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Old 03-07-2019, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,298 posts, read 4,148,032 times
Reputation: 18264

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BD1978 View Post
Re: reflecting the scene, you're absolutely right that overcast skies make for a dull, flat look, and I did not expect the Sony to make the dreadfully gray Sognefjord look like it was under blue skies (although I wish it could!) What annoyed me is that our smartphone did a better job of capturing the beauty of the Norwegian scenery, as the smartphone pictures looked less flat and dull than did the Sony ones. We just came back from a great trip down south, and the same thing happened in gray, overcast Savannah.
One thing you need to be aware of is that cameras aimed at "serious" photographers are generally programmed to produce JPEG images that appear much more neutral than cameras aimed at "casual" photographers, as the assumption is that the "serious" photographer will be doing post-processing on a RAW file using a dedicated program like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop and will make any needed adjustments at that time. You may need to dive into your Sony's menu settings and tweak things to get out-of-camera JPEG images you are happy with under dull light. (And you may need to do the same with any new camera you get to replace the Sony.)
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:33 AM
 
5,269 posts, read 3,311,295 times
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While I enjoy taking pictures, I'm definitely not a professional by any means, but I've seen a bunch of professionals that make a living taking amazing pictures of landscapes and wildlife and get paid quite well, where they can't stand bright sunlight as it's too harsh and prefer taking pictures where it is overcast, cloudy and dull out.
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,318 posts, read 21,872,221 times
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don't know what the new models are but my 15 - 20 yo Panasonic Lumix is a nice camera and accepts wide angle and other lenses. Takes video and has manual mode features, but I've almost never used them.

Panasonic DMC-20
(my photo)
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:23 AM
 
629 posts, read 491,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
One thing you need to be aware of is that cameras aimed at "serious" photographers are generally programmed to produce JPEG images that appear much more neutral than cameras aimed at "casual" photographers, as the assumption is that the "serious" photographer will be doing post-processing on a RAW file using a dedicated program like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop and will make any needed adjustments at that time. You may need to dive into your Sony's menu settings and tweak things to get out-of-camera JPEG images you are happy with under dull light. (And you may need to do the same with any new camera you get to replace the Sony.)

Thank you; that is great advice! We generally upload our photos from the Sony onto snapfish.com and then use that platform to adjust lighting and color contrast, etc. We don't do any other processing currently but that is good to know.


Also re: the comment that professionals prefer clouds and do some of their best work in less than ideal weather, I completely understand that. I'm just personally not on a level anywhere close to that, and I really just want crisp, high quality pictures of my family and the landscapes and architecture that we visit and see on vacation. For my skill level and with a point and shoot, the end product is much warmer and more impressive under blue skies than it tends to be in gray conditions.


Again, we're not anywhere close to a professional level, but anecdotally I can tell you that our family and close friends who see our photo albums after a trip tend to be much more impressed by the end product when skies are blue. Last month we split a week between Savannah, which was overcast, gray and drizzly, and Charleston, which happened to be sunny and warm. In person I thought Savannah was prettier and found the live oak trees with Spanish moss to be memorable and gorgeous in a haunting way, but in photographs Charleston with its blue skies and palmetto trees looked a million times nicer. I bet that a professional could come away from overcast Savannah with amazing photos, but that just isn't me. (I loved both cities by the way.)
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:01 PM
 
Location: SF, CA
1,508 posts, read 678,284 times
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A few ideas:

Are you familiar with the "white balance" setting on your camera?
You can set it according to the conditions you're shooting in,
e.g. sunny, cloudy, indoors, etc. (of course, you can also leave the camera in
'full-automatic' mode).

One problem with shooting landscapes is that the sky is brighter than the land
-- especially on cloudy days, because the sky is white. One answer to that
is to attach a 'graduated' filter to the front of your camera; it'll reduce the amount
of light coming in from the upper half of the scene, but not the lower half.
Then your picture will look more balanced, rather than the sky washed out,
and/or the land too dark. If your lens is threaded to accept a filter, all you
need to do is screw it on and off. Not all point-and-shoots have threading
for filters, but the LX100 does.

