Adding yet another hobby to the pile, I am now the proud owner of this baby:

So, here’s the shortest version I can compile. When studying VFX, there’s a lot of jargon thrown around that’s shared between cinematography and photography, which I felt I really needed to learn in order to be more effective at understanding the effects side of the equation. I found that our library makes available free classes on photography, which allowed me to convince my wife that it would be a good idea to purchase the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7. This kills two birds with one stone, as the G7 — in it’s heyday — was considered to be a harbinger of the handheld 4K revolution in mirrorless cameras. Although my Osmo Pocket shoots way more advanced 4K in 2020, the G7 is still a pretty impressive powerhouse in its own right, allowing for some really great pictures and excellent 4K/30 video. I have heard tell that a lot of YouTube videos are shot using the G7, although “which ones”, I can’t say. I just know it had always popped up in searches for opinions on the best starter mirrorless cameras. And it was on sale! The only downside is that right now until I pay off this camera, I am limited to the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens that came with the kit.

Meanwhile, I’ve been reading about the “pillars” of photography — shutter speed, aperture, and ISO — and have been trying to map these concepts to the physical device while also trying to make heads or tails of all of the other buttons, dials, and screens that the camera offers. Aside from the lenses, mastering the “concept” of these three seems to be the most important aspect of photography. While I doubt I’ll ever be able to look at “a thing” — person, landscape, object — and say “yeah, I need this shutter speed, this f-stop, this ISO”, knowing what each application should do — and knowing quickly enough to be able to reset the camera in order to capture the scene — is of paramount importance. I know that carefully setting up a shot is one way to go about photography, but sometimes more candid situations arise which require a quick setup in order to capture the moment.

My tests so far have been limited to local items in and around my house. Here’s a shot of my unfinished dining room.

This is the original photo that I took with the camera. It looks good, in my opinion, which says more about the camera than it does my skill and knowledge, but as I’m not content to leave things alone, I threw it into Lightroom — which I have heard is an essential part of photography — and did stuff to it.

The point wasn’t to “make it better”, but I wanted to see if I could get the colors to be more representative of the actual room. In the case of the red, it works. In the case of the lower portion of the wall, not so much. The original photo’s colors were closer to what the actual lower third looks like.

Sitting at my desk this morning, I wanted to play around with different settings on the “A” dial, which is “aperture priority”. All I had to do was set the aperture value and the camera would take care of the shutter speed.

This was taken at 32mm, an f-stop value of f/5.4, and a shutter speed of 2/5 seconds. I’m still trying to decipher what this acually means, but that’s what the file EXIF info says. I was trying to go for a good “depth of field” shot, which I have learned is kind of difficult with my starter kit lens unless I’m up real close to the subject. I managed to get the focal point positioned such that Cora’s hand and the tip of her sword are unfocused, the rest of the figure is in focus, and the background is unfocused. At higher aperture values, I had versions where everything was in focus, but where’s the fun in that?

Here, I tried to “Tron-ize” the picture to do the figure justice by screwing around with the colors and such in Lightroom. It is what it is, I suppose. Figuring out what kind of look I want to give to a photo is also something I hope to learn in the process.

I hope to be able to go out into the world soon and take some photos outside, although in New England we’re currently in the middle of winter, so “go outside” is usually reserved for sprints to and from the house to the car to the shopping center and not “just because”. If there’s anything interesting going on — snow, or a stupidly warm day, for example — then I’ll make the extra effort to get out of the house with the camera.

Sound off!

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