Sunday, May 24, 2015

Minimalism - or lightening the load

Partially on the behest of my aching shoulder, I have recently started looking more closely at ways to carry less gear while out and about, while still being able to effectively take/make photographs. Now, before I go much further I do want to clarify that I am not about to get rid of my Nikon dSLR; although on my next "refresh" I may downsize the body.
What I have been doing meshes with the saying, the best camera is the one you have with you. And with that being my Sony  WX350, or my HTC One, I just needed to look at options for editing on the go. Now luckily for me, Adobe recently released a mobile version of Lightroom that runs on Android. Now I know some of you are wondering "why is he not using iOS?"; especially as he has a Macbook Pro. Well, long story short, I have a large investment into the Android platform and prefer the products. Which I just expanded on by purchasing a Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet (the one with the funky camera). With the Sony camera, the Dell tablet and Light room I have a pocket sized digital photo setup with higher quality than a cell phone. And it's pretty liberating to not be weighed down with gear, unless I choose to be.
While on the subject of the Dell tablet, I have to comment on the camera. Now, while I'm not likely to use the tablet for taking photographs (outside of ID photos for model releases), it's lightfield (think Lytro) depth enabled features do provide a very interesting set of options for creative experimenting. The tablet is equipped with 3 lenses, which work together to create three images that are combined in software to create a photo that you can change the focus point of after the fact; it also allows selective de-focus (blur). While this sounds good, in practice the software is a little heavy handed on the image processing. It is best to not dial the de-focus up too high or you will get patchy results. This is early days and I am hoping that future releases of the software will improve the processing and that the technology continues to improve.

To give you an example of what is possible with the tablet's camera, here is an example of one of my first experiments with it - please excuse the photo frame, I was also experimenting with the built-in photo editing software.

I have to say that I am enjoying trying new things and experimenting with my photography again. There is a time and place to be all serious and business-like, and other than that just enjoy what you are doing regardless of how it turns out. It's only by experimenting (success or failure) that we can grow artistically.

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