I love this shot I took during an event a couple of days ago. It’s one of those moments which passes in seconds. I am contemplating whether I should shave my beard unless it grows white and I grow as fat (and adorable) as Santa. The recent tan I got from my beach holidays might have contributed to my “scary” look. Well, on the bright side, I think most kids and babies love me cause I have that love for them oozing out of me (I think… haha).
But kids are cute and adorable (on pictures) whether they are crying or laughing. The shot is not “perfect” with the maid standing behind but she does seem to be an authoritative figure standing and watching silently behind. In portrait photography, an expressive moment caught outlaws all compositional rules we were taught sometimes.
NOTE:(This post is not intended for professionals who require different tool for different job. It is meant for end-users).
For all of you who have been following my blog, I have taken 2 days rest from my Daily Photo Series. Since the Olympus E-5 has been circulated around for reviews in Malaysia, I have also not spoken much about Olympus yet. (I requested to be the last to touch the E-5)
There are much rumors out there that the four-thirds system is dead/dying, that E-5 might be the last Olympus SLR, etc. and etc. The Nikon and Canon fans never fail to bash Olympus through the years for it’s small four-thirds sensor.
Now, the mirrorless Micro Four-thirds PEN system is also under fierce competition from Panasonic, Sony, Samsung and soon Nikon and Canon…
In the world of photographic gears, we love to compete. Who has the biggest sensor, who has the highest megapixels, who has the fastest frame rates, who has the quickest AF, who has the fastest lens, etc. and etc…
We seem to have let technology taken over us. We grew highly dependent on what technology can do for us.
Soon, we will have electronic shutters on high resolution digital cameras doing more than 100 frames per sec. The photography concept may evolve into the “Motion-Jpeg Concept”, where photographers literally sit down in front of their 60inch HD TV, pausing images for screen captures.
Photoshop already has auto-color, auto-tone, auto-contrast and soon we might have auto-crop since more 21MP 5Dmk2-alike DSLRs are likely to surface, when photographers can crop to a small part of the image and with 21MP, it’s still useable. And the auto-crop function might have the computer diagnose and crop the images for us…
With the amount of photographic software available today, it’s not difficult to see that a batch-processing program of “art filters” would probably surface too. Photographers don’t even have to spend much time thinking and doing what they want to their digital images as such software can diagnose and batch-process for you. Maybe you just need to do selective re-processing.
If you like bokeh, here is an excellent plug-in for you: BOKEH 2. (Now you save yourself some money buying L lenses…)
Now, can we just come back to photography, photography as a craft, photography as a D.I.Y. craft instead of letting technology take over our work?
The Olympus followers are a strange crowd. They do not follow the “Big Numbers Game”. Some of them might whine about the restrictions they face with Olympus gear at times but they come back to making images. I know of at least 2 fervent users who stick to their Olympus E-1.
The specs of Olympus’s AF and frame rate per sec may lose out to the big boys BUT the Olympus users carefully compose each shot, knowing that they can’t be overly dependent on the automation.
Having not more than 13MP on a small four-thirds sensor also means that Olympus users MUST compose each shot carefully, to avoid post-production cropping. I bet you see lotsa lame shooters firing away with their 21MP 5Dmk2. I know of those who proudly proclaim that they own a camera with “2-sensors”, a crop one and a full one literally, and they crop 90-95% of their shots at post-processing. This practice only produce sloppiness.
With the restriction of Olympus high ISO noise through the years (which has since been solved in the digital PEN series and the E-5), Olympus users are known to use tripods for their shoots, and that again trains our discipline in the whole composition process.
With it’s amazing in-body I.S., which also requires users to hand-hold the camera stably, Olympus users are trained to stop breathing for seconds. LOL…
See? Restrictions can be beneficial!
The following are some shots I have done at a birthday party with the Olympus PEN E-P1, mostly shot at ISO1600.I am still amazed at it’s sharpness and color rendition, it’s consistency in auto white balance, it’s IQ at handling mixed lighting and hotshoe flash. I can tell you, even the Leica M8/9 doesn’t quite have such IQ in AWB.
E-P1, 14-42mm kit lens, ISO1600.
E-P1, 14-42mm kit lens, ISO1600
E-P1, 14-42mm kit lens, ISO1600
E-P1, 14-42mm kit lens, ISO1600
A crop of the above. Look at the sharpness and detail at ISO1600, simply amazing!
