The Olympus XA Takes on Landscape

Sunset Over Lookout Mountain, Loaf N’ Jug
Originally uploaded by mjm1138.

I was out in Golden Colorado a few weeks ago for a friend’s musical performance in a coffee shop. Walking out of the shop that afternoon, I was struck by the stunning natural features of the area, and by the juxtoposition of that natural beauty against the intrinsically transient and aesthetically void archetecture of the shopping area I was in. Luckily, I had the XA in my pocket, and for once it occurred to me to take some images.

The XA is not much of a landscape camera, as it turns out. The lens lacks the resolution to take in the detail of a real landscape. It is helped out somewhat by the forground details on the pavement, but the car and the gas station are not as sharp as I would have liked. I think a longer focal length would have helped as well, compressing the foreground a bit and bringing more emphasis to the mountain.

On the other hand, there are things I like here. I think it captured the sky nicely, and again the frame and the vignetting offer a gentle reminder of the photographic process at work. That’s on an aesthetic level only, however. I think for this image to really work, the camera needs to slip out of the viewer’s consciousness; the image needs to be about the image, and not the process.

And I like the idea of the image. If I notice the clouds looking just right some day, I may go and try to re-shoot with my SLR.


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