Sometimes having a camera in hand that may not be the BEST camera ever made or a lens with you that may not be the SHARPEST lens ever made, but that is WITH you makes all the difference. I have taken the habit of trying to keep a camera with me when I am commuting to work. Sometimes I forget and I hate myself, and sometimes I take it and nothing photo worthy ever shows up.
I luckily have two DSLR bodies. My oldest and first one is a Pentax K200d. This is still a great camera. AA batteries, and a sensor that just renders colors very very nicely. It also pairs well with my older lenses, as much as I love them I realize that they may not resolve quite as well as more modern lenses and using a 10MP sensor camera allows them to perform reasonably well. I have been carrying three lenses recently: Pentax SMC 24mm f2.8, Pentax SMC 50mm f1.4 and the Pentax SMC 135mm f2.5. I find I use the 24 and 135 more. All of these subsequent shots were taken with one of those lenses, some are panoramas stitched from multiple shots, others HDR. But they were all grab shots that I got ONLY because I had a camera in hand. Funnily they were all taken within 1/4 mile of each other. Near or at the light rail station in Daybreak Utah.
This is a 6 shot Panorama, though it could have been done with less, I just tend to be extra careful in case I have to discard an image because I had shakey hands. This looks over the Utah Valley and Mount Timpanogos with the Point of the Mountain in the foreground. I loved the layering and the color. Some of my FAVORITE panoramas are ones taken with a telephoto lens that compress the distances and show the world a little differently than you see it with the naked eye.
These two were taken 2 days earlier also with the 135mm, but they are single shots, and somewhat cropped. I was walking to the station and saw that the sun was just about to come up. I had to rush to get the camera out but I got it done. I just love mornings don't you?
The rays coming off of the sun are caused by the aperture blades, in this lens there are 8 rays because there are 8 blades. Funnily, other lenses have different patterns, lenses with odd numbered blades have twice as many rays as they have blades, but even numbered blades only give you the same number of rays as blades. I have no idea why they just do. Interesting eh?
11 shot panorama here all with the 135mm again, It is not super sharp at 100% I was breathing kind of hard, but it gives me ideas for the future, shooting off of a tripod. ;-)
Now, here is where I had a lot of fun, I like HDR, I really like altering reality to make it hyper reality, not as crazily as some people but I do like it. I was shooting with my SMC 24mm f2.8 right as the sun came up. Shooting directly into the sun is hard, exposure is tough to guess and often the meter gets it wrong. I tend to bracket like crazy in these instances and either merge them or just pick the exposure that has the best potential. I shifted a little between each exposure or set of exposures. So exact comparisons are not valid, but I still think it is ok to compare at least the first to photos. The first is a HIGHLY tweaked single exposure. The Second is a HDR pushed a bit, and the third is a different set of exposures merged in HDR but with a much more reasonable bunch of settings. You can decide which one or ones you like the best.
I was actually pleasantly surprised by the single image and what I was able to do with it.