I love my little Panasonic Lumix LX-3 (and haven’t gotten to update it to the present LX-5 yet. Why change a winning hand, particularly when I am so happy with it?). Having said this, there is one thing I find a little annoying about the LX-3. It’s the wheel on top of the camera that is used to change between the various modes of the camera. It’s simply too easy to turn, in fact many times it happens without me noticing it. I would have loved to somehow be able to lock it.
Needless to say; f I don’t discover that the wheel has accidentally changed; it can ruin an otherwise good picture. Usually I notice, if not earlier then at least when checking the screen after the fact. Sometimes though there is no way to re-shoot the picture, usually because it’s taken in a fleeting moment and the moment will not repeat itself. As I said it can be quite annoying. Thus I have learned as a rule to check the wheel before using the camera, but still, sometimes I forget. And even though I am usually not happy when it happens, a few times it has resulted in quite some interesting pictures – even good ones. And pictures I would not have taken otherwise.
Such as the example here. It’s a picture of my love one while she is working in the garden. The picture was taken with shutter priority mode, and it’s overexposed by quite a bit in addition to haven been shot with a long exposure time. Actually the two things are connected. My standby mode is always program mode, just so the camera is ready for any sudden need – except when it’s been accidentally changed as in this case, usual happening when the camera is taken in or out of the little camera bag on my hip where I always keep it. Obviously last time I used shutter priority mode, I had set it on a long exposure time so much that with sensor sensitivity set at ISO 200 and the bright daylight when the picture was taken, the lens wasn’t able to stop down the aperture enough to make a perfect exposure. The picture was overexpose as well as blurred due to the long exposure time. Not very interesting, but just to have facts right, the exposure time was ½ second and the aperture f/8.0.
So I completely screwed up one might say. But still, when I saw the picture on the screen I immediately recognized something special about it. I love the blurred movements of the woman working in the garden that smoothly blend into the washed-out surroundings and background. There is a subtle energy about it that radiates life and glee, and for me the graphic of the picture is just extraordinary and very telling. In many ways it’s just a high key picture, but accomplished by overexposure, with the blurring as added gist. I am not necessarily saying it’s a great picture, but the accident showed me a new way to shoot interesting pictures. I will use the technique again in other instances, because I think it can produce new expression and new ways to tell a story. Of course it’s only for special occasions, but the technique has been added to my toolbox for those occasions. The morale is that anything that leads us to take different pictures has value, even if it doesn’t do so at the first time we stubble upon it. But with more use, more understanding of how it works and experience, it can give our photography more depth.