#1 Step to Great Photography

Taco at Bear Lake, NC Photographed with a Lumix DMC TS20 Camera.Bob Grytten Photo
Taco at Bear Lake, NC Photographed with a Lumix DMC TS20 Camera.Bob Grytten Photo

#1 step to Great Photography happens because we have our camera with us. There is no way around it. No Camera – No Picture. I’m reminded of that basic premise because today there are excellent small easy-to-have-with-us-at-all-times cameras.

Something that we can understand…

The photo above was taken yesterday morning on a scouting trip to Bear Lake, near Cashiers, NC a little more than an hour from my home. I bought a little camera prior to our Costa Rica trip, because of the rain issue and not wanting to be too obvious with my equipment. Now this little guy is with me all the time – when I’m around water or just on a casual walk around. This Panasonic Lumix is smaller than an iPhone, is water proof to 16 feet and only cost $120 three years ago.

The photo above is just as it came out of the camera, except that I did crop a small Taco at Bear Lake Where's Carolamount off the top as the white sky was a bit distracting.   ——————-

Why do I like it?

On this occasion I kept the little Lumix in my shirt pocket, convenient and with wet hands no issue with water on the camera. I also hand-held it, relying on the internal stabilizer with good results. The boat was moving a bit.

Great Depth of field. Notice the snout on Taco (that’s our doggies name). It’s sharp. Notice the background. It’s Sharp. That’s what we’re looking for. Few other things matter. Actually sharp enough for a 16X20 enlargement.

Well, what about the hot spots on the doggie. Yes, there is not much detail on the top of Taco’s head, not on his haunch. About the only way to fix that is to hold a big diffuser over the dog. Practicle? not really or Be there before the sun comes up so the light is even — now that has to do with technique, not the camera. the most important thing is detail in the subject and the background.

There are many options in cameras today. This Lumix only one that I have been working with in this catagory – point ‘n shoot. It is one of the most practicle for this discussion. Most of the Pro stuff, quite frankly, won’t do as well as this little Lumix. Waterproof, small – can shoot with one hand.  Go to DPReview for additional information on makes and models prior to making a decision. Return policy is important in the event them camera does not meet your needs.

However this camera does have some draw backs. For one it eats batteries, best to have three of them. One in the camera, the other two spares – cause one may get dropped in the water or wear out.

Lumix next to business card - size comparison Bob Grytten photo
Lumix next to business card – size comparison
Bob Grytten photo

Here is one place the camera is still available – Digital Pros 888-334-9215
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS20 Digital Camera (Orange)
Sale Price:  $114.00
Item Description
Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-TS20 Digital Camera (Orange) will never be left behind for fear you’ll break it–it’s built to survive a drop of 5′ (1.5 m), it’s waterproof to 16′ (4.87 m), dustproof, and freezeproof to 14°F (-10°C)–as close to indestructible as a compact digital camera gets. And the TS20 has creative features for whatever mood or mode you’re in: Panorama Shot, Miniature Effect, Happy Mode, Intelligent Scene Selector, AF Tracking, and Auto Retouch.
It’s what’s inside the TS20 that makes it worth protecting: 16.1MP of resolution, a 4.0x wide-angle 25-100mm (35mm equivalent) lens, luscious 1280 x 720 HD video, and a bright 2.7″ LCD monitor with 230K-dot resolution. Sonic AF gives you very fast autofocus, and the shutter lag is one of the shortest among compact digital cameras. It has Mega O.I.S. image stabilization, so you never have to look at another blurry photo. Face Detection and Recognition modes give you great photos of people by optimizing exposure and focus for faces.
8 color modes help you tweak pictures creatively and a boatload of Scene modes (for photos and movies) maximize every image for you. You can share any picture or movie you shoot by uploading to sites such as Facebook or YouTube, using the included easy-to-use Lumix Image Uploader.

If you live in Western North Carolina, join us in August for our Field Photography Program – four mornings of field shooting fun, small group hands on; four evenings of discussion, critiquing, new techniques, and some product from our affiliates. Got to www.lensluggerworld.com. or drop me an e-mail bobgry@aol.com

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