Thursday, July 28, 2011

Move Over, Jimmy Olson!

Just like a scene from any Superman comic, the young(ish), enthusiastic reporter/photographer has a hot story that he's just dying to write, only to be told "Your pictures are crap, kid!".  Yeah, I really just used a comic book reference to set up my story - I admit it, I'm a geek.


The truth is, I do have an article that I'm itching to write, for one of the trade magazines, but over the past few days, I've discovered that I have a LOT to learn about photography and publication.  Most of the photos that you've seen in this blog are 8 megapixel photos taken with my HTC phone.  They're good pictures, compared to the old Canon point-and-shoot camera that I own.  In terms of magazine use, however, they're crap.  There simply aren't enough pixels to make the photos look good on paper.  The phone also has other limitations, mainly with depth-of-field.  Bottom line - if I'm going to pursue magazine publication, I need a better camera.

After a few days of research, I decided that I wanted one of the new "super-zoom" cameras, also known as "bridge" cameras, because of their placement between cheap point-and-shoot cameras and higher-end DSLR's.  I found one at a great price, with loads of features, at Tiger Direct, with lots of positive reviews on various sites around the Internet:

The camera arrived today, and I've spent all evening playing around with it.  There are a LOT of bells and whistles on this thing.  Some of them I know how to use, most of them I have no clue, but it's very clear that this is a great camera.

Here's one of the cell phone pictures:

Here's virtually the same shot, taken with the new camera (cropped to the same size as the first photo):

Much better field depth (notice the trees in the background - blurry in the first photo, sharp in the second), and vastly higher resolution.

One more, taken from the far end of the layout, showing the "super-zoom" capabilities of the camera:

The same photo, with subtle clouds of steam added:

It's going to be fun learning to use this new tool, and I can't wait to see what shots I can pull off with it!