Saturday, 26 May 2012

Up close and personal

Having discovered a new feature of my little Leica whilst trying to capture little green men during Wednesday’s photo social AO’ suggested I explored it a little further. I checked the Leica D-Lux 5 manual and though it explains the effects of the ’My Colour’ settings such as ’retro’, ’silhouette’, ’high dynamic’, ’pin-hole’ and a handful of others with slightly curiously worded explanations it doesn't mention the phenomena I stumbled upon.

I'd been zooming in on a green jelly baby perched on a window ledge with a deep stone sill. I hadn't been able zoom in satisfactorily enough to fill the frame, a constant challenge with these photo socials as your entries are presented on the back of the camera. I'd been in aperture setting wishing somehow I could elongate my arms to get closer and I knocked the dial to a hitherto unexplored setting. Here I was in the ’My Colour’ mode which is illustrated by an artist’s palette (I assume to hint at the creative effects beneath your fingertips). What is particularly ironic is that I'd just been coveting the lovely C’s ability to add colour filters in-Camera (she has a Nikon) which she'd put into good use converting a Malteser into a red planet. As the dial turned I was thrust into ’dynamic art’ mode which colour-wise wasn't a huge surprise as I do favour punchy colours but suddenly my jelly baby shot towards me as the usual maximum 3.8x zoom increased to 8.9x. These lovely surprise enabled me to frame the jelly baby as I'd wanted to.

I've never explored extended zoom, intelligent zoom or digital zoom on my camera, these are buried in the menu and smacks of image deterioration but perhaps I should have more faith in my Leica’s ability. Though I’m pretty sure the digital zoom would impact the quality, I think these don't look pixely at all.

On further examination I concluded that once in ’My Colour’ mode the ’high dynamic’, ’dynamic art’, ’dynamic B&W’ and ’film grain’ settings all allow this ’super zoom’. I still can't find a verification of this discovery in the original manual, Alexander S. White’s companion book or the notes on the D-Lux 5 firmware update in December.

Here is the new feature in action. I've removed one of my sparkly rings and popped it on a magazine article on improving black and white images. The first image is using aperture setting, macro mode and mounted on a tripod as close as the focusing will allow.

Without moving the tripod, spinning the dial to the palette allows me to see that my bunny ring that I'd always looked rather cute looks a little sinister up close and personal.

It makes me think my little Leica has more tricks up its elegant sleeve to explore so let the adventuring begin.


No comments:

Post a Comment