The mood not to do anything in particular still continues, though I did take a couple of road trips in the nearby Sahyadri and Konkan region in the recent past. Still, since I don’t feel like writing on anything in particular, I will just share a few pics, that’s all. … On second thoughts, I could write something of a rant about those slick “intelligent” digital cameras they have on market these days. Like a fool, I ended up buying one, last year. It’s an average digital camera: 12 MPx, 4X optical zoom. (The manufacturer hardly matters for the things I am concerned about, but if you must ask, it’s a Sony camera.) I don’t particularly like the results. They could have been much better.
The trouble is with the camera. They pack in so much “intelligence” in a digital camera these days that you end up taking only average-quality photographs all the time—you never quite fail, but you also never quite succeed taking the precise kind of snaps that you wanted.
I mean, I am not a photographer, not even an amateur one. So, I wouldn’t have an issue if they had limited themselves to automatically adjusting, say, the exposure time. But when they begin messing with focus, and that too by automatically selecting and providing you with multiple focus areas (none of which can be selected or eliminated), it really grates on my nerves. When you want to focus on a particular single object (e.g, a flower), everything else (e.g. the nearby leaves) ends up getting the sharpest focus—but not the object you wanted to single out. At other times, there is no such a thing as the thing to focus at, at all. And, sometimes, the camera just ends up losing the sharp contrast of bright light and dark shadows. It’s a freaking egalitarian approach.
… And, finally, a word for the optical viewfinder. I would like to see it return. I am old enough that my sense of photo-composition has got developed entirely with the optical viewfinder lense, and I have trouble using the LCD screen—even though it is perfectly WYSIWYG. (Actually not quite—once you click, the snap you actually get has a lot of contrast and color values altered.) The trouble with the LCD screen is when the ambient light is bright—you can’t make out anything well enough. (Making the LCD bright is not an option: apart from making the batteries run down quickly, it also gives you a misleading picture regarding color values, brightness, saturation, contrast, etc.) Another trouble. I just tend to miss “the moment” of the snap. The LCD screen doesn’t quite let me have the feel of being able to take all of the view in, in one shot—my line of sight keeps slipping over the LCD screen from here to there, and I am never quite sure what the right moment to click is. One more point. Using the view lens means holding the camera next to your face, which helps a lot in steadying the shot, too.
All in all, I don’t particularly like the results, and I will see if I can save enough money to buy another camera, a non-LCD screen, optical viewfinder camera (even if a digital one). My solution in the meanwhile is to take as good pics as possible with my camera and then do a bit of GIMPing for changing color values so that the pics become as presentable as possible. However, apart from changing the color values a bit (and scaling), I have not touched (“photo-shopped”) the pics in any other way. The results appear below. “Enjoy” the pics, for whatever worth they are: