Sometimes less is more. Although I normally adhere to the Boy Scout motto (Be prepared), sometimes I try to minimize the equipment I carry with me. The Olympus Micro Four Thirds system makes that easy. On New Year’s Eve, I took my Olympus OM-D E-M5 with me to our local celebration. I had the Panasonic/Leica Summilux 15mm/f1.7 lens mounted. This is a great lens for a variety of applications, and the E-M5/15mm combo fits in your coat pocket. Giulio Sciorio has advocated this ‘one camera/one lens’ approach in the past, and I like to try it occasionally. Continue reading →
I have a tendency to not stray too far with contrast and levels sliders when processing images. When working with a color image, over-doing it can render the image cartoonish. However, when processing B&W images, sometimes you need to give it an extra push in processing. The image below is a good example. After working with the image below I was reasonably happy with this version:
Regular readers of this blog may recognize the above image from a previous post. However, you have not seen the original photo that caused me such problems when writing that post. Below you will see two versions of the same photo. The first is the original jpeg conversion from an Olympus Raw file. The second is a slightly different conversion. The only difference between the two is the color space. Continue reading →
Olympus OM-D camera bodies have a feature called In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS). This feature reduces camera shake when the shutter speed gets low. The big advantage of the IBIS system is that stabilization is available for any lens you put on the camera. Most other cameras use lens based stabilization. This means the image stabilization capability resides in the lens hardware. Either stabilization system works well, but lens-based stabilization means each lens must be IS capable and not all lenses are built this way. Sometimes the feature is removed to save costs; sometimes the manufacturer just doesn’t think it is necessary. That was often the case with my Nikon lenses. Nikon just doesn’t seem to think IS (or as they call it- VR, for vibration reduction) is necessary for wide-angle, normal, and short telephoto lenses. None of the Nikon lenses I used most often for portraits had VR. Occasionally, I used the 70-200/f2.8 lens for portraits. It had VR and was very sharp, but it was big and heavy, so I didn’t use it for portraits very often. Continue reading →
As I was posting the above photo to social media, it reminded me that I have been meaning to write a review of the Peak Designs Capture Pro Camera Clip (Amazon Link). The picture above was possible because as I was hiking in Nepal I had my camera at the ready on a Capture Pro Clip. I was trekking through a small village on the way to Everest Base Camp. I came upon these two girls playing in front of their home and just unclipped my camera and took the shot. If I my camera had been in my backpack, I never would have dug it out for this quick opportunity.
If you are not familiar, the Capture Pro Camera Clip attaches to the shoulder strap of a backpack and has a mounting plate for your camera. You just clip the mounting plate into the clip on the backpack and your camera is at the ready for quick access. I used the system almost daily for three weeks while trekking in Nepal in May, and for almost a week in June while hiking in Colorado.
Here is the promotional video the company provides for the clip:
I was reminded this week how much I enjoy going to my local Meetup events. I attended a Portrait and Lighting shoot at a downtown park a few nights ago. The event was well attended by about 40 photographers. If you haven’t been to a Meetup event in your area, you should sign up at Meetup.com and take the plunge. Here are three reasons why…
1. You can try something new If you usually shoot wildlife, then you can go to a portrait meetup and vice versa. There are lots of photographers at most shoots that are willing to help you with techniques, settings, etc. Continue reading →
Mobile processing has matured in the last year and is easier than ever with the great wifi capabilities of the Olympus OM-D E-M1. I like sharing photos while on the road, but in the past it has been a sub-optimal experience. First, I needed an adapter for my iPad to upload the images from older cameras, and then once the image was uploaded post-processing was cumbersome.
The E-M1 has made uploading the images a quick and trouble-free process. Now, when I’m on the road, I set my camera to capture Raw + Small Jpeg. This gives me a raw file for processing at home and a smaller file that I can upload to my iPad and tweak with the latest generation of photo apps. I upload the photos using the Olympus OI share app. Once the iPad has been configured for the camera, I just turn on the camera, click the touchscreen to enable wifi, connect to the E-M1 network on my iPad wifi, and finally open the Olympus app. It takes all of 5 seconds to be ready to upload images. The images display very quickly. I scroll through the viewer and select the images I want to upload and I’m done. Continue reading →
My daughter was performing in an opera at her university this weekend. We went to see her and of course I had to take some photos. Luckily, this was a very photo friendly performance.
Anticipating that my daughter would want me to upload some of the photos to social media quickly, I set my camera to Raw+Small Jpeg. The pictures here are the jpegs straight from the camera. One is cropped slightly and watermarks have been added, but no other adjustments were made in Photoshop.
I find that the more I return to a location, the better my chances for success with wildlife photos. The two pictures here are a good example. These pictures were taken at a pond a few hundred yards from my house. I often go there in the mornings to see what is out and I’m becoming more familiar with the habits of the local wildlife.
There is one particular oak tree that a red-shouldered hawk likes to perch in. You could easily miss him, since it is a large tree and he is at the very top. But now that I know his habits I always look for him up there. Last week I noticed that he had a partner. I had never seen two hawks in the tree before. I started taking pictures and one flew off, giving me a nice picture of a hawk in flight. Luck goes to the familiar.