Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Freeze Frame


A few years ago, I bought what I thought was a decent point-and-shoot digital camera, a Sony Cybershot. They made a big deal about it having a Carl Zeiss lens, which was supposed to be the cat's pajamas. Or something.

All I knew is I wanted a decent camera I didn't have to fiddle with. Took it on vacation to Arizona shortly after I got it, and it seemed to take good outdoor pics. See those red rocks? Point, shoot, done, beautiful.

Then I started taking quilt pictures indoors, and to say I was less than impressed would be an understatement. Blurry McBlurry-pants. Fuzzy DeFuzzmeister. Darthy Van Darko.

Now I fully allow that it may be my mad picture taking skilz, or the lack thereof. I thought I had a steady hand. Mr. Sony Cybershot, however, calls me a liar, repeatedly. I've tried holding my breath, bracing myself on something, etc. Oy, it can be exhausting to get a clear shot.

Sony does provide software that is somewhat useful in covering for mistakes. The sharpen tool, for instance. I hit that mofo like a rat for a food pellet at the end of a maze. Thirty-five percent sharpness seems to be the magic number. Does that mean my hands shake 35 percent more in my late 40s than they did when I was 20-something? It's a conspiracy to make me feel doddery, I tell ya.

So I bought this little tripod recently, and I just don't know. It may be a total POC (piece of crap). See it "standing" there? Why is it leaning toward one side already and I haven't even mounted the camera? And when I do, it becomes top heavy and wants to fall over. So sometimes I have to hold the tripod, which, you know, sort of defeats the purpose.

Some of these pics were taken with the tripod, some with me holding the tripod, some where I'm bracing against the faucet, and some with just me doing what I always do--trying not to dance with the camera. All of these are straight out of camera, no sharpening or retouching.

Can you tell which is a tripod shot?



If you guess correctly, you may win a prize. And it may rhyme with "tie rod."

(This green California Pottery tray came from the antique mall a couple weeks ago. It's by Roselane of Pasadena, in their "Chinese Modern" line, popular in the mid-1940s. Four bucks--what a deal!)

What kind of camera do you use (and do you like it)? Do you use a tripod, or does your camera have any kind of image stabilization?

4 comments:

jilly said...

I got a good laugh about the "35%". Seems 25% is my standard, LOL. Crazy question. Do you drink coffee or tea? My step-dad was a sharp shooter in the Marines. As he aged, he stated the coffee he drank was giving him the "shakes" and he couldn't shot as well as he did. He often said the best sharp shooters were those who didn't smoke or drink. I don't smoke, but boy do I drink the coffee;-)

I bought the cheapest camera online at Wallyworld. Didn't really want to leave my "oldie" 35mm. Its a SamsungS860...whatever that means. For the most part I like it. My son showed me a few tricks, including what the little "flower" meant. I can push the flower and it goes to macro, which is good for close-ups. I STILL have to fix my pics.
So much for that little flower in my case;-)

I like and want to take great pics, but if I'm going to stress over them too much, its not worth taking pics too me. My son tells me to keep practicing. Little does he know I have been practicing for over 35 years!!

Hope your week is wonderful.

Blessings,
Jilly

Michelle said...

My old camera (a cheap brand whose name does not come to mind atm) did just what yours is doing--good outside pics and blurry inside pics. It didn't do that when I first got it, but became worse over time.

My new camera is a Kodak Easy Share C913, and it does well both indoors and out. It's somewhere between 1 and 2 years old. So far, so good.

JKP said...

Mine is a 2 in 1 camcorder/camera and I have to put it on continuous shoot to get a clear picture in the midst of all the blurry ones. Inside, everything is orange. And I use a tripod sometimes, but it still doesn't like to be jarred at all.

Alyssa has a decent Kodak Easyshare. She has taken some absolutely amazing pictures with it, but that could be just because she is really good at composition.

Anonymous said...

Try a different setting on the camera- portrait, or the one with the flower. See if it changes anything in the photos.

Joe