The Photographer

Jim Somers has been making photographic images for over 30 years. Most of those images have been made with traditional 35mm and 2 equipment, but the images on this site have all been made within the last eight years with digital cameras.



The Images

Most of the images have been exposed at ISO 100 as RAW files. (Although I sometimes forget to check my settings and end up with JPEG's.) I have increased the ISO to 400 for low light situations - anything higher than that results in images with too much noise.
RAW conversion has been done with the camera manufacturer's raw file conversion software and with Adobe Camera Raw. Post-processing was done with Photoshop and NeatImage (for noise reduction).



The Equipment

In 2002 I bought the Konica Minolta Dimage D7, a 5-megapixel camera with a fixed zoom lens (35mm equivalent of 28-200mm). This was the first digital camera I owned that had the quality to take usable digital images. But for me, the feature which provided the most benefit to my growth - in an unexpected way - was the Electronic View Finder (see below).
The Konica Minolta Dimage A1 replaced the Dimage D7 in January, 2004. The A1 was a refinement of the D7, with the same lens and sensor size. The Sony Alpha 100 replaced the Dimage A1 in October, 2006. The Alpha 100 is a 10-megapixel, interchangeable lens, digital SLR. The Panasonic FZ28 was added in June, 2009, to supplement the Alpha 100 when it is not convenient to carry the full bag of SLR equipment. The FZ28 is a 10-megapixel camera with a fixed zoom (35mm equivalent of 27-486mm).
The lenses used with the Alpha 100 are: Sony 70-200mm f2.78 G, Konica Minolta 75-300mm f4.5-5.6, Konica Minolta 100mm f2.8 macro, Konica Minolta 35-70mm f3.5-4.5, Sigma 18-35mm f3.5-4.5, and Sigma 14mm f3.5.



The Electronic View Finder and Composition

The Electronic View Finder (EVF) in the Konica Minolta Dimage D7 was initially a disappointment since my expectations of a viewfinder were formed on rangefinders and SLR's. By comparison the EVF had unpleasant resolution and poor color rendition. My displeasure diminished when I saw that the final image had proper color.
The real benefit of the EVF for me manifested when taking images of reflections in water. As I changed the manual exposure values, the image in the EVF changed to reflect the changed exposure. This meant that, with underexposure, the colors in water reflections became deeper and more apparent than they were to the naked eye.
Because of this, I was able to 'see' and compose with colors in reflections I had never noticed before. After a few years of working with the EVF in the Dimage D7 and it's successor, the Dimage A1, I no longer need the EVF to find and compose with the reflected colors.




Jim Somers

Photography