Monday, January 8, 2018

Cheap Camera Challenge: Point, Shoot, Pray

Welcome back to another cheap camera challenge! For those just joining us, the idea is to take a picture with my good camera, and then try to replicate it with a cheap camera. Hopefully, in the process, showing that you shouldn't use a lack of expensive equipment as an excuse to not pursue your art.

Today's target photo for reproduction:

This is of some line tensioning equipment on the electrified tracks near Branford, CT's train station. The picture was taken late in the day, with my trusty Canon EOS 5D Mk III, through my equally trusty 100-400 mm telephoto lens. Post processing was simply removing the lens error and vignetting.

On to the cheap camera!

This time, I'm using a 12 year old Olympus point and shoot digital camera. The current price on eBay is around 35 bucks, but it's 10 years old, and has been used and abused, so at a yard sale you'd probably be able to get your hands on something similar for about 5. So let's look at the raw shot.

The framing is a little different, mostly to avoid resolution loss through digital zoom. There's also a smudge on the lens or a dark spot on the sensor that we'll have to deal with as well. (Top wire, towards the left-hand third of the image.)

So, I fired up the GIMP (free tools only, we're on a budget!) and tweaked the brightness and contrast. I then used the dodge/burn tool with a very low opacity brush to lighten the smudge. That produced this as the final result:

I think I'm going to declare this one a success.

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