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Thursday, 12 October 2023


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I have had two different generations of that Olympus Camera in red... I bought them to be my swimming/snorkeling/skiing camera, and have really enjoyed them. I had a similarly waterproof, less bulky Oly P&S before these, but they didn't output raw files or have all the features the Tough series have. The one main drawback I've had is that there are some lens flare issues giving a purplish circle in the center of the image in some sun conditions. I wonder if the newer gen still has that?


Enough red? A grab shot of my niece, Mary, taken from the balcony of our flat in Lusaka, Zambia.

"If you can't make it good, make it red."

In the '80s I read Outdoor Photography magazine every month and they had many National Geographic photographers interviewed with advice from their career for us amateur shooters. One thing that I read multiple times from several of these pros was that any average scene could be immediately improved by having a human in the environment, but not just that human element... they should have a red hat on their head. One of the photographers actually took to carrying a red had in their gear bag so that they could "fix" a boring scene. Red seemed to work for those shooters.

I got a TG-6 a couple years ago for getting pictures of the kids playing in the surf on a beach vacation, and I love the little thing. It's far less stressful to take into that environment than either my mirrorless camera or my phone. And it has a couple other big advantages over the phone -- it has a real zoom, and it shoots raw files. I got the red, ostensibly because it would be easier to spot if I happened to drop it into the water. But I think I was also getting a bit tired of monochromatic electronics at the time, and it's a nice change of pace.

The OM/Olympus TG series are indeed waterproof and are dandy little cameras. Our TG-4 has been all over the world acting as a backup or as the primary camera when diving or snorkeling. Its 16 Megapixel images are more than enough for semi-serious travel photograph and the camera takes up almost no room. The internal optical zoom beats out any smartphone. If ours ever dies, I'll get another one!

An interesting story about that photo https://amp.theguardian.com/music/2010/jan/14/william-egglestone-rock-photography of the ceiling of a TGI Friday's restaurant in Memphis

I have the '6' in red and it certainly is a gorgeous color.

And the very reason I bought it was for rain and snow.

Odd article I must say, In the history of photography first ventures into colour included Autochromes which were over sensitive to red but I loved that especially in the work of Mervyn O'Gorman and the red girl photo (his daughter I think) I do have a copy in my collection and it is in a place of honour in my home. My brother in law is an artist and his early work is all red's (a measure of his rage in losing both parents early in his life). recent works show patches of red as time goes by, smaller and smaller. gb.

When we moved to our current house, we had the den painted red. I wanted a "colonial red" type of color. Took three coats I believe! Not the four your brother's room required; maybe it's a shade or two lighter.

My son's aunt gave him a previous model of that Olympus camera some years ago. We enjoyed using it in Long Lake and Range Pond in Maine, and also while snorkeling in Aruba just a couple of years ago. Does very well for those underwater uses. Both stills and a bit of video!

[Tip for painting a room dark red: make the first coat black. --Mike] [Hmm, I wonder what a real house painter would say to that? --Mike]

I have a prior iteration of the TG, number 5 think. It gets used for field work, fishing and hiking. It has a GPS tracker so you can see where you have been and an altimeter and compass to help you navigate in the mountains. It also has under the plastic ring surrounding the lens two plain steel screws that quietly, and unbeknownst to you, rust. It also makes horrible photographs.

That brings up and interesting observation - digital cameras and phones I have owned seem to oversaturate reds. Often I will reduce red saturation to bring out details lost in the red. Anybody else see this?

[Oh yes it was very pronounced early on. My Sony F-707 had that problem. --Mike]

Mazda currently does a red that they call Soul Red Crystal Metallic. It makes me think of Christmas tree ornaments. Mind you, I own a Suzuki Swift Sport that's painted in almost the exact same colour, so I might be skewed psychologically.

I always thought I'd get sick of having a red car. I didn't. Or that the paint would fade over time (it's 16 years on now) parked daily in Queensland (Australia). It still looks brand new.

There's a lot to be said for only washing your car once a year. The dirt and dust are like sunblock.

Another thumbs up for the Mazda ”Soul" red. Unlike auto body paints that remain rather flat no matter what the direction of the light, the shading and depth of Soul red subtly shifts even as the car passes before you. It evokes light passing through a glass of burgundy red wine (not a rosé) or through rubies.

As for the meaning of red, well, that entirely depends on the cultural context, including the timeframe. In western art, red has been associated with the blood of Christ (sacrifice), valor, masculinity ["pink" is a girl's color is a modern conceit], wealth, lust, greed, and fires of Hell & Lucifer. In China, it signifies felicity, hence Daoist temples are awash in red (to cite but one example).

I am not a scholar of western art history, but M. Pastoureau's series on the changing meaning of hues is an easily accessible window on the topic. The titles share the same contruction: "[Color hue]: The history of a color."

