How dry it is…

In California for a brief visit with family, I strolled down to the local reservoir to try out a new point-and-shoot camera (Pentax MX-1), which I bought expressly for landscape shots while traveling.

silverlake resevoir, Los Angeles, CA

Severe drought over the past three years has lowered the water levels in Silverlake Reservoir markedly.  Photo taken with the camera setting on Auto — I didn’t have to tweak the contrast or the sharpening in Photoshop!

silverlake resevoir, Los Angeles CA

Across the street from the reservoir, hillsides are losing their vegetative cover, which increases the risk of dangerous erosion if and when the rain ever comes. Even the eucalpytus, native to dry areas of Australia, look like they are suffering from lack of moisture.

gulls on silverlake reservoir, Los Angeles CA

I have photographed this scene before, but I’m always amused to see how the gulls line up on the floating buoys in the morning sun.  No Photoshop touch-up employed with this shot either.

gulls on silverlake reservoir, Los Angeles CA

I changed the color cast to a warmer yellow from the blue in the original photo to make this shot more interesting (artistically).  This is a crop of the photo above with little loss of clarity and sharpness.

gulls on silverlake reservoir, Los Angeles CA

The 4X zoom brings in the subject with excellent clarity — I didn’t adjust anything but the color cast in this photo.

orchid tree, Bauhinia sp.

The orchid tree (symbol of Hong Kong) is blooming in southern California, and the hummingbirds are busy trying to defend this small patch of flowers.

orchid tree (Bauhinia sp.) flower

The camera does a great job with a macro shot of the orchid tree flowers.

With its fast, 18-112 mm lens, and wide-open f1.8-2.5 lens, it takes pretty sharp photos without any Photoshop tweaking.  It does a nice job on macros and gathers light well in dimly lit conditions, so I think it’s a keeper.

4 thoughts on “How dry it is…

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