New Toy: Sony Alpha

I am sorry I have not written many posts lately. This weekend, in addition to being the first home football game at PSU (we beat FIU 59-0) my folks came up for an early birthday dinner. The official day is next Sunday, when we will all be watching PSU beat Notre Dame! Since my folks came early, we opened my present from them: a Sony Alpha A100. That is a 10.2 digital SLR. I was/am/will be very excited. 🙂

BeeSo yesterday and today I have spent a lot of time getting to know my new toy. You can see many examples up on my Flickr account. I keep pictures of the kids private, but if you are friends or family, just drop me a note and I will send you the URL that will reveal them all. The picture to right was taken near the Hintz Alumni House at PSU. The original image is huge and this one isn’t too small either. Click on it to see detail that used to be possible only with special lenses and expensive printing. The shots from campus that I took today are all available in this set.

While getting to know the new camera I have also been playing with the new iPhoto 7, part of the iLife ’08 apps that were recently upgraded. They have added some new image manipulation effects that were previously only available in Aperature, Apple’s pro image app. The main, and incredibly easy to use feature is “highlights and shadows.” I will give a before and after example below. (Don’t worry, I will make them small.) All it took was moving a slider until I liked the look. That’s it.
Before: “Snowman” Before After: “Snowman” After Be sure to click on the images to see a bigger size and to more clearly see the differences. What makes “Highlights and Shadows” so neat is that it only lightens or darkens the dark or light areas of the picture (unlike changes contrast and exposure that will effect the whole picture). I shoud mention, that after doing that I would “warm” up the image a little, merely another slider, but I wanted to show the immediate effect.

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