Client's Sony Alpha "waxed". Shot with E-P1, 14-42mm kit lens, ISO 1600.
Shot with E-P1 with Olympus hotshoe FL36R Flash attached.
Enough Is Enough! Let’s get down to making images!
As I have quoted in my facebook sometime ago…
“Photography: there’s more than one way/tool/camera/lens to get what you want. Just choose one and start creating.”
Have you started yet? When was the last time you shared a really proud piece of work you did?
Can everyone shoot artistic images??? With a camera like the PEN, almost!
Though I have been teaching photography for a while now, I find that there’s just one thing that can’t really be imparted: how to see artistically!
But with the latest technology, digital cameras like the Olympus PEN series which produces fantastic jpegs straight out of camera, and with the additional in-camera Art Filters… … shooting ARTS straight out of a small and portable interchangeable lens camera has never been so easy before!
I have the images to prove you here. Not all are excellent but most are impressive! These are ALL the images from the participants of the 3 sessions of Olympus Photo Walkabouts on Sat, 26 June, Urbanscapes at KLPAC!
The shots are mostly shot with E-P1, some brought their own PEN, and only Art Filters are used.
Guess who are the 6 winners? (if you do not already know…) Click and enlarge the individual images, put in your comment if you wish.
Judging was based on the public’s votes and 3 judges: the Urbanscape organiser, our Olympus GM Kee Nyap and myself. (Not all the winners’ shots are among my personal 6 favourites… so judging was fair… :p)
Oh yeah.. she’s no longer a baby. She’s 3 this year. I have been a photographer for this family for years and it all started with her parents’ wedding years ago. Pics of her birthday party last year is HERE. Here are the some of my favourite pictures this year. For all those who are interested to hire me as your photographer and wish to view full sets of portfolio, it’s all available. Just contact me via phone or email 😉
I am extremely honored to be invited by Olympus to speak of my experience with the PEN on 5 Nov at the launch of the Olympus E-P2, and also not-to-forget, experiencing the E-P2 over the past 1 week on it’s new features. I must say the PEN, being the 1st micro four thirds system in the world, is gonna rock the world just like it did with it’s half-frames (72 shots) in the 1960-70s.
NEW OLYMPUS PEN E-P2, image from dpreview.com
Image by Leo from Olympus Malaysia
I was actually busy photographing the big group of media photographers photographing us during the photo session. I should be getting those images back from them soon. The PEN is such a joy to use! You should try it.
Below are some pretty girls’ shots of the Olympus PEN E-P2 ambassadors of the day taken backstage. I am so-not-used-to dressing up formally without carrying my PEN E-P1 in my camera pouch strapped to my waist, that I only managed to steal some shots of the day intermittently whenever I can get my E-P1 out of my bag. All the PEN E-P1’s images shown in this post below are straight out of camera. No touch-ups at all.
It has been a truly enjoyable day meeting new friends, chatting with the Olympus Team about up and coming exciting developments, and sharing my experience with the PEN to the crowd. I must say, somehow I find the Olympus Team different. They are truly passionate about the Olympus Brand!
To them, it’s not just about selling cameras. It’s about high quality photographic instruments and human-to-human connection. Olympus is about high quality photography made available at ease to everyone and anyone.
Let me remind you, I am not paid to shoe-shine for Olympus just like I’ve earlier mentioned HERE. They just want a truly passionate genuine PEN user to share something at their meetings, and here I am.
I also have the priviledge to meet the veteran photojournalist who uploaded the first Tsunami shots online during the 2004 Tsunami. He’s none other than John W. Ishii.
Me and John
And a photo with Hugo from Olympus Japan and Mr Tan, the managing director.
Below shows the high quality huge enlargements frames of the Olympus PEN E-P1 and E-P2’s images at the launch, largest being 30 by 53 inches. Mind you, the enlargements are made from “Normal JPEG” straight out of the cameras. Not even “Fine JPEG”!
With such high quality, I absolutely don’t see the need to shoot RAW with my PEN E-P1 at all, unlike my Canon and Nikon DSLRs I used to own. I have since sold both my D700s and now back to shooting lots and lots of film (still my 1st Love), accompanied by my PEN E-P1!
Thank you Olympus Malaysia for giving me the honor to speak of my joy in photography using the PEN!
Coming soon… I will be blogging more about the PEN, both the E-P1 and E-P2.