“Why must life be so hard?!”
I love this photo to bits; it’s such a precious moment! I love it when dogs do humanoid things, like yawn and sneeze. I do wonder though… you know how people say yawns are contagious? Do you think it works between dogs and humans as well? Hmmmmmm I think I read a study that suggested yes, but I can’t remember. Anyway, like I’ve said before, Phillip here will be heavily featured on this blog, on account of him being the cutest dog ever.
On a more serious note, this photo was taken with a gem of a lens that I found in my dad’s old collection. It’s a K-Mount SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.4, and it looks like it’s packing some serious optics. With an effective focal length of 100mm and an aperture that wide, it gives some super creamy bokeh that just ooooooozes. All it took was a cheap K-mount micro four-thirds adapter off eBay and I was up and running. It is a fully manual affair, like all adapted mounts, but that’s half the fun!
I got super lucky with this photo, actually. I was in the process of framing and focusing the photo when, out of nowhere, a bee popped up! It generously stuck around for a few seconds, providing the extra element I was looking for in the picture. If it wasn’t for the fact that C-mounts are fully manual I may have missed this shot completely, but I guess photography is a bit like that, isn’t it? And that’s why I love it.
Two of the most common arguments used against mirrorless cameras (vs. DSLRs) is that there are less lenses and the sensor is smaller. While both of these are true, one of my favourite accessories for my E-P5 addresses both of these complaints in one fell swoop. As you’ve probably guessed from the title, I’m talking about the somewhat obscure C-Mount lenses. These lenses, designed for CCTV (closed circuit television) have a flange distance that is way too short to be adapted for any current DSLRs comfortably (that I’m aware of). That’s where the mirrorless cameras come in! To cut a long story short, the compact nature of mirrorless cameras means that the C-mount lenses can be adapted, which is a good thing. Continue reading →
Olympus 14-42mm kit lens at 28mm f/18 32.0 sec ISO 100
I’ve always enjoyed playing with extended exposure, but its inherent experimental nature meant it was a hideously expensive experiment when I was only shooting with film. Thankfully, it’s much cheaper to mess around with it on digital cameras! In fact, the Olympus E-P5 has a really handy feature called ‘Live Time’, which will periodically update your photo on-screen while the lens is open. Essentially, you get to watch as your extended exposure magically builds in front of you. This really is as amazing as it sounds as it gives you a crazy level of control, especially over the exposure level. It helps immensely to reduce the number of photos that turn out to be entirely black or white because you got the exposure time very, very wrong.
Olympus 14-42 kit lens at 42mm
So you may or may not know that I live in Brisbane, Australia. We don’t have soaring skylines or amazing historical buildings, but we’re fortunate to be blessed some quite nice natural landscapes around, such as the one here. Technically this was taken on the Gold Coast, which actually has more than just the golden beaches for which it’s famous. I really like the effect of having sky, mountain and water all in the one frame.
Maybe one day I’ll own one of those houses with their own boat dock….
Olympus 14-42mm kit lens at 42mm
This little guy wasn’t meant to be the central attraction on the street, but he couldn’t help but steal the show! He was set up by a street performer demonstrating that ‘weightless glass ball’ act. The act was pretty impressive but seriously, look at how Amazon Box Guy is demonstrating total domination over that Rubik’s cube. Just you dare try to encroach on his territory!
On a more serious note, I wanted to test out the bokeh on this thing. At 42mm on the kit 14-42mm lens, the aperture can’t open any wider than f/4.4, but it still manages to get some reasonably shallow depth of field.
Olympus 14-42 mm kit lens at 14mm f/4.0
When I first got my camera, I went straight to the most photogenic subject around me: my fiancee….’s dog, Phillip! This was taken with the 14-42mm kit lens, which is a surprisingly decent lens. Phillip gobbles up every meal like it’s his last, so I literally had about 3 seconds to get a good photo. Knowing this, I was at the bowl and pre-focussed before we let him at it. I love how he’s so confident in his eating ability that he doesn’t even have to look at his bowl! Something caught his eye just before I squeezed the trigger, and he looked like he was already planning his next move after his dinner was done and dusted.
If there are any readers out there who has been reading my (at times defunct) blog, you’ll know that I used to have a staunch opposition to digital cameras and particularly the use of post-processing. I was firmly in the analogue camp and prided myself on only using film.
A few things have happened since than that have somewhat changed my mind. Firstly, the price of getting film developed where I live has almost doubled in price, not to mention the cost of the film itself. This alone has made it both a difficult and expensive hobby. While a fancy mirrorless or DSLR can be expensive, the ongoing costs are obviously far less since you can selectively print the photos. The other big thing that happened is that I had the good fortune of winning an Olympus E-P5 mirrorless micro 4/3 camera in a competition! When I started using it, I found out that I could finally take the photos that I’ve always wanted to take but couldn’t, due to equipment limitations. To clarify, I wasn’t limited by using film, but that I don’t own any functioning SLR film cameras.
At the same time, I realised that I was being too closed-minded about the use of digital cameras, purely out of pride. This led me to the conclusion of: “why not use both?”. I’ve since struck a fine balance – I use my E-P5 for times when I want to take proper, well-composed photos, and I bust out one of my film/toy cameras when I want to take fun photos. It’s a system that’s been working fairly well and also keeps the costs of my photography hobby down a bit more.
In terms of my initial negativity against post-processing, I’ve had a little bit of a change of mind. I’m still against the use of Photoshop to alter the contents of the image itself (eg. removing/adding objects) because I still feel like it’s kind of cheating. However, I can understand that sometimes the exposures, white balance and colour balance need to be adjusted. This is why I’ve started using Lightroom, which is also a fantastic way of organising all your photos.
Also, one of the main reasons for my long absence in blogging (other than a lack of time) was that it became too much of a hassle to scan all my developed photos into the computer. With all this in mind, I will start posting some of my digital photos on here as well. Hopefully the ease of being able to transfer from an SD card will encourage me to keep this blog more alive than I have in the past.