Monday, October 14, 2013

My Blue Period??

Picasso was famous for his "Blue Period" paintings, which may have come about because, as a young artist, he had to work with what he had - perhaps the only colour he could afford was blue! Whether his blue paintings were of such practical happen-stance is debatable, but I discovered something just as practical, driven by affordability too! In so many ways, the EOS 5D Mark-1 was arguably the best DSLR ever made - the first affordable full-frame they called it--- but I couldn't afford one until recently, now that it's such an old camera. Being so old, it has a very crappy LCD display on the back, and I find it far more useful to display the histogram on it than the actual picture (well, in fact the histogram view actually crams both on the very small screen). But even the newest LCD's, although a vast improvement over what was available for the 5D Mark-1, are still pretty crappy in bright sunlight. This probably explains why so many almost new LCD - only (no optical viewfinder) cameras are suddenly becoming so available in the local classifieds.

I might have discovered a way to make any LCD - even a newer one - more visible in strong sunlight, and therefore much more useful. Simply set up your camera to shoot RAW (for colour) + JPEG, but set the picture style for Black and White with a Blue Filter. What you'll then see as your picture preview will be a B&W with a blue tint, which seems to cut through the bright daylight when viewing your LCD a lot better. Don't ask me why, I think it just does.

Further, having your camera display in "Blue and White" so to speak, will help you in judging your composition if you want to know which shots to delete, or with a newer LCD-only camera, when actually composing the shot. Composition somehow just seems easier when you see it in any form of monochrome. For me, having the blue tint makes it even more helpful.

Remember, you want to be shooting in RAW + JPEG, because the RAW will still have your colour information. You're actually shooting in colour and black and white at the same time. Don't "compose for colour" so to speak - it really isn't necessary.

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