This is a rather ordinary image of a sports car in the Central Mall in Pattaya.  Until you examine the image a bit you won’t notice what makes this image significant.  For the most part it just seems like a car shot like any other.

Sony NEX-5, 16mm F2.8 lens, Auto HDR Mode, Jpeg output  ISO 200

 

This is a rather ordinary image of a sports car in the Central Mall in Pattaya.  Until you examine the image a bit you won’t notice what makes this image significant.  For the most part it just seems like a car shot like any other.

But let’s look further.  First, the light balance and exposure is exceptional.  The car itself is perfectly exposed and so are the accent lights in the ceiling, the floor, and inside the windows of the stores.  How is this possible when it’s obvious all these areas have different levels of luminance which significantly exceed the dynamic range of the camera?  It’s possible because this is a High Dynamic Range (HDR)  shot.  3 images, 1.3 stops separate, combined to make one shot with a perfect exposure.

How about the focus?  On the car itself it’s perfect from the front plate to the rear whale tail.  And the perspective puts the front of the car looming forward while the car itself stretches rearward just as if you’re standing there in front of it.  Which is exactly where I was.  Less than 18 inches from the car using the perspective and extreme DOF a wide angle provides.

More, it’s obvious I didn’t take this from the standard standing position.  It almost looks like I was kneeling down.  Gee, a car shot in the mall, having to kneel down, take three shots combining the exposure, use a lens that allowed this “in your face” perspective, sounds like a lot of work?  How many shots/attempts do you think it took for to get this acceptable image?

One.  And I did it with ease.  And this is what makes this image significant.  Using the Sony NEX-5 with a 16mm lens (24mm 35mm effective), the articulating screen flipped up so I can use it as a waist level viewfinder, in “auto HDR” mode, I snapped one single picture and it turned our perfect.  In fact, I took it as a jpeg peg so absolutely no processing was applied of any sort other than resizing it for this column.  I’ll be shooting jpegs with the Sony NEX-5 exclusively (actually RAW+Jpegs) until Lightroom 3, ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) or C1 Pro supports its RAW files.  The Sony software absolutely stinks!

 

This new model doesn’t have nearly the effect.  It’s missing the perspective.  Why?  I was holding the camera at eye level looking down at the car.  One look at the viewfinder and I realized my mistake, moved out the articulating LCD and shot the rest of the cars from waist level.

Sony NEX-5, 16mm F2.8, Auto HDR, Jpeg Output  ISO 200

 

This new model doesn’t have nearly the effect.  It’s missing the perspective.  Why?  I was holding the camera at eye level looking down at the car.  One look at the viewfinder and I realized my mistake, moved out the articulating LCD and shot the rest of the cars from waist level.