Today I stood on a wall and took a photograph of a building a mile away. It worked out.

The Texas State Capitol. Shot handheld from the "Graffiti Wall" nearly a mile away. 

I had no agenda this afternoon; no project whining to be finished. I've spent the last three days editing video in order to get a "rough cut" ready to deliver on Tuesday morning. I put my finishing touches on the Final Cut Pro X project around three p.m. and couldn't wait to get out of the studio and into the first afternoon of warm, fresh sunlight that we've had in what seems like weeks. My editor will come in tomorrow morning and polish the rough cut, fix some of the awkward transitions, fine tune the audio a bit and make me look more detail oriented than I really am. 

I grabbed the same camera I've been using non-stop for the last two weeks and headed out the door to recalibrate my eyes from the 24-36 inch range back to the 10 ft. to infinity range. My general cure for sitting too long, staring at a computer screen, is to get out and walk and take a lot of time to look at things off in the distance. That's how I came to be standing on the high wall of the Graffiti Park ( The Hope Outdoor Gallery )  aiming the long end of my point-and-shoot camera's zoom lens at the domed edifice. I brought down the exposure here and tossed in a bit of the ole "enhance" slider. I also dodged the Capitol Building to taste...

I'm no expert, having only done this for a living for nearly thirty years and having owned every major camera system on the market, along with my share of premium long glass....but....I think the technical quality of the image is remarkably good. Sadly, though I adore nostalgia and the rose colored glasses of reminiscence, I must confess that never in the history of my career in photography have I had the ability or capability to make a photograph with this sort of magnification without relying on several stout tripods (one for the camera and second for the lens). You may have a resting heart rate of 10, have never touched a cup of coffee and are able to hold a car over your head for a good amount of time but the rest of us never had a prayer of doing a shot like this, handheld, teetering on the top of a wall, nearly a mile away. I promise. 

And this is one more reason why I say that the Sony RX10iii, and cameras like it (none yet exist) are going to change the whole paradigm of working man's cameras ----  instead of being just another impulse purchase that found it's way into Tuck's bag. 

You don't need to buy one if you don't want one or need one but the lens alone is worth the price of admission to the people who crave long focal lengths. Whether or not you should buy one has nothing to do with understanding the benefits of a novel combination of features which make the end product more than the sum of the parts. 

I also took other photographs this afternoon but this one (and the idea behind it) were asking for their own blog entry.


Dan Montgomery said...

Wow. I believe the lawyers call this a prima facia case. In this instance, though, perhaps it's a zooma facia case.

Kirk Tuck said...


Paul said...

Very impressive 1" sensor and that lens are pretty amazing - for people not interested in interchangeable lenses and are travelling it looks like a fantastic option.

By the way I like the flags in the shot.

RG Martin said...


I own the classic RX10 and am looking to upgrade to either a mkII or a mkIII. Why do you prefer the mkIII over the mkII from a usage standpoint vs just the spec sheet? What do you get/ give up with each?