But IMHO some scenes look better under cloudy conditions. In a forest,
I find that cloudy weather makes for nice even lighting, whereas full
sun means harsh contrasts between bright light and dark shadows.
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:23 PM
 
629 posts, read 491,841 times
Reputation: 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW4me View Post
A few ideas:

Are you familiar with the "white balance" setting on your camera?
You can set it according to the conditions you're shooting in,
e.g. sunny, cloudy, indoors, etc. (of course, you can also leave the camera in
'full-automatic' mode).

One problem with shooting landscapes is that the sky is brighter than the land
-- especially on cloudy days, because the sky is white. One answer to that
is to attach a 'graduated' filter to the front of your camera; it'll reduce the amount
of light coming in from the upper half of the scene, but not the lower half.
Then your picture will look more balanced, rather than the sky washed out,
and/or the land too dark. If your lens is threaded to accept a filter, all you
need to do is screw it on and off. Not all point-and-shoots have threading
for filters, but the LX100 does.

But IMHO some scenes look better under cloudy conditions. In a forest,
I find that cloudy weather makes for nice even lighting, whereas full
sun means harsh contrasts between bright light and dark shadows.

Thank you - I did not know about the white balance setting and will check that out! I basically just leave it in full automatic mode at all times.


And that's interesting what you say re: forests. I was disappointed in many of our Savannah pictures that were of buildings with the white/gray sky above them. But I really liked our pictures from places with tree cover like at Wormsloe Historic Site and Bonaventure Cemetery. The lighting was great for the live oaks with Spanish moss, and the sky is not really part of the picture. Everything else equal, I'm still a sucker for a nice blue sky.
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Old 03-07-2019, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,298 posts, read 4,148,032 times
Reputation: 18264
Quote:
Originally Posted by BD1978 View Post
Thank you - I did not know about the white balance setting and will check that out! I basically just leave it in full automatic mode at all times.
The problem with leaving even a very good camera such as your Sony in fully automatic mode is that the camera is basically guessing at what is most important in the scene and how you want things exposed. Much of the time the camera gets it right, but not always - particularly when the lighting or the overall hue of the scene is atypical. Think of a skier going down a broad, snowy hill: the huge expanse of white is gong to fool the camera into under-exposing that scene. Or think of a scene with a lot of motion occurring: do you want the image frozen so everything is tack-sharp, or do you want some motion blur to give the viewer an impression of speed? The camera can't know which you would prefer!

Do yourself a favor and learn a little bit about the basics of photography. It's not hard! I recommend the book Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson. It's an easy read, and will help you get the most out of your very capable camera. Then take your camera off the Auto setting and start experimenting!

Getting a "better" camera doesn't always give you better photos; often, learning a bit more about photography is what is required. Just because I can buy a Porshe 911 doesn't mean I'm capable of getting a top-quality performance out of it; until I become a much better driver, I'm actually better off with my Subaru.
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:50 PM
 
312 posts, read 227,493 times
Reputation: 611
In my job I might take hundreds of pictures a day, and I am no photographer. I use an Olympus Tough. It fits in my shirt or vest pocket, is water proof and shock proof and has many more functions than I would ever use. I have a little springy lanyard that I clip to a shirt button hole so I never lose it.

You can upgrade to a fancy lens but I don’t need to. A care free camera that charges with a plug in cable. No batteries to worry about.
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:48 AM
 
5,269 posts, read 3,311,295 times
Reputation: 6434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
Getting a "better" camera doesn't always give you better photos; often, learning a bit more about photography is what is required. Just because I can buy a Porshe 911 doesn't mean I'm capable of getting a top-quality performance out of it; until I become a much better driver, I'm actually better off with my Subaru.
So true, I use to be one of those 'leave it in automatic mode' people (I have a DSLR and a SLR before that) for everything, then went to only using manual mode and haven't taken a picture in over 8 years in anything but manual mode, where I get to choose the aperture, shutter speed and ISO, I don't think I can ever go back to auto!

It does help you better understand how to take a picture and how all three of those parameters are inter-related. I usually keep my camera on F8, 1/160 sec, and ISO 100 and adjust accordingly depending on the conditions and what I'm trying to go after.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Central IL
15,201 posts, read 8,509,345 times
Reputation: 35598
Quote:
Originally Posted by BD1978 View Post
I posted this on the photography forum and surprisingly received no responses despite many people reading it.
They're too cool for a "point and shoot"!
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