I am always amazed at the temperature ratings of cameras. “Freeze proof to -10C”, as if that was something remarkable. There are many places in the world where normal daily temperatures are well below -20C, and sometimes-40C. And yet all kinds of cameras have been used in those conditions for decades without any ill effects. And there are good photographs to prove it.

Oh Mike, brings me back to my teens (2000s) and getting into film. I managed to be the last generation learning on Kodachrome and that film (KR64) went deep with the reds. Something about the Cyan dye saturating, whereas the rest of the color palette was cooler and not so saturated. This made me, for a couple of years, really appreciate and look for red photographically.
In general, film (specially E6) does exhibit some deep reds by default whereas digital (Sooc) isn't so, and much more of an orange red where in editing and wider gamut (AdobeRGB) helps to match film. If anyone has input about this I am very interested!

Camera story wise, in 2012 my proper first digital was an Olympus Pen in red, hey, it was just $250 new as a kit. This tough is interesting as I am planning a trek to the Philippines.

Tools are tools, but I am planning to recommission my GW690 much more heavily and shoot color film with it again. The reason? In April 2022 I took a portrait of a friend wearing a red suit - Ektar on 6x9; I got too busy to shoot/develop film the rest of the year, I got it processed a year later and Oh my bad! Those colors and the Medium format look!

It was a strange awakening and bless my "futures investing" in Freezing color film 2020-2021. Gosh it is premium priced now, but like I said once... Who wants to buy a Rolex for telling time, when you can get photography to stop and keep time?

Gotta shoot some chrome roll for fall colors. In rational terms I still keep this Medium format as part of a photographic choice.

Haven't gotten to try the last wave of Orthochromatic films. Until this comment on the topic, I haven't thought of a possible subliminal reason: Not sensitive to red!

I also got a red coat as a gift from dad, which lands compliments every other time when meeting people with it.

Spent quite a bit into writing this comment and stirred some good thoughts, thanks!

And don't forget about the Red camera company.

My 2015 Impala's "Crystal Red Tintcoat" isn't too shabby:



O'boy, the camera should work down to 14 degrees. what happens when it gets cold?
We regularly see -30's(f) and that is normal winter temperatures.
So far the Canon and Nikon DSLR's that I use have all worked in those temperatures - even after spending the night in the vehicle with no heat.

On Red..., "If your picture isn't good enough, put something red in it. If it still isn't good enough, put it in a red frame."

I'm in the midst of red (mis)adventures. The wife decided she wanted a red front door, and I made it so. Actually, we got a new front door with 1/4 windows and I primed and painted the exterior classic barn red and the inside white to match the trim in the living room. Everyone, including the dog, applauded my efforts. She then decided that it would be nice if the wooden garden shed was a matching red, instead of the weird pale blue left by the previous home owner.

Being an amateur painter who knows just enough to be dangerous, I washed the shed exterior, scrapped off loose paint, and primed the bare areas. Some of you are probably shaking your heads at me right now. I proceeded with the red paint. One coat, two coats, three coats... I just did the fourth on the doors today. Even as a red-green colorblind yokel, I can see the difference between areas where the red went over pale blue vs areas where it went over white primer. The red+primer is the desired barn red, whereas the red over pale blue is both darker and duller. Major fail on my part, plus I've used up all my red paint.

Being 96% OCD, I'm 97% sure that my future entails priming the shed exterior and repeating the red paint so that it's a uniform color. Sigh.

We are on our second "Soul Red" Mazda, the first was a Mazda3 and now a Mazda CX-5. Absolutely the best red ever.

The only car color I liked better was our 2004 "Solar Yellow" Mazda3. Saw the car and had to have it. Drove it for 12 years.

My wife was initially attracted to the Soul Red color when we bought our Mazda 2 a couple of years ago. When I pointed out it would make the car a thief magnet, we opted instead for a boring dark gray. We love the car. And it remains unstolen.

I'm a candidate to buy a TG Tough, but my reason is travel and the metadata the camera provides. I want the GPS data for location. When travelling, I often can't remember where I was when I took certain shots, or the picture doesn't provide enough clues. I particularly think of being on a cruise, shooting the shore.

The ruggedness is useful, but I treat my gear well anyway.

As for the colour, I've wondered, red or black? My conservative nature tells me black, especially for wanting to be inconspicuous, but I do like the flair of the red. But I ain't planning any trips so it's academic.

When the move PeeWee's Big Adventure came out in the 1900s, I remarked at the time that I had never seen such intense red captured on motion-picture film and projection. I actually wondered if it was a newly introduced film stock (the 80s saw significant improvements in the capture and release film stocks) or the result of unorthodox light sourcing, such as by exceeding the spectral response of human eyesight, or at least emphasizing a different response than typical.

Now, of course, it's all done in a computer to get whatever look, but the extent that that could be done then was much cruder.

There was a long old joke that the ARPS award from the Royal Photographic Society secretly stood for ‘ A red patch somewhere’ !

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