Peter M Howard ::

A Day in the Life of the City

27August2007 [photography]
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In which I break in the new dSLR

Bought a new digital SLR on Saturday — a Canon 400D — from Ted’s Cameras on Pitt St, who bundled in a second lens and all the bits and pieces. Spent Saturday afternoon charging batteries and getting it playing nicely with my computer and the website (meant some tweaks to the photo app, to handle portrait-orientation and some additional EXIF information). Downloaded Apple’s Aperture, which I now intend to purchase. Sunday afternoon I went out shooting. Wandered down into the city, around the north end and back across Hyde Park and home again. Took a bunch of photos; some of my favourites are in a new album: A Day in the City.

The Square

The 400D produces beautiful images — vibrant colours, crisp outlines. I shot in RAW (with a convenient mode that also produces JPEGs for previewing) and ended up actually taking a lot of the colour and sharpening out of the images, just ‘cause I love the muted colours so much. I’m still working out the lens (though it’s love at first site, and I’m yet to break out the bigger lens) — most of the images in this album were taken either at the wide-angle end (18mm) or the telephoto end (55mm). I’m also getting used to the various speed and exposure settings; it’s a little tricky being unable to preview the effect a setting might have, but the whole point of getting digital was to be able to experiment with those things. For this shoot, I left the exposure on automatic and was adjusting focus and ISO speed.

This whole shoot was really just experimentation, so I ran the better images through Aperture, tweaking exposure and the like. None of them are “photoshopped” though, in that any adjustments I made were made to the image as a whole, and only one was cropped — for the moment I’m loving the physicality of images produced by light and glass.

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