Monday, 14 December 2009


Manila, December 2009 (as it came out of the camera)

Use a camera for any length of time, take a bunch of pictures and you get to feeling you know how it works. Conventional wisdom in the photography game. But I also realised that one needs to be familiar with the equipment in a range of situations, too.

Last week our department at work had a social, so I was snapping a bunch of pictures at the restaurant with my LX3. I've taken loads of photos with it, am comfortable with it in a range of situations. Except this was new for me. Normally I'd have a rangefinder and fast film in this sort of environment.

Getting home, I found most of my shots were rubbish, grossly under-exposed for the most part. Something I hadn't realised was that the LX3 metering is strongly protective of highlights in its matrix mode, much more so that my Canon SLRs. And so, with a mixture of bright back-lighting and darkened table lighting, I got a lot of shadows (like the one at the top of the post). No flash - I don't do that. And after a few drinks and with the general aim to be quick, I wasn't chimping and playing around with settings.

At least I've learnt for the next time, I suppose.

1 comment:

  1. My Nikon D300 will do the same thing. I think that, in general, Nikon cameras tend to try to protect the highlights. Knowing that, I usually go into situations like you described, take a quick test shot or two, switch to manual mode, look at the histograms, find what I like, and shoot with that the entire night. Sure, the highlights get blown out sometimes, but then you can't have everything. :-)


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