Thursday, February 14, 2013

In praise of things compact

click photo to enlarge
One evening a few years ago, as I sat at my computer in the glow from the screen and the nearby anglepoise light, I accidentally nudged a stack of compact discs causing them to slide across the desk. I'd placed them upside down, and as they came to rest the lights created individual rainbows on the clear, silvery underside of each one. Never a person to miss an opportunity for a photograph I took several and posted one on the blog.

I recalled that event the other evening as I was photographing the inside of a cut glass wine goblet. It had caught my eye as a potential photographic subject when I was washing up a little earlier. The faceted edges of the patterns in the bowl of the glass were making rainbow-like prismatic effects. I rested my camera on the top of the glass with the lens inside it and used the timer to take a few shots. I was moderately pleased with the outcome, but a little underwhelmed by the rainbows. So, remembering the episode with the compact disks I found one, placed it, shiny side up, under the stem and foot of the glass, and took a few more photographs. Today's image is the best of the bunch. I moved the camera a little for this one to spoil the symmetry and introduce a little contrast with the out of focus side of the glass.

As I reviewed my shots on the computer I reflected that many photographic enthusiasts disparage compact cameras, their tiny sensors and their allegedly more limited capabilities compared with DSLRs. However, if like me on this occasion, you want to take a quick, experimental shot, with good depth of field and possibly macro capability, then they are hard to beat. So join me in a glass and give a little praise for both compact discs and compact cameras!

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f2
Shutter Speed: 1/30
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On