I have a theory about cameras and photographers. The bigger and more complex your photography equipment, the fewer photos you actually take. You end up spending most of your time fiddling with settings and trying to get that perfect shot. It's a little like the writer who wants to produce the Great American Novel but works on one book for years and years. The writer who just churns out the text sometimes ends up writing a masterpiece.
That theory is self-serving, of course. I don't have the imagination or organizational skills to write a novel or become a serious photographer. I write snippets, and I snap hundreds of picture every week. Some of the photos turn out okay, and some are better than okay. Most are not. But that's fine with me. I enjoy taking them, and it gets me and Callie out of the house. But I need a good, easy-to-use camera in order to find enjoyment in the process. I also enjoy processing the images on my computers. Or even tablets, as I processed most of the ones in this post.
I recently acquired a 10.1" tablet (Android) and I'm really happy with it. The screen is big enough that my not-so-nimble fingers can actually "type" on the on-screen keyboard, because the "keys" are larger on a larger screen. And photos show up larger on it too, so that I can see what I'm doing when I crop, sharpen, or otherwise edit them. I've found a photo editor I like. It's called Fotor. I also use PixLR some. Neither one has all the features of Photoshop Elements, which doesn't have all the features of the full Photoshop application or Lightroom, but the lighter-weight apps work for what I want to do.
The photos in this post emphasize blues, while the ones yesterday focused on reds. I take a lot of flower pictures over in our across-the-street neighbors' yard, where there are many, many flowering plants. The neighbors are the couple who live most of the year in Blois, a 45-minute drive north of here Their son works in a gardening center up there called Jardiland. The neighbors are both in their 80s now, and they both have health issues that prevent them from coming down here to their "summer place" as often as they used to. We became friends with them immediately when we moved here in 2003. They have had other American friends over the years, even thought they speak no English at all and have never themselves been to America or even flown on an airplane.
When we first moved here 13 years ago, we ended up having a much more active social life than we had ever had before, either in Washington DC or the San Francisco area. It was mostly because of the neighbors. They would have big parties in the summertime, with as many as 150 people in attendance for special occasions like Bastille Day or their own 50th wedding anniversary. We met so many people it sometimes made our heads spin. That and the wine and good food! Nowadays, things a quieted down again, significantly.
The fact is, we felt welcomed when we arrived here, and we both spoke enough French that we could socialize with all those people easily. Most of them — none, really, besides the stray American or Brit — ever spoke English. We were a part of the local social scene and we learned a lot. But it couldn't last forever — what does? The flowers don't, but this is the season. The rug in the last close-up has lasted, however. We've had it for 20 or 25 years. Who remembers?
...tout lasse, tout casse. This is true up to a point, at least as far as I'm concerned. When I'm satisfied with something, I'm not looking for anything else. Maybe I didn't grasp the meaning of la fortune sourit aux audacieux. In your case, if you're happy with the excellent photos you're taking every day, why looking any further? As they say, chacun voit midi à sa porte.ReplyDelete
I looked on line to see if their might be a firmware update for my newest Lumix camera that would improve the conversion and compression algorithms the camera uses when it processes a raw image to save it as a JPG. No luck — there has not yet been a firmware upgrade for the TZ60. Also, there's no firmware upgrade for the ZS8/TZ18, but there I don't feel I need one. I wonder how I could find out when the TZ18 was manufactured. Maybe by serial number.Delete
lt seems it was released in 2011, according to this site, http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/photography-news/panasonic-lumix-tz18-and-tz20-released-9609Delete
I bought my first ZS8 in May 2012 when Walt and I went to Albany.Delete
I find cameras intimidating - the more complex the more scary - and really have only been enjoying taking pictures since the digital cameras became common. I always felt my old film camera shots were unworthy of being developed so left it to my husband.ReplyDelete
My first digital camera was bought for a wonderful 3 week trip to Israel in November 1999 and was very awkward by today's standards. The storage cards were very limiting so my friend and I spent each evening in our hotel room weeding through the day's crop of photos and deleting all but the best. Today, we can be so profligate by comparison.
