The breaking up of lake ice on a cloudy day made for some decent wide angle shots with lots of texture.

With the white ice on lake and the white clouds, these help narrow the dynamic range of light. This is good for a more even exposure and reduces the chances of hot spots or blow outs (over exposed areas).

Again, it’s that good old 24-105mm Canon lens – a favorite walk around lens. A few more photos lower down for you.

In this case I’m using the wide angle range of the lens and these are all portrait nature shots. I like the more extreme depth view created by the portrait orientation and wider focal length.

Lake Simcoe by Marc Mantha

Click on any for a detailed view…

photocrati gallery

Never Underestimate Chance Opportunities

It was a usual bike ride on Lakeside Drive along Lake Simcoe here in Ontario, Canada. I’ve done that ride many times and taken photos along that same route over and over. Sometimes fresh photo ops of similar scenes occur because all of nature’s variables fluctuate. It can be the type clouds, time of day, open waters or lake ice and the change of seasons.

Are You Missing Out?

Live View Versus the Viewfinder

If you have a digital SLR (interchangeable lenses) and exclusively use the LCD screen on the back for shooting, – aka Live View – you could be missing out.

The first digital SLRs didn’t have live view, that is seeing what you were about to shoot on the LCD screen instead of looking through the camera’s view finder. People who transitioned into the DSLR market often complained there was no Live View common to fixed lens point and shoot cameras. We complained about it only because we are creatures of habit. So rather than explain how you could become a better photographer by changing to using view finder, it was easier to add live view than to try educate budding photographers.

With Digital SLRs, your mind is telling you that little view finder is too small, when in fact with your eye up to it, your peripheral view is much wider and better detailed than looking a the LCD screen on the back, which in bright sunlight is barely visible anyway.

Parallax, not a new Pharmaceutical

With point and shoot fixed lens cameras, using the LCD screen for shooting was perhaps better for framing up your shots because of parallax.

Why is that and what is parallax?

Because the viewfinder on your point and shoot was slightly offset, it did not follow quite the same line of site as the lens, so it created a little problem. Say for example you squeezed everyone into a group shot only later on review to find someone on one side was cut in half,  yet you could see them in the frame through the view finder when you took the shot. That’s the parallax problem.

Digital SLRs don’t suffer from parallax because you are viewing through the actual lens via a mirror lined up directly over top of the lens.

The viewfinder optics on Digital SLRs are really good with a purpose. The full frame digital SLRs really go all out on using even more superior glass in the view finder. You can also adjust the focus of the view finder so you may not have to wear your glasses. The viewfinder is as real as is gets with the details you might want to focus in on with an excellent peripheral view to plan how you want to fill the frame. If you can ween yourself off the live view, chances are you’re going frame your shots up a little better, do less cropping and explore and discover more opportunities in the details.

The DSLR viewfinder is as real as is gets revealing more details you might want to focus in on and giving your greater peripheral view to plan on how you want to fill the frame.

Even looking closely at the LCD screen in front of you will not compare to the more detailed and wider periphery of looking through the view finder while seeing the change in DOF (Depth of Field) in detail as you change the f-number and use the DOF preview button. You’ll always get the best visual feel for details, a good composition and creatively filling your frame through the view finder.

Take better photos. In time, you’ll understand and appreciate your new perspective.

Have fun, take lots of photos and go out and find something your weren’t looking for.