Friday, March 5, 2010

Hallstattersee Blues

Hallstattersee (Lake Hallstatt) wonderfully captures the deepening evening sky. I was fortunate to witness the changes of the lake's surface over half an hour or so.

I heard two ducks squaking at each other and caught them as one chased the other.


  1. This is a beautiful small series, Martha. Of course Hallstatt offers magnificent light situations whenever you go there, but that evening light you captured here is really special. I love those variations of blue and the dark tones (the first image is a bit out of the line, for consistency reasons I might have kept it out of the series).

    Having a closer look at the images it shows the limitations of small sensor cameras in low light. But of course the camera you have with you is alway light years better than a theoretically superior one.

  2. Thank you, Markus. I agree, the first image doesn't fit the look of the others and I probably should have saved it for another post.

    Please tell me more about what you see (or don't see) when you look closely at the images and what might be different with a better camera. I'm hoping to learn more.

  3. Martha, first of all it has to be said that the proof is in the printing, not what you can see pixel-peeping on the screen.

    Under I have uploaded a small crop out of the large version of the last image. Here you can see, that some details in the low-contrast ripples on the lake are extinguished by the noise reduction algorithm of the camera. You won't see this in a small print, but a large print like 40x60 will probably make it visible.
    Again, it is much more important to see and use the camera you have at hand. Even the best camera won't help if you couldn't see. To illustrate this further, just have a look at today's "What the duck" comic:

  4. Thank you, Markus for your time to analyze and comment on the photo. I took these pictures with a 7 MP Canon and the pixel size of one of them is 2010 x 1507. According to a chart on the Internet, that photo should only be enlarged up to 20x30. I guess I should choose a photo taken with my newer camera to go larger but, even then, it looks like 30x45 is about as big as I can go.

    In the meantime, I'm waiting for camera capability, size and price to converge in a camera I can carry in my pocket that produces photos that can fill a wall.

  5. Martha, in spite of all charts I would give it a try. These Hallstatt images don't live on the fine detail but more on the nuances of blue. In such a case the resolution of the sensor and the amount of noise is only of secondary importance. You *have* to see it printed before you can decide if it's good enough.

    I almost regret my giving notion of a minor technical flaw. It really does matter next to nothing in these images, whereas in others it will cause a certain limitation.

  6. Markus, Please don't ever hesitate to give me your opinion. I value your experience and know-how and now will try printing them...while the price is so good. Thanks, Coach!