Saturday, 1 May 2010

Of Cour$e

_SAM2537 (Medium) The competition among the camera makers participating in the serious compact market has become keener.  I just learnt that some local retailers selling are willing to sell the GF-1 plus pancake set (distributor's merchandise) at the regular price while buying back the pancake at its original price, making the GF-1 body cost as low as a point-and-shoot DC.  The amount is roughly HK$3,200 (about UK£ 300 or US$ 420).

Such a low price can effectively make the user forgive the camera for some of its weaknesses like the problematic focusing issue.  Here I was using the NX10 with the long zoom lens on, repeatedly trying to lock the focus of the bike moving some 10 metres ahead of me.

I was without success.  The lens just didn't oblige no matter whichever part of the subject I pointed the lens to.  The sky was absolutely bright enough for the lens to lock the focus.  The process took like 15 seconds before I finally succeeded by which time the bike moved 10 metres further away from me.

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I have been saying all along that the price is not a major factor in choosing a camera.  But now that the pricing is seemingly starting to go down to a lower level than expected, I think we can turn a blind eye to some flaw of the system, especially when every competitor in this class is more or less plagued by the same issue.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Secondary to Echo

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On some occasion, the relation of the secondary subject to the primary is less direct.  But they are not there for nothing.  When a picture is with a background too plain or too messy, I normally walk the scene or wait until the primary subject can stand out from the background.  Among other photographic calculations, I look for the suitable secondary subject to make the composition tick.

In such a situation, I usually need some secondary subject to fill in the background which can as well echo the primary subject.  Otherwise, the extra information given by the secondary subject would be less relevant and may be taken as a weakness marring the composition.  For that matter, it is best if the camera is fitted with a zoom lens to allow me to trim the background.

Here, the setting is rightly romantic for such a shot of two lovers.  But the final image would be bland if the background is left plain without the two boats.  Fact is, there were boats moving along the horizon of which one was cut off on purpose so that the two boats could echo the two lovers in some way.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Secondary is Supplementary

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Visualise what if the taxi is not in the photo.  The photo will lack punch in telling the self-importance the stevedore had for himself.  He was smoking leisurely with the gear behind him in the middle of a road, seemingly pretending himself as a part of the vehicular traffic.

Here the taxi is the secondary subject supplementing information about the status of the primary subject which is the stevedore.  Without the supplementary information, the scene would be less lively and more awkward with the dead space occupying ahead of the stationary primary subject. 

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Secondary Subject in a Wider Perspective

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First thing first, a secondary subject does not have to be a single object like a human being. The concept can be understood in a wider sense. Here, the rows of tees are taken as the secondary subjects.

In fact, a repetitive pattern is a good choice to serve as a secondary subject for its ability to add grist to the composition and the emotional appeal of an image. This is very much in line with what a secondary subject should do to an image. The rows of tees compress the spatial dimension of the image while gradually channel and fix the viewers' attention on the vendors. Although the tees occupy most of the scene, the vendors as the primary subjects break the repetitive pattern to become the centre of interest.

A close-up shot of the vendors doing away with the tees would be boring and leave less room for the viewers' imaginations, which speaks volumes for the importance of secondary subjects to a photo.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

How not to Weaken the Primary Subject

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The secondary subject should be arranged in a way not to weaken the primary subject. No, it doesn't necessarily follow that the primary subject has to occupy the front or a conspicuously major portion of the image. With a bit of creativity and experience, every photographer can think of a special way to achieve this goal.

Take this photo for example. The primary subject, the lady, is accentuated by being placed at the upper right golden intersection, facing the lens whereas the secondary subjects are side-facing it on the sideline. Also, the primary subject is in focus while the rest are not quite. These compositional strategies effectively bring the viewers' attention to the primary subject even though the secondary subjects are larger in proportion.

Functionally, the secondary subjects help enhance the message in the image that the lady is listening attentively to others on some serious discussion by way of the man's echoing gesture, the diagonal line of her eye sight towards the speaker and the framing by the arm to balance the primary subject and draw attention to her.