Blog gets Sensored… week 8.

Cliff Bottle Brush - Callistemon cambaynensis ISO 100 18mm f3.5 1/100
ISO 100 18mm 0ev f/3.5 1/10s 5.8MB
Callistemon camboynensis – Cliff bottle brush.

The Sensor explained, the fourth attempt!!!

This is my fourth attempt at this blog. Hope I am lucky this time.
It is about the sensor. The sensor is a processor which captures the light entering the camera to form an image. It works in a similar way to the photographic processes of film used in the darkroom when developing the film and printing the resulting image. The end result is a photograph which is composed of pixels, tiny dots, each of which reflect a portion of light, so creating the image we see. As light hits the sensor, it needs to be converted and amplified into a digital form. Put simply, each pixel is simply a coloured square. As previously mentioned, the camera is stoopid. It is also colourblind.  It can only see in red, blue or green, other colours having to be guessed at. The sensor has a number of pixels which create a rectangle being variations of that of 35mm film. A sensor is given a pixel rating. For example, a 10Mp sensor will have 3872 Mp x 2592 Mp, totalling 10,036.224 Mp and so on.
How does this affect an image? When an image is viewed in small format, a high megapixel-rated camera of 10Mp and that of 12 Mp will be hard to differentiate quality-wise, but when blown up to a larger format, then the former will appear grainier, or more noisy, than the latter. Different types of camera have a different sized sensor, working up from a smartphone, through to a Compact, Bridge, dSLR and Full Frame. The differences, as far as the sensor is concerned, is the amount of light entering the camera onto the sensor.

© Matt Sassamatt

After watching England get beaten in Rugby by the French, we decided to go to Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush for supper at Pho, a Vietnamese street food restaurant, but thought we’d have a wander first, to take a few photographs that fit the Course brief, which was to demonstrate rule of thirds, balancing elements (proportions), foreground and background images and leading lines.

There is certainly plenty to photograph there but I am always cautious of photographing on private property. Why? Because I have been challenged on a number of occasions and  actually been asked to delete photographs. This happened at the Inner Temple when I was photographing a statue of St George and the Dragon. A security guard came up to me and said it is private property, no filming and delete the photographs you have taken. I said I was on the pavement, there was no indication it was private and so I was allowed to photograph. His response was that the statue was. I deleted, and retook it a week later. Another place is the Southbank. Here, in certain areas like by County Hall and Festival Hall, you need a pass if using a tripod. It is a pain to obtain one, so I don’t bother and just hope I don’t get stopped. Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park is another, but that is far simpler to get. Just email them, they send back a for, fill in a few simple questions, and on the three occasions I have applied, the wristband has been waiting at the kiosk (except the first time they lost it) but I was never asked to show it, although it was usually quite prominent.

I digress. The photos!


Left: ISO 1600 39mm 1ev f/5 1/40s 8.4MB.
Right: ISO 1600 39mm1ev f/5 0.30000s 5.5MB.

This spotty dog was spotted (excuse the pun) in the doorway of Victoria Secret – PINK. And I hasten to add it was the dog and not the merchandise that caught my eye. As I may have mentioned, Louise and I met through two Asian Elephant charities staging an art installation of 250+ full size decorated fibreglass elephants around London as a trail. Via Facebook a number of us met up when the were all in one place (after having found them all previously) and decided to meet regularly, and also pursue similar events as they occur. This we do, and now Louise and I are engaged, so this fabric-coated dog was bound to appeal.The difference with these two photographs was where I positioned myself.

Left: ISO 400 48mm 1ev f/5.6 1/8s 6MB.
Centre: ISO 400 48mm 0ev f/5.6 1/20s 5.6MB.
Right: ISO 400 48mm -1ev f/5.6  1/60s 5.4MB.

These silver pendant lights caught my eye in the area designated for food. The aim was to capture the reflective surface as opposed to the lights themselves.
The downside of indoor photography is that often the lighting is dim, so either a higher ISO or a tripod is needed. As a comparison, here are two photographs taken at ISO 1600.

Left: ISO 1600 48mm 1ev f/5.6 1/40s 8.1MB.
Right: ISO 1600 48mm -1ev f/5.6 1/125s 7.9MB.

The swarm of golden butterflies at Monsoon, that were bisected by their window looked intriguing. The angle gives the image a strange perspective.

Left: ISO 400 35mm 1ev f/4.5 1/15s 7MB.
Centre: ISO 400 35mm 0ev f/4.5 1/40s 6.9MB.
Right: ISO 400 35mm -1ev f/4.5 1/80s 6.4MB.

I wanted to see what foreground versus background focusing would do to the image. I noticed an interesting patterned mirrored wall, and a gentleman who was conveniently waiting for his partner to provide continuity. Unfortunately to get the shot I was standing in a lift doorway. I took a number of photographs, and think these were the best.

Left: ISO 1600 24mm -0.67ev f/4 1/60s 8.2MB.
Left Centre: ISO 1600 24mm -0.67ev f/4 1/60s 8.5MB.
Right Centre: ISO 1600 24mm -0.67ev f/4 1/80s 9MB.
Right: ISO 1600 24mm -0.67ev f/4 1/50s 8.9MB.

Left: ISO 1600 18mm -0.67ev f/3.5 1/60s 10MB.
Right: ISO 1600 18mm 0.67ev f/3.5 1/5s 6.9MB.

I like the blurring off the people on the stairs.

On Sunday we visited Kew Gardens, as we do most Sundays due to poor pubic transport. If it isn’t engineering works (How many times can they work on the same section of track and not fix it?) it is diversions or an altered Sunday service.

What we forgot was it was Mothering Sunday, the last day of the Orchid festival and the first decent weather we’d had for a while. It was Kew’s busiest day of the year, with queues already forming at 09.30 for the 10.00 opening. We went to eat at 11.30, an hour earlier than normal, and we struggled to find a table, despite the fact I provide my own seat so only one chair needed. At 15.00 the queue to get into the Princess of Wales’ conservatory was over 100 deep!

Camellia Japonica – ‘Angela Coccha’

Left: ISO 100 22mm 0ev f/3.5 1/30s 6MB.
Left Centre: ISO 100 22mm -1ev f/3.5 1/80s 5.6MB.
Right Centre: ISO 100 22mm 0ev f/3.5 1/40s 5.8MB.
Right: ISO 100 22mm -1ev f/3.5 1/80s 5.5MB.

The above was to allow me to see what type of photographer I am. A symmetrical or asymmetrical? I knew anyway. Definitely symmetrical. Another case of my recently recognised OCD. It is another reason for doing the course, to push myself to see things differently, and to photograph accordingly!
Above in the first pair are flowers photographed off centre, and the second pair, centred.

Of course, being March, it wouldn’t be right not to include daffodils.


And a selection of other photographs taken over the weekend.

Top: Brownea grandiceps – Rose of Venezuela or scarlet flame bea.
Bottom left: Edgeworthia crysantha – Oriental paperbush.
Bottom centre:: Phaleonopsis.
Bottom Right: Pavo cristatus – Indian peacock

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