Live out loud!
But not too loud – Cthulhu is sleeping.
Chat about whatever.
Notes below on how I took a not-sucky photo of my dog.
* The lens was a Panasonic 20mm (40mm equivalent) f/1.7. You should always take a wide-ish bright prime when you walk in the woods. Go ahead and take a zoom or whatever else in addition, but make sure you have something in the 25-50mm (35mm equivalent) range that can go to f/2. Otherwise you will compromise something to get a decent shot in the shade. I took this at f/2.5, 1/125 sec, ISO 250.
* You should mark your calendar for this shot, kids. This may be the first pic using built-in flash that I did not immediately delete. This scene absolutely needs some sort of light to help the shaded dog stand out from the dappled-sun background, and direct flash did the job, but even so Max still looks a bit flat since light that close to the lens axis makes subjects look like a cardboard cut-out. Plus his eye needed a little photoshop to get rid of that awful direct-flash redeye effect. My FL-36R strobe unit with a cheap radio trigger (aka: my baby, the picture prettifier, the bestest photo accessory on earth) would have taken a much more appealing pic by lighting the dog from a bit to the side instead of head-on, but that strobe just took an accidental swim and then I fell on it. So anyway I’m in the market for a FL-36R or similar if anybody has one that they want to sell.
* Even so, a balanced pic required dropping the flash compensation to minus 2 ev, and manual exposure settings were used to ensure that the ambient background (that is to say, things in the pic not lit by flash) were still only about 1 stop under-exposed according to the light meter. It boggles the mind to think what kind of garishly lit horror show would result if I let the camera choose its own flash power.
* To get the final exposure settings, it was first necessary to fix the shutter speed at the GH2’s sync speed, 1/125 sec, and then adjust the aperture until the meter read about minus 1, which turned out to be f/2.5. An affordable zoom lens would have forced me to slow down the shutter or bump the ISO, all while sacrificing sharpness, and I’d rather lose flexibility than give up quality.