Since I bought my Sony DSC-R1, we've had only one nice day -- temperature above the speed limit, no rain or snow, not too windy, and sunny with occasional clouds. In other words, a perfect day to finally go outside with my new camera. We decided to go to Warrenton, a nearby town with lots of charm and old houses that make interesting subjects.
Many of these houses are landmarks, dating back to the Civil War, or even earlier. I didn't get the info on all of the houses, so I'll just refer to them here with a brief description. NOTE: If you know more about a particular house shown here, please drop me an email and I'll update the page.
As promised, here are some thoughts about the settings that gave me the best results with the DSC-R1. They're generic enough that they can be applied to other digital cameras. The first thing I did was to set the camera to the highest megapixel setting (10 mpix), the image type to JPEG only (Normal), and the image quality to the highest setting (Fine) as well.
When I first used this camera, I was not thrilled with the results. The colors were overbright (Thanks, Sony), and the sharpening and contrast were way too high, yielding very dark shadows, blocky highlights, and reds that just screamed. In addition, most of these early pictures were underexposed.
For a camera as advanced as the DSC-R1, there aren't that many settings that you can use for image tweaking. But I finally found an answer. Setting the Sharpness, Contrast, and Saturation to "-" produced images that appeared flat with dull colors, and lacking in sharpness. Just what I was looking for. It's easy to add more contrast, sharpness, or saturation to an image. The reverse is not true.
So now I had images that required just minor tweaking to set right. The lowered contrast actually gave me a longer tonal range to work with in post processing. It was easy to get the right contrast, saturation, and sharpness with minimum effort. I use LightZone for my post processing, but almost any photo editing program would do as well.
The final problem was the underexposure, which was solved by adding 2/3 EV, and by dimming the brightness of the LCD and viewfinder to more accurately represent the final result.
The pictures here show how well these settings worked. I'm thinking of trying this with some of my other cameras to see if I get similar results.
As I mentioned earlier, if you have any info about these houses, please send me an email and I'll update this page.
All pictures were shot as JPEG Fine, processed in LightZone 3