I became interested in photography only with the advent of digital cameras. I had film cameras, but I was always disappointed with the photos I got out of them. Developing film was expensive, and it was generally a hassle to get it done, with trips to some shop or other. Twice, I lost several days of what could have been good photos — one time after a trip to England, and another after spending a few days in Death Valley in California — because the photo labs botched the development. They gave me new rolls of film and half-hearted apologies each time, but I had lost several days' worth of photos that I could never take again. So I'm all for digital, and you're right, the technology has improved vastly over the past 15 or 20 years.Delete
I got out my little point-and-shoot after reading that Sharon Santoni uses one for the gorgeous pictures on her blog. A big camera is good if you have a telephoto lens and want to shoot sports or wildlife; with a point-and-shoot or phone the zoom just isn't enough and you're going to end up with blurs or little dots. I find a camera easier to use than my tablet, which is hard to hold while focusing on a point on the screen then hitting the shutter button. Also, I'm more apt to throw a little camera into my pocket or bag, vs a big camera or a tablet.ReplyDelete
Also, the great photographer Cartier-Bresson used a Leica with a "normal" lens, which is like your basic camera or phone lens and resembles what the eye sees. Proof that a good picture is in the composition, rather than the equipment.
"Point-and-shoot" is such a dismissive term for the amazing little machines that compact, long-zoom digital cameras have become. My compact cameras have great zoom lenses, from 10x to 16x to, now, 30x magnification. You've probably seen some of the telephoto images that they can produce, right here on this blog. I don't use my tablets for photos, at least not more than just once in a while to see what they can do. They can't do as much as a little digital camera, that's for sure. As for Cartier-Bresson, very few have that kind of talent.Delete
That one photo of the branch of the fruit tree... that is just the MOST beautiful photo! I love it!ReplyDelete
As for computers and tablets: they all have their place, don't they? I have a big, desktop Mac (my favorite to do anything on), a Mac laptop at school (that I can bring home, too), and an iPad Mini. I love the mini for ease of surfing when I am just sitting in the living room, or if I'm away from home -- but, I find it limited in some other ways (I can't even check comments on my blog, let alone do any real editing, and commenting on other people's blogs are sometimes tedious to accomplish). My laptop is convenient at work, for moving around the school building and being able to take everything I need with me, whenever I have to work in a different spot -- but, though it has two browsers (and I can't install any other), neither works for one of the websites I need for my historic house researching, so that is limiting! I'm glad to have them all :)
So many trees around here are covered with those white blossoms right now. And yes, tablets are great (we have five of them now!) but they are mostly for viewing and reading, not composing and writing. I do like the 10" screen on my newest tablet, after starting with a 7" model and the moving up to a couple of 8" tablets. I use my laptop every morning for blogging, and the desktop has become more of a storage and file-serving device than anything else.Delete
I enjoy hearing about those fetes across the street. It was good that you jumped right into your new neighborhood when you moved in, speaking french helped you.ReplyDelete
I looked on eBay yesterday and ordered a ZS8 from a first time seller ($60 with shipping included). I took a risk. The guy wrote me saying that he's traveling for work and won't mail it until Saturday. Time will tell. It will be a good camera for baby pix and videos;-)
Oh gosh, E., I hope you like it. You got a good price. We can talk about settings etc. at some point.Delete
Sometimes the good price can be too good to be true. I am going to try to learn how to use this camera and may need your help.Delete
Okay. I think you'll like it.Delete
Beautiful. These blue pictures make me wonder if your hydrangeas have come up yet, and if so, how they are faring. Probably too early still for blue bearded irises.ReplyDelete
The irises are just starting to flower... photo tomorrow. And the hydrangeas have come back with nice green leaves but no flowers yet.Delete
Excellent pictures Ken. I was wondering, is the lack of image stabilization on the TZ18 a problem?ReplyDelete
The TZ18 does have image stabilization, Terry. I once had a Canon camera that didn't have IS, and it was good for macro photos in bright light, but that was about all. Tomorrow I'll post a couple of non-macro photos I took the other day with the TZ18.Delete
Ken, thanks, good to know. I checked the specs for the ZS8 and they didn't list any IS. Is the TZ18 optical or electronic?Delete
It's optical. I believe the ZS8 and the TZ18 are identical cameras. Look at this Camera Labs review.Delete