The autumn color that was so subdued this year is still hanging on, far later that usual, in its own subtle way, but over the past week something has crossed a line on the seasonal light. Suddenly, it's winter light, not autumn. For a week now I've been working with a new camera, a Lumix GX7, doing careful tests of various parameters and, much more important, just getting out to take pictures. I don't much like sunny days and blue skies, but did some photo-walkabouts in bright sun partly just to use the camera. At first I thought there was something funny about its rendering of blue sky, then made myself really look closely at that sky (not the pictures) and realized the blue had moved from the rich blue of three seasons (it has a strong magenta component as recorded by a good rgb sensor) to the wan and watery light of winter (a digital capture of it shows a noticeable shift from magenta to green).
The camera has an electronic level function. When I use a view camera I almost always set things perfectly level and plumb—just part of the aesthetic of the medium. Sometimes I want that with a handheld digital capture, so I was interested to try it. The owner's manual sort of apologizes that the electronic level indicator (EVF or LCD) might be off by as much as 1°. The surprise was that handholding the camera on the framing I want while maintaining >1° deviation from perfect level/plumb is damn difficult. It also makes me think that previous methods I've used, like a hot shoe bubble or 2-axis level on a digital camera, the 2-axis level I have screwed into the top of my 7x17" view camera, or even the Torpedo level I use on the flat surfaces of my 8x10 Deardorff, 5x7 Agfa/Ansco, and 12x20 Folmer Schwing, are, well, perhaps not accurate to 1° unless used with the utmost painstaking care. Whether that matters is a whole different discussion.