Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: January 6, 2017

I’ve been trying some new stuff with my camera. I haven’t had much opportunity to try the lens I got back in October, either and there’s nothing that generates interesting oddball pictures better than testing lenses and camera settings.

Trying out the HDR function and the new f1.4 lens. It slows down shooting, but ... this was shot by the light of a 40 watt bulb!
Trying out the HDR function and the new f1.4 lens. It slows down shooting, but … this was shot by the light of a 40-watt bulb!
The not so new but not yet much used DMC-FZ-300. For a small sensor camera, it has remarkably good resolution.
The not so new but not yet much used DMC FZ-300. For a small sensor camera, it shows remarkable resolution.
Portrait of Betsy Wetsy. You'd never guess she is 63-years old!
Portrait of Betsy Wetsy. You’d never guess she is 63-years old!

24 thoughts on “TEST SHOT ODDBALLS”

    1. Thank you. Those figures are very old, or at least parts of them are ancient, though a lot of them are rebuilt. I like them particularly because they are musicians and each is playing a different instrument. I think of them as the Chinese version of muses, though I think they were simply art used to decorate homes of the upper middle class 🙂

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      1. Mine is a museum replica purchased in China in 1978. It is one of my favorite things. Mine is a kneeling lute player.This was that period right before normalization when they were bringing the old master artists and musicians, dancers and acrobats in from the countryside where they had been “banished” and had set up cultural centers for them to teach their arts to a new generation. They were getting ready for normalization and “surging ahead to the year 2,ooo!” We saw that motto everywhere. An interesting time to visit. We were such oddities that we drew crowds. It could be a bit daunting.

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        1. And I should think, maybe a bit frightening, too, although moreso if you were Chinese. These pieces — yours and mine — are replicas of art from the Siu period, which was pre-Han Dynasty. You can tell by the hands. Articulated hands began in Han and perfected in Tang.

          I have a lot of Chinese porcelain, some of it very old and in pretty good shape, but lacking official paperwork. I have a few pieces with official seals. I could have bought the same pieces for 75% less without the seals, but I wanted a few certified pieces. The musicians were, I think, shards … rebuilt to create something like the original. There is little difference between my “restored” pieces and your “replicated” pieces. Probably done by the same hands, too.

          When I started collecting, it was during the cultural revolution and a lot of art was leaving China at ridiculously low prices, sometimes just in the hopes of preserving it from harm. I have some of it and I have, indeed, preserved it from harm. Especially the Han pots where were being crushed to use as road building material. The newer regimes seem to have regained some sanity about preserving their own artistic legacy, but for a while, it looked like they would destroy it all.

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          1. When I was there there were “Friendship Stores” that only visiting foreigners could go into. I bought some authenticated antiques there and later learned they were art treasures confiscated during the Cultural Revolution. They were afraid if Chinese citizens went in they would recognize family treasures. I have a few pieces with the sealing wax stamp and the papers. Like to think I wouldn’t have bought them if I had known, but guess none of them made their way back to the original families that owned them anyway.


            1. Almost anything we get from China that’s authentic was stolen from somebody, either seized by the government, stolen from monasteries by bandits, or dug up by grave robbers. Every once in a great while — and you never get paperwork with this stuff — you have an opportunity to buy stuff from someone who smuggled it into the U.S. because it’s their own and they are selling it to get a little money to like, you know, rent an apartment. It’s a real issue in the antiquities collection community. In the end, it’s probably better we have the stuff and take care of it than it be used as land fill or road bed gravel.

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  1. I missed it – what’s the new lens you’re testing? f 1.2 is fast! I know the feeling – I’ve been taking a lot of indoor shots with my new lens too (Olympus 12-40mm f2.8) and am itching to try it out for something more than odd-ball test shots.


    1. It’s the Panasonic-Leica f1.4 25mm for 4/3 cameras. I’m finding it’s great in low and medium light, a bit hinky in very bright light (sunlight on fresh snow, tends to burn out highlights at all settings). But I’m still getting used to it. I have the 12-50 which is f3.4, but it’s a great lens — one of my top two or three favorite pieces of glass.


      1. I do like the 12-50 (I think that’s the one). It was Olympus’ top of the line when the EM-5 came out so I grabbed them both. I plan on getting the latest EM-1 II at the end of the year (have to save money…) and so I picked this up (on sale) in preparation. I still have a lot of the old non-micro 4/3 (old 4/3) glass that the micros (except the EM-1s) don’t focus very well. The old 50-200 is still my favorite lens and I look forward to having the EM-1 mark II so I can use it again.


        1. I JUST got the EM-5 Mark II. I almost got the EM-1, but I have the EM-5 and I love it, so I went for the newer version of it … and it was for me the right choice. I have a LOT to learn about using it, though. I’m having a lot of problems just finding the right menus and figuring out how to use manual settings. Half the time, I just can’t find the menu I need, so I revert to Program. Which usually works out fine anyhow. But shooting with a very fast lens in very bright light on snow is one of the times when manual settings — at least for aperture — would make a big difference. Especially with such a fast lens. I should swap back to the 1.8.

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  2. Marilyn, I love the photos but my absolute favourite is your living room. The detail is amazing on all of them and the other two are joint 2nd just behind. You will take more amazing pics once you get used to the lens. I just wonder how the snow would have looked with a lower light and longer exposure? Not that there’s anything wrong with the 40 watt light xoxo


    1. I think I need to use manual exposure — like f5.6 or f4 and not more than 1/200 shutter speed if I’m going to use this lens for snow. I’m probably going to use a slightly slower lens. It’s a learning process, but it’s fun learning 🙂 Thanks!

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