the posts from the "Crash of 2005". The crash, the supper you made that evening, falling asleep after work the next day and waking up at 5:30 the next morning except it was still the same day, getting a new car off the boat, your social life pre-Meade. I don't think I discovered this blog until late 2008, but it looks like it was just as interesting then as now. Not many commenters back then, unless some have disappeared in the cloud.

Pete said...

Gosh, I remember those posts about Greenie and Silvio. Thanks for the memories, Althouse.

n said...

I squish those beetles with my bare hands.

Rhythm and Balls said...

That beetle photo is sexist.

mockturtle said...

And I thought I was the only one who photographed insects screwing.

Ann Althouse said...

"Not many commenters back then, unless some have disappeared in the cloud."

I didn't have the comments function enabled at that point.

Ann Althouse said...

"I squish those beetles with my bare hands."

So does Meade.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's the post "I just wrecked my car" from 2005.

Hagar said...

And here I thought you had a real Beetle - seems more like you somehow.

khesanh0802 said...

Ann, Easy to see the effect of the better lens on that camera. Much sharper photos. Recommend you look at "Digital Nature Photography: The Art and the Science" by John and Barbara Gerlach or "John Shaw's Guide to Digital Nature Photography"
by John Shaw. Both available on Amazon Althouse portal! The Gerlach's and Shaw are incredible photographers and both speak and write in clear English. The manual will help you understand how the camera works but either of these author's will show you how to use the cameras abilities to get the photo you are hoping for. Have fun!

Administrator said...

I used to be in the photo biz. 25 years of photography and photo lab experience.

Too many people with digital cameras, and zero cost for shooting is pretty much driving full-time photographers out of business.

I have a Lumix LX5 I just love. Amazing images right out of the camera. Plus I added a .75 wide angle adapter, because I really enjoy wide angle work. A sample of my stuff: https://goo.gl/photos/SAtyGwzQfs2Pc6rt8

The stuff in Chicago, Minneapolis and Fargo are with the Lumix LX5.

TA said...

Perfectly fine behavior.

Original Mike said...

Only a 3x zoom?

Original Mike said...

"And not only that, but Meade proceeded to murder them."

Them, and thousands not yet born.

Good work, Meade.

glenn said...

You paid $700 for a point and shoot that won't fit in a shirt pocket. Niiiice. You must be a Boomer.

TA said...

I know a guy who is good, I mean really good, in the landscape world, who often shoots with 50 mm fixed, because that's what he learned on way back when, and he can make it produce good shots out of almost anything. For what you do (or what you show us) 25-75 is a really nice range. That's a nice little piece of equipment.

rhhardin said...

If you get a dog, you'll always have something to photograph.

Ann Althouse said...

"You paid $700 for a point and shoot that won't fit in a shirt pocket. Niiiice. You must be a Boomer."

Shirt pocket?! I'm a woman.

And I wanted the best point and shoot I could get.

TA said...

Neighbors' dogs, too. I'm kind of missing them.

Rae said...

The house wrens in my yard take care of the problem in the second picture. They're the best beetle trap. Good photographs.

Fernandinande said...

mockturtle said...
And I thought I was the only one who photographed insects screwing.


BUG PORN $1!

wildswan said...

Nice shot of the petals unrolling in the first picture. And it seems to me that the unrolling is sometimes a right spiral, sometimes a left spiral. How does the plant know "left" and "right"? They are mixed together - no obvious pattern. No one knows why any of this happens.

Rusty said...

Fucking beetles. Those rwo bastards have been eating my marigolds.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Szoszolo said...

The middle one is very Linda McCartney (see back cover of "Ram").

Iapetus said...

I have the manual A. White wrote for the Sony RX10. He is thorough, his explanations are very clear, and he seems to anticipate the niggling issues that are likely to arise for a first time user of the gear. His camera user guides are really outstanding.

Z said...

Don't look now, but I THINK you mastered your camera already. Gorgeous!

Terry said...

I am fascinated by the little iridescent bugs in pic #2. They look as though they are made of metal. Who knows what they see when they look at one another?
You might think that little bugs like that are closer to the atomic world than us big human beings, but they really aren't, relatively speaking.
A gram of pure carbon contains about 10^23 atoms. If a human weighs 100 Kg, that is the equivalent of 10^28 carbon atoms. If the cute little bugs weigh 1/10 of a gram, that is the same as 10^22 carbon atoms.
The pretty little bugs are made up of about ten thousand billion billion atoms.
All of the living world is like that, objects like 'bugs' or 'people' that are supposed to be the result of properties of atoms that only exist when billions of billions of atoms are brought together.

