12-Dec-2015

Photo vs Reality

I needed to create an 80x80 icon for a new webpage that I am designing. A picture of my camera lens is the best choice for that icon. As a small icon, it needs enough detail and contrast to make it meaningful. Photos were taken with my Panasonic DMC-G7 camera and Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm constant aperture f/2.8 lens.

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I first tried a nighttime shot with just normal room lighting (no flash). With f/2.8 aperture, ISO 3200, 1/40 sec shutter, I took the first picture above which turned out to be too dark and lacking detail for the 80x80 image. However, as a photographic achievement, it quite closely reflects the actual lens as it appears under a single normal ceiling light (300 watts).

I took the second picture above with the window blind open behind the camera to get the nice reflection result in the lens with ample bright light (no direct sunlight). Furthermore, to ensure that I achieve sufficient brightness for the 80x80 icon, I intentionally overexposed the shot with f/2.8 aperture, ISO 400, 1/50 sec shutter. The red lettering is washed out. The white lettering is distorted though it is hard to tell without seeing the actual lens next to the picture. The color of the lens metal is definitely not aligned with reality. But I have the perfect 80x80 icon as can be seen on my Video Portfolio webpage.

The third picture above was shot with f/2.8 aperture, ISO 400, 1/10 sec shutter. It very closely reflects what the actual lens looks like - the red lettering, the crisp white lettering, the lens metal color. In this shot, the window blind was closed but the blind allows a decent amount of natural light to enter the room.

All shots were taken with the subject lens very close to the minimum focus distance (~30 inches) of the Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm lens set at 100mm focal length.

There you have it. Photos do not have to reflect reality in order to achieve the desired effect - whether for artistic reasons or for practical reasons such as creating a small icon.


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