It’s that time of year where if you’re up around 0630 you can often catch the most magnificent sunrises. I knew this morning was going to be a good one – lots of colour in the sky, and enough clouds to give interest but not so many it blocked the light.
This is only a short post – I just wanted to show 3 pictures I took this morning. All were shot with my NEX5 and 18-55OSS lens, and all 3 of them are in-camera JPEGs using some of the modes of the NEX5.
First up, a panorama. The camera has an automatic panorama mode where you point to the left side of the image, hold the shutter button down and it guides you across the view by displaying an arrow and a moving progress indication. When finished, it processes the image and within about 1 second you get a panorama. So far, I haven’t had a single one that doesn’t stitch perfectly – I’m really impressed with this mode.
I tweaked the contrast a bit in Lightroom for the image above as it was correctly exposed for the situation, but it didn’t really reflect what I saw out the window.
Next, an in-camera high-contrast B&W. I picked the “Picture Effect” mode and cycled through the effects. After going through some decidedly nasty posterisation and high intensity colour settings, I hit the high contrast B&W and thought it gave a very different feel to the sunrise before me:
And finally, this one. Can you tell what it is yet…? When shooting sunrises and sunsets, I usually underexpose the scene to get lots of detail in the sky from as close to the sun as possible, and allow (in fact encourage) the foreground to become a silhouette. This shot, however, uses the in-camera HDR mode. Whilst HDR has become a bit of a dirty word in photography, it’s actually a very sensible and technically sound technique for increasing the dynamic range of an image. The problem is that people are under the illusion that madly compressing the central part of the intensity to show off the dynamic range leads to a good image – it doesn’t, it leads to a disgusting mess of colour and halos! However, if you use it subtly, just to bring out some detail in the shadow regions and keep detail in the highlights, you can really enhance an image. The shot below is the first shot I’ve taken out of my upstairs bedroom window as sunrise where I haven’t had to drop the foreground away to black, and although it’s just an urban sprawl in front I really like the fact that there’s some detail there with the beautiful sunrise in the distance:
So, there you go. A few quick pictures from the NEX5, and a bit more waffle about modes. I haven’t used a DSLR for nearly 2 weeks now, but I’m getting a big urge to. The NEX5 is brilliant as a small, portable camera which can take impressively good shots at night and in some difficult situations, but when it comes to serious telephoto work, portraits or macro it falls a long way short of my DSLRs. I’ll discuss this more in a week or two when I’ve owned it long enough to really be able to discuss the merits and drawbacks. But until then, expect some more pictures