Clyde said...

Brad Paisley - Flowers

Although technically, I guess it was the bugs dying, not the flowers...

tim in vermont said...

http://cambridgeincolour.com is a great resource. You can ask questions, post photos for honest and knowledgeable feedback, read a lot about techniques, the underlying technology, etc. It can take you from newbie to advanced amateur.

I meant to recommend it to your son when he talked about getting feedback in the comments here.

Lauderdale Vet said...

Beautiful shots!

I just broke down and bought that Nikkor 105mm micro lens. I've been taking micro shots all over the yard the last 2 days. Great fun.

tim maguire said...

Prof., can we get another "please don't feed the trolls" reminder post? The comment section to your convention liveblog would have been so much better and so much shorter if people would exercise a little self control vis-a-vis the trolls.

rhhardin said...

The trouble with digital cameras is that the pixels are arranged in a regular pattern.

This means that photographing regular patterns produces moire patterns, as when you photograph a chain link fence or siding on a house. You get huge light and dark bands according as the light hits a pixel or just misses it.

To prevent this, they put in an anti-aliasing filter that causes light to always hit more than one pixel. This fuzzes up the image.

To fix that, they use software that detects and sharpens up edges.

The result of that, in turn, is highly artificial-looking edges at high contrast points, that marks the photo as digital.

A high quality camera may help defeat that, by (I assume) using more pixels so that the fuzzing itself isn't noticeable and doesn't need sharpening.

Film gets around it by having irregular arrangements of grains, which means there's no moire pattern to avoid in the first place.

rhhardin said...

If you drive the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the overpasses have chain link fences on both sides; seeing the far side through the near side produces a moire pattern.

The apparent size of the moire pattern does not change as you get closer, I believe I figured out while driving.

Not reanalyzing now, but just going on units, the angular size has to be the ratio of the chain link period to the road width.

Presumably that would show up if you photographed it, too.

rhhardin said...

The problem with thread fights is there's too much to skip.

If attacked, just restate your position in another way. If there isn't another way, don't say anything.

Paco Wové said...

Finally, a refuge from the hyperpartisan poo-flinging. Ahhhhh.....

I fear you'll be disappointed, T. Maguire. Trolling in the usual sense doesn't seem to bother Althouse much. It is interesting that there does seem to be a more organized "flood the zone" effort starting as of a few weeks ago. Some of it is new-to-Althouse id's, including most of the Cloud of Unknowns. Others are (relatively) longer-term posters, like Amanda/George111/Georgiana/Serrah/(and also Unknown). The pattern seems to be: pick username, spew FUD for a day, change username, spew FUD, etc.

Were I God-Emperor of the Althouse blog, I would restrict commenting to those who bothered to show up on non-political posts. Sadly, the world is not so structured.

rhhardin said...

Trump is the first person to run for President who speaks with the voice of an internet commenter. - PFT Commenter

tim maguire said...

Hi Paco. Overall, she takes a very hands off approach to comment moderation, but there are limits. She has issued lectures about feeding the trolls in the past, people need reminders from time to time. The up-thread really is wrecked by arguments with unknown and pb&j.

320Busdriver said...

Blogger rhhardin said...
If you get a dog, you'll always have something to photograph

That one struck deep in the heart. We lost our beautiful Molly a mere month ago, but still I think I hear her moving about the house. I feel better when I look back at all the photos we took of her.

Thankfully we only have a month to go before we head off to choose the boy pup who will be the subject of countless photos. She will make sure we pick the right one. I'm sure of it.

Mike said...

Cool insec tag but it only leads to this one post. Are there not other insec posts? Does it mean "in secret"?

SteveBrooklineMA said...

Japanese beetles! Beautiful, invasive, destructive monsters. Kill them.

Danno said...

Looks like a nice camera, but I am of the opinion that your photography would still be great if you had to go back to the days of the Instamatic or Brownie cameras. Great pics as always.

Iapetus said...

Blogger rhhardin said...The trouble with digital cameras is that the pixels are arranged in a regular pattern. This means that photographing regular patterns produces moire patterns...

@rhhardin: Is the moire strictly the result of the discrete arrangement of the photosites of the sensor, or because the photosensitive part, the photodiode, is only a fraction of the photosite, which results in there being spatial gaps (to hold the electronics) between the adjacent photodiodes? In other words, can microlenses be used to reduce the prominence of moire?